Cheick Modibo Diarra : biography
Cheick Modibo Diarra (born 1952) is a Malian astrophysicist, businessman, and politician who was acting Prime Minister of Mali from April 2012 to December 2012.
On 11 December 2012, Diarra presented his resignation on state television in a broadcast at 4 a.m. local time, hours after soldiers who led the 2012 Malian coup d'etat arrested him at his home in Bamako.
Life and career
Diarra was born in Nioro du Sahel, Mali. He is the son-in-law of former president Moussa Traoré. After graduating high school in Mali, Cheick Modibo Diarra studied mathematics, physics, and analytic mechanics in Paris at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie. He then received a Masters in aerospace engineering and a PhD in mechanical engineering, both from Howard University in Washington, D.C. He was recruited by Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA FFRDC contractor, where he played a role in several NASA programs, including the Magellan probe to Venus, the Ulysses probe to the Sun, the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter, and the Mars Observer and Mars Pathfinder. He later became the director of education and public outreach for NASA's Mars Exploration program. Dr. Diarra also served as an executive for the Microsoft Corporation. He also obtained American citizenship., Le Monde, 19 April 2012 .
In 1999, he obtained permission from NASA to work part-time in order to devote himself to education development in Africa, founding the Pathfinder Foundation. He took a further sabbatical in 2002 to found a laboratory in Bamako, Mali for the development of solar energy. In 2000 and 2001 he also served as a goodwill ambassador for UNESCO. In 2002 and 2003 he served as CEO of the African Virtual University, based in Kenya.
Cheick Modibo Diarra was the chairman of Microsoft Africa from 2006 until the end of 2011. Turning to Malian politics, he founded the Rally for Development in Mali, a political party, in March 2011, and he intended to stand as a candidate in the 2012 presidential election., Al Jazeera, 17 April 2012.
Acting Prime Ministercoup d'état
On 11 December 2012, soldiers reportedly sent by coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo arrested Diarra as he prepared to leave the country for a medical check-up in France. Shortly after his arrest, Diarra appeared on state television and announced his resignation and that of his government.
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