The following is a profile of selected members of the IGC, representing the array of ethnic and religious groups in Iraq.
Iraqi National Council (INC)
The son of a well-off Shia family, Ahmad Chalabi was born in Baghdad in 1945. He fled Iraq following the collapse of the monarchy in 1958, living in various countries including Britain and the United States, where he studied mathematics at the University of Chicago and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1977, Chalabi established the Petra Bank in Jordan, a venture that ended with him fleeing the country in 1992 after being accused of fraud. A Jordanian court sentenced him to 22 years in prison in absentia.
Ahmad Chalabi, president of
the Iraqi Governing Council
After leaving Jordan, he founded the Iraqi National Congress (INC), a London-based group made up of exiled Iraqis opposing the government of Saddam Hussein. The INC obtained its funding from the CIA and political backing from the neoconservative circles at the Pentagon.
In the mid 1990s, Chalabi returned to Iraq to rally the Kurds in the north to revolt. A year later, in August 1996, the Iraqi army stormed the INC bases in northern Iraq, killing hundreds of INC militias. Chalabi, along with many of his supporters, fled.
Beyond his rotational presidency of the IGC in September 2003, some believe that Chalabi has renounced his previous ambitions of assuming a prominent role in Iraqi politics, such as being a possible successor to Saddam Hussein.
Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim
Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)
Now the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim was born into a prominent Shia family.
Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim of the SCIRI
His brother, Ayat Allah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim led the SCIRI until his assassination in al-Najaf on 29 August 2003. Al-Hakim lived in Iran for many years from the late 1970s.
He returned to Iraq following the US-led war and occupation. Al-Hakim's SCIRI was founded in 1982 with Iranian support and focused its efforts toward opposing the policies of the Iraqi government with the ultimate goal of toppling it.
Iraqi Independent Grouping
Adnan Pachachi, head of the
Iraqi Independent Grouping
Born into an elite Iraqi Sunni family, Adnan Pachachi is a nationalist with a secular, liberal outlook. He served as Iraq's foreign minister and ambassador to the UN (1965-1967) before the Baath party seized power in 1968.
Currently, Pachachi is the head of the Iraqi Independent Grouping and is expected to play a unifying role among Iraq's religious and ethnic groups.
He spent many years in exile in the United Arab Emirates and still enjoys high-level connections with Gulf states.
National Democratic Party
Nasir al-Jadirji is the son of Kamal al-Jadirji, the leading proponent of democracy and leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP) that opposed the British-backed Iraqi monarchy in the past.
Al-Jadirji is the now the leader of the NDP. During the rule of the Baath party, al-Jadirji lived in Iraq working as a lawyer and a businessman.
Kurdistan Democratic Party
Born in 1946, Masud al-Barazani, son of Mustafa al-Barazani, a prominent Kurdish figure, is the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP).
Masud al-Barazani (R) is head of
the Kurdistan Democratic party
In 1963, he joined the Peshmerga (Kurdish militia) and took charge of the party's leadership after his father's death in 1979.
Following the second Gulf war in 1991, al-Barazani shared power in the autonomous Kurdish region with his staunch rival Jalal al-Talabani.
Al-Barazani maintained cold relations with Iran as he felt uneasy with the Islamic republic's conservative orientation; instead, he maintained good relations with the US and Turkey.
Though al-Barazani staged a rebellion against Saddam's rule in 1991, he invited the Iraqi leader to help defeat al-Talabani in 1996.
In 1994, the coalition government that was formed jointly with the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by al-Talabani, broke down leading to an intra-ethnic war between the two.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Jalal al-Talabani is the leader of
the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Born near Arbil in northern Iraq, Jalal al-Talabani is the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). In the 1960s, he was a member of the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP) under Masud al-Barazani's leadership.
In 1975, he split from the KDP. Joining ranks with a group of intellectuals and activists, al-Talabani founded the PUK in 1976 and began organising armed resistance inside Iraq.
Being a prominent figure in Kurdish politics, al-Talabani is now in control of the eastern sector of Iraqi Kurdistan and commands a militia force of more than 20,000 fighters.
Though he opposed the installation of a US administrator in Iraq, al-Talabani does not favour the departure of US forces before an interim government is formed.
Assyrian Democratic Movement
Yonnadam Kanna, head of the
Assyrian Democratic Movement
An Assyrian Christian, Yonnadam Kanna is the head of the Assyrian Democratic Movement.
An engineer by profession, Kanna served as an official for the transport ministry in the first Kurdish regional assembly and later as a trade minister in the regional government established in Arbil in northern Iraq.
Iraqi Turkman Front
Iraqi teacher and grassroots
activist Sangul Shapuk (R)
A Turkman Sunni, Sangul Shapuk is one of three female members of the council. She is also a member of the Iraqi Turkman Front.
Shapuk holds a degree in education, and is studying fine arts at Mosul University. A married mother of two, she is a feminist activist who worked as a teacher and has lived her life in Iraq.