Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev was born on December 24 of 1961 in Baku. From 1967 through 1977 he studied in school in Baku. In 1977, he entered Moscow State University of International Relations (MSUIR). After his graduation in 1982, Mr. Aliyev continued his education as a post-graduate student in MSUIR.
In 1985, he was awarded a Ph.D. in history. From 1985 through 1990, he was a lecturer at the Moscow State University of International Relations. From 1991 through 1994, he led a group of private industrial-commercial enterprises. From 1994 through 2003, he was a vice-president, and later the first vice-president of State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), where he was actively involved in the implementation of Heydar Aliyev's oil strategy.
In 1995 and 2000, he was twice elected to Milli Majlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In 2003, he stopped his activity as a member of Parliament due to the appointment to the post of Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Since 1997, he has served as the President of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan. For his great contribution to the development of sports and Olympic movement, Mr. Aliyev was awarded the highest order of the International Olympic Committee.
In 1999, he was elected deputy, and in 2001 he was elected the first deputy of the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party. From 2001 through 2003, he was the head of Azerbaijani Parliamentary delegation to Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE). In January 2003, he was elected deputy-chairman of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and a member of the bureau of PACE. In April of 2004, for his active participation in PACE events and commitment to European values, Mr. Aliyev was awarded a medal and diploma of honorable member of PACE.
On August 4, 2003, after confirmation of Milli Majlis (Parliament), he was appointed prime minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
On October 15, 2003, he was elected president of the Republic of Azerbaijan. More than 76 % of voters supported Ilham Aliyev's candidacy during the elections. He assumed his post on October 31, 2003.
Mr. Aliyev is fluent in Azerbaijani, Russian, English, French, and Turkish.
He is the author of a number of books on the oil industry, economy, and history of the oil sector.
Mr. Aliyev is married, has three children.
Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2004