José Manuel Ramos-Horta

José Ramos-Horta is president of Timor-Leste, often known as East Timor. Born in 1949, he became the second president of the country after it achieved independence from Indonesia in 2002, taking office in May 2007. He is a co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize and a former prime minister.

Ramos-Horta is a founder and former member of the political party called Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor and served as the exiled spokesman for the East Timorese resistance during the years of the Indonesian occupation (1975 to 1999). While he has continued to work with the party, he resigned from it in 1988 and has since remained an independent politician.

Ramos-Horta has taught in Australia—at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and the University of Victoria, Melbourne—and is the author of books and numerous articles. He has studied at The Hague Academy of International Law and the International Institute of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, France. He took post-graduate courses in American foreign policy at Columbia University, holds a master’s in peace studies from Antioch University, and has a diploma from 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, and Portugal. The recipient of several human rights prizes and awards, he speaks Portuguese, Tetun, English, French, and Spanish. 

He is the father of a son, Loro.

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2010