Fouad Sanioura (alternative spellings: Fouad Sanyoura, Fuad Sinyora, Fouad Saniora, Fouad Seniora) (Arabic: فؤاد السنيورة , Fu'ād as-Sanyūrah) is the Prime Minister of Lebanon, a position he held from 19 July 2005 to May 25, 2008, the date of the election of the new President of Lebanon; he was renominated to the post on 28 May 2008 and held the post as Acting President between those dates.
Sanioura was born into a Sunni-Muslim family in Sidon on April 14, 1943. He earned a Masters in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut after attending the American School for Boys in Sidon. He speaks fluent English. In the 1970s, Sanioura worked for Citibank and taught at his alma mater in Beirut and at the Lebanese University. He then joined the audit committee at Lebanon's Central Bank in 1977. In 1982, he was recruited by successful businessman Rafik Hariri to help him manage and expand his massive business empire. Upon the end of Lebanon's Civil War, Hariri became Lebanon's Prime Minister. Hariri appointed Sanioura as his Minister of Finance in his successive cabinets. He was the Chairman and Managing Director of Groupe Mediterranee which encompasses four Hariri-owned banks. He is known for his interest in Arab literature and poetry.
Fouad Sanioura has strong ties with the international financial community. Strongly pro-business, he is considered a moderate partisan of free trade. He was a very close adviser to late Rafik Hariri and he is very close to his son Saad Hariri. He served as finance minister from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 to 2004. Sanioura was the main architect of the Paris II conference in November 2002 which allowed Lebanon to get US $2.6 billion and the Paris III Conference in January 2007 which pledged 13 billion dollars to Lebanon. He was accused of corruption and mismanagement after Hariri's ousting in 1998, in what was mainly viewed as a conflict between Hariri and Syria, and a Syrian-orchestrated move to keep him in line. Sanioura was cleared of all charges in 2003 by the parliament and the Judicial Court. In 2002, he abolished most of Lebanon's duty taxes and introduced a Value Added Tax.