José Manuel Barroso

José Manuel Barroso, born in Lisbon in 1956, is the eleventh and current president of the European Commission. After graduating in law from the University of Lisbon, he moved to Geneva, where he completed a diploma in European studies at the European University Institute, University of Geneva, and received a master’s degree in political science from the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Geneva, earning honors in both.

He embarked on an academic career, working first as a teaching assistant at the Law Faculty of the University of Lisbon and then in the Department of Political Science, University of Geneva. He went on to serve as visiting professor in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 1995, he became head of the International Relations Department of Lusíada University, Lisbon. In 1979, he founded the University Association for European Studies.

His political career began in 1980 when he joined the Social Democratic Party (PSD). He was named president of the party in 1999 and re-elected three times. During the same period, he served as vice president of the European People's Party. In April 2002, he was elected prime minister of Portugal. He remained in office until July 2004, when he became president-designate of the European Commission. The European Parliament re-elected him for another five-years in September 2009.

José Manuel Barroso has been awarded honorary degrees by Roger Williams University, Rhode Island (2005); Georgetown University, Washington, DC (2006); University of Genoa, Italy (2006); Kobe University, Japan (2006); and Sapienza University of Rome (2007). He was declared "European of the year 2006" by the magazine European Voice. He is the author of numerous publications on political science, international relations, and the European Union, including Le système politique portugais face à l'intégration européenne, Lisbon and Lausanne, 1983; Uma Certa Ideia de Europa, 1999; Mudar de Modelo, 2002; and Reformar: Dois Anos de Governo, 2004.

He is married to Margarida Sousa Uva. The couple has three children.

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2010