Dr Ashti Hawrami was appointed Minister for Natural Resources in May 2006, and reappointed in the six cabinet on 28 October 2009 following the July 2009 Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections. He was reappointed in the seventh cabinet, on 5 April 2012. Before joining the KRG cabinet, Dr Hawrami held several senior oil executive positions in the private sector. Born in Suleimaniah in 1948, Dr Hawrami gained a bachelors degree in oil engineering from Baghdad University in 1971 and worked as an engineer in the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) in Basra from 1971 to 1974. After moving to the UK, Dr Hawrami worked as an engineer on the North Sea in Scotland for the British National Oil Company from 1975 to 1982. In 1978 he was awarded a PhD in Reserve Oil Engineering in Scotland, and from 1982 to 1985 worked as a senior oil engineer for the company Intera in London. He was a senior engineer for an exploration consultancy from 1985 to 1988, and from 1988 to 1999 he was the proprietor and director of DUK, a limited liability UK engineering and services firm. In 1999 he became Chairman and CEO of ECL Group Plc. After retiring from ECL, he was appointed Minister of Natural Resources in 2006.