French President Sarkozy meets with Mahmoud Jibril, March 10, 2011
That would be Mr. Mahmoud Jibril, who has appointed himself "Prime Minister of the Libyan Republic" according to his Wiki:
Jibril graduated in in Economics and Political Science from Cairo University in 1975, then gaining a masters in political science in 1980 and doctorate in strategic planning in 1984, both from the University of Pittsburgh. He taught strategic planning at Pittsburgh for several years, and has published 10 books on strategic planning and decision-making. For all his life he has been a strong advocate of neoliberalism.
Jibril led the team who drafted and formed the Unified Arab Training manual. He was also responsible for organizing and administering the first two Training conferences in the Arab world in the years 1987 and 1988. He later took over the management and administration of many of the leaders’ training programs for senior management in Arab countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Britain.
Since 2007, he has fulfilled a function in the Gheddafi regime as head of Nedb (National Economic Development Board), being the key man for penetrating in Libya the economic interests of United States and United Kingdom, promoting privatization and liberalization of national economy.
President Sarkozy has recognized the transitional government he has set up as "sole legitimate representative" of Libya. They've even set up a National Transitional Council, and parceled out who gets to control what. The council is being run out of a luxury hotel in Paris. Notably, Mr. Omar El-Hariri is going to be the guy in charge of the military if Gaddaffi is toppled. He and Gaddaffi go way back. In 1975, El-Hariri launched a small coup against Gaddaffi, which was quickly suppressed. Although sentenced to death, Gaddaffi had mercy and commuted his sentence to life in house arrest in 1990.
So far as I know, the Libyan people haven't had a chance to elect their own "sole legitimate representative." Me thinks the armed rebels on the ground, should they prove victorious, will have other ideas. And so will the remnants of Gaddaffi's army and security forces.
Secretary Clinton met with Mr. Jibril in early March, but so far there has been no official recognition by the U.S. Government, which I'm sure has its own perspective on who represents Libya. But for now, Mr. Jibril will probably end up being the person paradropped into Libya as its new leader if Gaddaffi is overthrown.
Here you will find an Italian article run through Google Translate about Jibril and his extensive connections to American and European big business: The possible successor to Ghedaffi.
Wikileaks has something to offer on Mr. Jibril, via leaked diplomatic cables:
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 000077
SIPDIS STATE FOR NEA/MAG AND ISN/CTR. COMMERCE FOR NATE MASON.
E.O. 12958: DECL: 1/27/2020 TAGS: PREL PGOV OEXC ECON ETTC SCUL TSPL PINR LY
SUBJECT: EXPLORING ENGAGEMENT WITH THE HEAD OF LIBYA'S PREMIER THINK TANK
CLASSIFIED BY: Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
1.(C) Summary: Mahmoud Jibril, head of Libya's premier think-tank -- the National Economic Development Board -- told the Ambassador on January 21 that U.S. business enjoys "a competitive edge" in the field of technology in Libya, and argued that now is the time for U.S. business to capitalize on opportunities for trade and investment in Libya. He welcomed a February 20-23 Department of Commerce-led Trade Mission and offered to speak with GOL officials who could help facilitate the visit. Exploring areas for future bilateral cooperation, Jibril recommended that both countries work together to implement joint projects aimed at "building trust," which would help to erase the historically negative perceptions that each has of the other. He described an idea for a high-level dialogue between U.S. and Libyan policymakers and scholars, to combat such misperceptions, and discussed building connections between U.S. and Libyan academic institutions. End Summary.
NEDB WELCOMES TRADE MISSION, INTERESTED IN INFO TECHNOLOGY
2.(C) During a January 21 meeting with Mahmoud Jibril, head of Libya's National Economic Development Board (NEDB) -- Libya's premier think-tank, which reports directly to the Prime Minister's office -- the Ambassador requested support for the upcoming Trade Mission, discussed the state of the bilateral relationship, and confirmed the U.S. commitment to further engagement. Jibril pledged to support the Trade Mission in any way he could, offering to reach out to the Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade, and to the Minister of Facilities and Infrastructure to facilitate the program. He expressed interest in meeting with companies specializing in the sale of technology, particularly those which could meet the needs of the NEDB in the areas of distance learning -- linking universities in the U.S. and Libya -- and increasing the capacity of the NEDB-run business incubators in the information technology field. Jibril believes the United States enjoys "a competitive edge" in the field of technology and that "now is the time" for U.S. business to capitalize on opportunities for trade and investment in Libya.
And about that oil:
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TRIPOLI 000917
STATE FOR NEA/MAG; COMMERCE FOR NATE MASON; ENERGY FOR GINA DEPT FOR NEA/MAG
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/26/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EFIN KPAO SCUL KMPI EAID EPET LY
SUBJECT: HEAD OF LIBYA'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD: U.S.-LIBYA RELATIONS NOT JUST ABOUT OIL REF: TRIPOLI 227
CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, Embassy Tripoli, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
¶1. (C) Summary: The head of Libya's national economic planning apparatus and the effort to implement Muammar al-Qadhafi's vision for government restructuring and privatization told the visiting NEA/MAG Director that a new, commonly agreed frame of reference for U.S.-Libya relations that took into account more than oil was needed. Libya's strategic location, aversion to extremist iterations of Islam and hydrocarbon resources will make it increasingly important in the coming decade.
Hmmm. Privitization of oil contracts in a strategic part of the world, and the new would be leader of Libya is the man in Libya promoting it. In fact, he got an award for his privatization plans. He's a real man of the common people, fighting for freedom. Indeed.
So far, what we know about the people we are fighting for is still quite sketchy. We don't know who the rebel field commanders are or what they are going to demand in return for their sacrifice. We don't know the minds of the Libyan military, which seems so far to remain firmly behind Gaddaffi. Will they accept him being gone, or will they decide they themselves should run things rather than some corporate bureaucrats appointed by the Western powers? Or, will the common folk demand true democracy and other options, like those of a more Islamic bent? We don't know and nobody is telling us because they probably don't know either.
But I'll bet you Exxon knows. So does BP. And Total. Watch how they place their bets and that will tell you which direction Libya is headed.
Interesting times, folks. Interesting times.