King Abdullah made the first major government reshuffle since he ascended the throne in 2005 on February 15. He appointed four new ministers, three deputy ministers, a new central bank governor, and a new Shoura Council chairman. Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed replaces Abdullah al-Obaid as Education Minister. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Rabeeah replaces Hamad bin Abdullah al-Manie as Health Minister. Mohammed bin Abdul Kareem replaced Justice Minister Abdullah al-Sheikh, who was in turn appointed Chairman of the Shoura Council. Former Chairman Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid was appointed Chairman of the Supreme Judiciary Council. The new ministers were sworn in on February 16 and will assume their posts on February 28. These changes are expected to speed up the judicial and education reform programs. 

King Abdullah also named three deputy ministers for education on February 14. Nora bint Abdullah al-Fayez is the first woman Deputy Minister of Education and will direct girls' education; she previously served as director general of the women’s department of the Institute of Public Administration. Other major appointments included Abdul Aziz al-Humain as head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Muhammad al-Jasser, former director of the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, was appointed governor of the Saudi central bank, replacing Hamad al-Sayari, who held the post for over twenty years. In addition, Abdullah bin Suleiman Bin Munie was named chairman of the Human Rights Commission. Click here for more in Arabic.