RIT Dubai leader returns home

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Photo by Ismail Zetouni/Reuters

Libya’s Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur speaks at a news conference in Tripoli.

The president of RIT Dubai returned to his homeland late last year to serve as the deputy prime minister in the newly liberated country of Libya.

Mustafa Abushagur, who is also a professor of microsystems engineering, left his RIT post for an eight-month period to begin building a democracy in Libya.

Abushagur was a Libyan refugee and was on a “Most Wanted” list in Libya because he actively opposed the Moammar Gadhafi regime. The regime was toppled by rebels and Gadhafi was killed in October. For the first time in 32 years, Abushagur said he felt safe enough to return to his homeland. He visited with family and friends in the capital city of Tripoli this fall.

Abushagur joined RIT in 2002 and led the development of the world’s first doctoral program in microsystems engineering, while also conducting research in nanophotonics and micro-optical systems. He became founding president of RIT Dubai in 2008.

“RIT has graciously encouraged me to answer the call of my nation,” Abushagur says.