Najla Bouden

Tunisian engineer, academic and politician

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Najla Bouden
نجلاء بودن
الرئيس تبون يستقبل رئيسة الحكومة التونسية 0-24 screenshot (cropped).png
17th Prime Minister of Tunisia
Assumed office
11 October 2021
PresidentKais Saied
Preceded byHichem Mechichi
Personal details
Born (1958-06-29) 29 June 1958 (age 63)
Kairouan, Tunisia
Political partyIndependent
EducationMines ParisTech

Najla Bouden (Arabic: نجلاء بودن), also known as Najla Bouden Romdhane[1] (Arabic: نجلاء بودن رمضان; born 29 June 1958), is a Tunisian geologist and university professor who is serving as the Prime Minister of Tunisia. She took office on 11 October 2021, making her the first female prime minister both in Tunisia and the Arab world.[2] She previously served in the education ministry in 2011.[3]

Early life and career

Bouden was born in 1958 in Kairouan. She is an engineer by profession and a professor of higher education at the National Engineering School of Tunis at Tunis El Manar University, having specialized in geosciences.[4] She has a Ph.D. from the École des Mines de Paris in earthquake engineering.[5] Her work has focused on seismic hazards in Tunis.[4]

Before her current position as Prime Minister, she held senior roles at the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, including as part of the $70 million World Bank-funded program "PromEssE" to reform and "modernize" university education in order to help alleviate widespread unemployment among Tunisian graduates, a major social issue in the country.[4][6]

Appointment as Prime Minister

On 29 September 2021, amid the Tunisian political crisis, President Kais Saied asked Bouden to form and lead a government, the first time in the country's history that a woman reached the office of prime minister. At their meeting at the presidential palace, which was broadcast by the president's office, Saied described the news as "an honor to Tunisia and Tunisian women".[2][7]

She is expected to take over as prime minister with fewer executive powers than her predecessors, as the president has assumed full executive powers.[8] Samir Dilou, a former government minister and spokesperson, said that Bouden's nomination was illegal because it was done through Saied's presidential decrees.[4] Tunisian analyst Salah Ad-din Al-jourshi [ar] suggests that Saied's "trust that [Bouden] will be loyal to him was a factor encouraging his decision" as, he claims, was her distance from political parties, especially Tunisia's main opposition party, Ennahda.[9] She took office on 11 October 2021.[10]


  • TN Order Merit Rib.png Officer of the National Order of Merit of Tunisia (2016)


  • Contribution à l'étude de la fragmentation des massifs rocheux à l'explosif ("Contribution to the study of the fragmentation of rock masses with explosives"), PhD thesis, (1987).[11]
  • Innovative geotechnical engineering. Proceedings of the International conference on geotechnical engineering [eds.], Sfax, Nouha editions, 2008


  1. ^ "Tunisia Names First Woman Prime Minister, Amid Turmoil". Time. Retrieved 2021-09-30.
  2. ^ a b Salem, Mostafa (September 29, 2021). "Tunisia's president appoints woman as prime minister in first for Arab world". CNN. Retrieved 2021-09-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Tunisia's president names Bouden first woman PM, asks her to form govt". France 24. 2021-09-29. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  4. ^ a b c d "Tunisia's president names Najla Bouden as country's first female PM". 2021-09-29. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  5. ^ Mounir Bouassida; Najla Bouden; Essaïeb Hamdi, eds. (2008). Proceedings of the International Conference on Geotechnical Engineering - ICGE'08, Hammamet, Tunisia 24-26 March 2008. ISBN 978-9973-9997-0-2. OCLC 440920510. Wikidata Q108744624.
  6. ^ Mounir, Ghufrance (30 September 2021). "Tunisia appoints first woman prime minister - but not everyone is convinced". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2021-10-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Amara, Tarek; Mcdowall, Angus (2021-09-29). "Tunisian leader names new PM with little experience at crisis moment". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  8. ^ Laghmari, Jihen; Karam, Souhail (2021-09-29). "Tunisian President Names Obscure Official as Premier Amid Crises". Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  9. ^ الجورشي, صلاح الدين (2 Oct 2021). "تونس: الجدران الأربعة التي تحيط بحكومة تسيير أعمال الرئيس". Al Araby (in Arabic). Retrieved 2021-10-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Amara, Tarek; Mcdowall, Angus (2021-10-18). "Tunisia unveils new government but with no sign of end to crisis". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-10-18.
  11. ^ "Bouden-Romdhane, Nejla (1958-....)". National Library of France (in French). Retrieved 2021-09-30.

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Tunisia
Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Najla Bouden