Ridha Grira is a Tunisian politician, born in Sousse in 1955. He passed his Baccalaureate exam at Sousse Boys’ High School in 1974. He was then admitted to Lycée Louis-Le-Grand in Paris, a preparatory class for entrance into the most selective universities. Subsequently, he passed the entrance exam of the Ecole Centrale of Paris where he obtained an engineering diploma and an MSc in Chemical Engineering. He also pursued studies in law, economy, and management in University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Institut des Etudes Politiques of Paris. In addition a graduate of l’Ecole Nationale de l’Administration.
Since then, Grira has occupied several high administrative positions from that of Tunisian Prime Minister to General Director of Public Function. In 1991, he became the CEO of the Banque Tuniso-Libyenne. He was later appointed the General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in 1991 became the government’s secretary general. His next appointment was as Minister of State Property and Land Affairs in 1999. On January 14th, 2011, during a reorganization of the cabinet, he was appointed Minister of National Defense replacing Kamel Morjane.
He was re-appointed to the post in the Mohamed Ghannouchi’s government of national unity after the ousting of Ben Ali during the Tunisian Revolution. He left the government following public outcry against former RCD (ex-ruling party) officials. He is married with two children. He was arrested on September 21st, 2011 following an the issue of a warrant by the judge of the First Instance Court, following suspicions that he may have committed crimes under the former regime. He was eventually cleared of all charges, but has kept his distance from government affairs since.