In one of the more surprising career paths of academics, yesterday Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed was sworn in as the new prime minister of Somalia. Mohammed, 48, was born in Mogadishu but spent many years in the United States.

Mohammed, a U.S. citizen, earned a master’s degree in political science from SUNY Buffalo. He taught leadership skills and conflict resolution for many years at Erie Community College.

One hopes he was a very good teacher since there will probably be a great deal of rather more challenging conflict resolution in Mohammed’s future.

According to the New York Times, “he will take over the Western-backed transitional government, which controls just a few blocks of the capital and is struggling for survival amid a sea of Islamist insurgents.” Somalia last had a real central government in 1991. That year dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown by militia groups.

Mohammed moved back to his home country in September. Before that he had not lived in Somalia since 1988. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer