News & AnalysisProfile: Mohamed ElBaradei

From Nuclear Watchdog to the Maelstrom of Cairo

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Science  11 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6018, pp. 659
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6018.659

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Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recently became a central figure in the antigovernment protests in Egypt and is on a steering committee of opposition leaders. The Muslim Brotherhood, considered the largest single opposition group and also part of the committee, has endorsed a leading role for him in potential talks with Egypt's rulers. Yet ElBaradei's future in the maelstrom of Egyptian politics is far from certain. Friends and former associates describe a personality that seems unsuited for politics: cerebral, reserved, principled, and uncharismatic.

* Dan Charles is a writer based in Washington, D.C.

  • * Dan Charles is a writer based in Washington, D.C.