President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed named Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, who pledged to establish better security in a country that has been virtually without a functioning government for 20 years, The New York Times reported Friday.
Ali, who holds a master's degree in public administration from Harvard, a master's degree in economics from Vanderbilt and a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University, had been serving as deputy prime minister.
He replaces Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, forced out of Somalia's transitional government this month in a United Nations-backed deal to resolve an internal political dispute, the Times reported.
The president praised Ali, whose academic background is in international trade and public finance.
"He is a good man," the president said. "I hope he will improve the situation of Somalia."
Somalia's Transitional Federal Government controls only a small area of the capital Mogadishu. Clan militias and Islamist insurgents rule much of the rest of the country and pirates operate in Somalia's seas.