While in exile Al-Abadi’s pre-2003 positions:
- 1993-2003: DG of a small high tech vertical and horizontal transportation Design and Development firm in London.
- 1987–2003: A top London Consultant to the industry in matters relating to people movers.
- 1981–1986: Research Leader for a major modernization contract in London.
- 2001: Registered a patent in London in rapid transit system.
- 1998: Was awarded a Smart grant from the UK Department of Trade and Industry.
Politically, he is one of the leaders of the popular Islamic Dawa Party, the head of its political office and a spokesman for the party. He became a member of the party in 1967 and a member of its executive leadership in 1979. The Baath regime executed two of his brothers and imprisoned a third brother for ten years.
- 2003: Al-Abadi became sceptical of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) privatization plan, proposing to Paul Bremer that they had to wait for a legitimate government to be formed.