Hisham Nazer

Hisham Nazer
Ambassador to Egypt
In office
Prime Minister King Abdullah
Succeeded by Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Kattan
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
In office
24 December 1986  August 1995
Prime Minister King Fahd
Preceded by Ahmed Zaki Yamani
Succeeded by Ali Naimi
Minister of Planning
In office
Prime Minister King Khalid
King Fahd
Succeeded by Abdul Wahab Abdul Salam Attar
Personal details
Born (1932-08-31)31 August 1932
Died 14 November 2015(2015-11-14) (aged 83)
United States
Nationality Saudi Arabian
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Religion Islam

Hisham Mohieddin Nazer (31 August 1932 – 14 November 2015) was Saudi Arabia's oil minister and the first Saudi board chairman of ARAMCO, which was later called Saudi Aramco. He was one of the significant people in developing the domestic policy of Saudi Arabia.[1] He also served as Saudi ambassador to Egypt from 2005 to 2011.

Early life and education

Nazer was born in Jeddah in 1932.[2][3] He hails from leading family based in Jeddah.[3] He attended Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt.[4] He holds a bachelor of arts degree in international relations and a master of arts degree in political science, both taken from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).[2][3][5][6] He completed his master study at the UCLA in 1958.[7]


Nazer began his career at the ministry of petroleum.[8] He was among "the promising young technocrats" under Abdullah Al Tariki, the first Saudi oil minister.[3] More specifically, Tariki made him assistant director general of the petroleum and minerals directorate in 1958. Nazer was sent to Venezuela in 1960 to be informed about international oil matters.[3] In addition, Nazer represented Saudi Arabia at OPEC's founding meetings in 1961.[6] Then, he served as deputy of then oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani until 1968.[8]

Next, Nazer was appointed head of the central planning authority.[8] His first ministerial post was the minister of planning which he began to hold in 1975 after the central planning authority was reorganized as an independent ministry.[9] Therefore, he actively dealt with the Saudi Arabia’s first five development plans,[9] and contributed to the formation of the concept for Saudi Arabia’s two major industrial cities, Jubail and Yanbu.[10] In addition, Nazer guided the construction and management of these facilities.[10] Then, he became the head of the royal commission for Jubail.[11]

He was appointed acting minister of petroleum and mineral resources by King Fahd on 30 October 1986[12][13] and replaced Ahmed Zaki Yamani.[2][9][14] He became the third oil minister of Saudi Arabia after Abdullah Al Tariki and Zaki Yamani on 24 December 1986.[15] Nazer's appointment was considered to be a shift in Saudi Arabia's policy in oil prices and production.[16][17] Nazer continued to hold the portfolio of planning minister. His term as oil minister lasted until August 1995, and he was replaced by Ali Naimi.[18][19]

Nazer was also appointed the board chairman of the Aramco, replacing John J. Kelberer, in April 1988.[20][21] Nazer was the first Saudi board chairman of the company.[14][22][23] Following his appointment, he began to rationalize the company's operations and to nationalize it due to its low profitability for Saudi Arabia.[24] Because the company was an American-registered entity.[24] Thus, the company was nationalized, leading to its transformation as a pure Saudi entity which was renamed the Saudi Arabian Oil Company or more commonly Saudi Aramco on 8 November 1988.[22][24]

In 2005, Nazer was named as Saudi ambassador to Egypt by King Abdullah.[9][25] He was relieved of his duties by King Abdullah in March 2011 due to a controversy about remarks exchanged between him and a frustrated Saudi woman stranded in the Cairo Airport during the Egyptian uprise in February 2011.[26] Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Kattan replaced him as ambassador.[25][27]

Personal life and death

Nazer is known to be a poet and soccer fan.[2] He was awarded an honorary degree by American University in Cairo in 1991.[28] He died on 14 November 2015 at the age of 83 in the United States.[29][30]


Nazer published a book titled Power of a Third Kind in 1998.[31] His book, written in English and published by Praeger, is about the effects of the Western-dominated electronic age on the world.[31]


  1. S. Hertog (23 February 2011). Princes, Brokers and Bureaucrats. Cornell University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-8014-5753-1. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Oil chief close to Saudi King". Pittsburgh Post. 31 October 1986. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Hertog, Steffen (2008). "Petromin: the slow death of statist oil development in Saudi Arabia" (PDF). Business History. 50 (5): 645–667. doi:10.1080/00076790802246087. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  4. "Saudis fire Yamani as oil minister". Spokane Chronicle. 30 October 1986. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  5. "Executive Profile Hisham Nazer". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  6. 1 2 Tagliabue, John (21 December 1986). "Crisp, no nonsense, Saudi's acting oil minister makes debut". Houston Chronicle Archives. The New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  7. "CNES Alumni around the World". UCLA. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 Itamar Rabinovich (1 November 1988). Middle East Contemporary Survey, Volume 10. The Moshe Dayan Center. p. 548. ISBN 978-0-8133-0764-0. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Al Shaei, Khaled (8 February 2011). "Calls for penalizing Saudi ambassador to Egypt". Al Arabiya. Riyadh. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  10. 1 2 Mansur, Hasan (March 2001). "The Emperor without Clothes". Islamic Voice. 15 (171). Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  11. "9 billion Arabian city of 200,000 to be built". St. Petersburg Times. San Francisco. AP. 25 June 1976. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  12. "Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, the most powerful figure". UPI. Kuwait. 29 October 1986. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  13. "King Reportedly to Make Nazer Permanent Oil Minister". Associated Press. Dhahran. 23 December 1986. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  14. 1 2 "Hisham Nazer Named Head of Saudi Oil Firm". Los Angeles Times. 7 April 1988. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  15. "Saudi considers Naimi's successor as oil minister". Reuters. London. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  16. West, John (11 November 1986). "Yamani ouster signals shift in oil policy". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  17. "New Saudi Oil Minister Appointed". Philly. Inquirer Wire Services. 25 December 1986. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  18. "Key ministers fired as king cleans house". Eugene Register Guard. Riyadh. AP. 3 August 1995. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  19. "Ali bin Ibrahim Al Naimi". SAGIA. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  20. Clark, Arthur (September–October 1993). "Saudi Aramco at Sixty". Saudi Aramco World. 44 (5). Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  21. "Saudi Named Aramco Chief". The New York Times. AP. 7 April 1988. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  22. 1 2 "From Aramco to Saudi Aramco 1985-1990" (PDF). Saudi Aramco. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  23. The Middle East and North Africa 2003. Taylor & Francis Group. 2003. p. 947. ISBN 978-1-85743-132-2. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  24. 1 2 3 Peter W. Wilson; Douglas F. Graham (1994). Saudi Arabia: The Coming Storm. M.E. Sharpe. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-56324-395-0. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  25. 1 2 "Kattan named new ambassador to Egypt". Arab News. 28 February 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  26. "Saudi King sacks Egypt envoy after media criticism". Emirates 7/24 News. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  27. "Saudi Kattan named new ambassador to Egypt". MSN News. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  28. "AUC Honorary Degree Recipients". American University in Cairo. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  29. Khaled bin Mirdah. (15 November 2015). Hisham Nazer passes away Saudi Gazette. (Jeddah). Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  30. "Saudi ex-oil minister passes away". Emirates 24/7. 15 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  31. 1 2 "A wake-up call by Hisham Nazer". Arab News. 2 October 2002. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
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