Dalia Grybauskaitė was born in Vilnius on 1 March 1956. After graduating school she studied political economy at Leningrad University. In 1988, she defended her Ph.D. thesis at Moscow Academy of Public Sciences. She holds the academic qualification of Doctor of Social Sciences.
In 1991, she completed a special course for senior executives at Georgetown University in Washington.
In 1991, she became a program director in Prime Minister’s office. The same year, she was appointed Director of the European Department at the Ministry of International Economic Relations.
In 1993, she served as Director of the Economic Relations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A year later she was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian Mission to the EU.
From 1996-1999, Dalia Grybauskaitė acted as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian Embassy in the USA.
She served as deputy finance minister from 1999 to 2000, deputy foreign minister from 2000 to 2001, and finance minister from 2001 to 2004.
In 2004, Dalia Grybauskaitė was appointed EU Commissioner responsible for financial programming and budget. She was elected Commissioner of the Year in November 2005 “for her unrelenting efforts to shift EU spending towards areas that would enhance competitiveness such as research and development.”
As EU Commissioner, she launched one of the most ambitious projects in the history of the European Union: she initiated the reform of the Community’s budget to ensure a more expedient, efficient and transparent use of funds.
On 26 February 2009, Dalia Grybauskaitė announced that she would run for Lithuania’s presidential office. In the first round of voting on May 17, she was elected President of the Republic of Lithuania in a landslide victory.
The President has the following state decorations of Lithuania: Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain (2009) and the Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (2003).
The President speaks four foreign languages: English, Russian, Polish, and French.
She enjoys classical music, reading and sports.
Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, November 2010