José Manuel Ramos-Horta
President of Timor-Leste

José Ramos-Horta is the fourth president of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste since the country's unilateral proclamation of independence from Portugal in 1975 and the second since the restoration of independence from Indonesia in 2002. He was prime minister and minister of defense from July 2006 to May 2007 and foreign affairs minister from 2002 to 2006.

Born in 1949, Ramos-Horta was a founder of the organization which became the Frente Revolucionária de Timor-Leste Indenpendente, known as FRETILIN. While Ramos-Horta continued to work with the party for years, he resigned from it in 1988 and has since remained an independent politician.

During his years in exile he studied public international law at The Hague Academy of International Law (1983) and at Antioch University, where he received an MA in peace studies (1984). He was trained in human rights law at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (1983); completed post-graduate courses in American foreign policy at Columbia University, New York (1983); and was a senior associate member of St. Anthony College, Oxford, England (1987). He completed the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at Harvard University. Ramos-Horta has received numerous honorary doctorate degrees from universities in Brazil, the United States, Australia, Portugal, and Timor-Leste.

In 1996, Ramos-Horta shared the Nobel Peace Prize with his fellow countryman Bishop Belo. He has received numerous other awards, among them: the Medal of the University of San Francisco, California; the Grand Cross of the Order of Freedom from the president of Portugal; the Gold Medal of the University of Coimbra, Portugal; the First Hague Peace Appeal Award; the Gold Medal of the president of Italy; and the Hollywood Film Festival Humanitarian Award.

President Ramos-Horta is the father of a son, Loro.


Source: Information provided by the office of the president of Timor-Leste