Gjorge Ivanov

President of Macedonia

(Makfax - 13/05/09; AFP, Euronews, MIA, Makfax, Xinhua, B92 - 12/05/09; Telegraph, DPA - 06/04/09; AFP, Reuters, BBC, FT - 05/04/09; Official Website of the Macedonian President)

Gjorge Ivanov, an educator and political scientist, was sworn as president of Macedonia on May 12th 2009, five weeks after winning a landslide victory with 65% of the vote in the country's presidential elections.

Succeeding Branko Crvenkovski, he became Macedonia's fourth president since the country declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Ivanov is considered a leading expert on civil society, specializing in political management. As executive of the EU's Tempus programme in Macedonia, he contributed to higher education reform and established Master's degrees studies in English.

He was also the first to introduce systematic research on civil society in the Macedonian higher education.

Ivanov was born on May 2nd 1960 in the Macedonian town of Valandovo. He completed a bachelor's degree in law at Skopje's Sts. Cyril and Methodius University in 1982, following it with a master's degree in political science in 1995.

In 1988, he successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, entitled "Democracy in Divided Societies".

His professional career kicked off in 1988, when he became an editor at Macedonian Radio and Television, the national broadcasting station. He later taught political theory and political philosophy at the Law Faculty in Skopje. In 1999, he became a visiting professor for the Southeast European programme at the University of Athens in Greece.

A series of academic appointments followed, including at universities in Bologna and Sarajevo. Sts. Cyril and Methodius University named him associate professor in 1992 and full professor in 2008. The same year, he became president of the Council for Accreditation in Higher Education in Macedonia.

Ivanov has been politically active since the Yugoslav era, when he pushed for political pluralism and a market economy. He is the founder and honorary president of the Macedonian Political Science Association and one of the founding members of the Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis, a leading analytical centre in Macedonia.

He also helped launch the first Macedonian political science journal, "Political Opinion".

Although not a member of the centre-right VMRO-DPMNE party, he has advised the party on policy issues, and was active in formulating the party's reform programme.

Ivanov took a presidential oath of office at a ceremony in Macedonia's parliament on May 12th, 2009. Presidents Boris Tadic of Serbia, Filip Vujanovic of Montenegro, Stipe Mesic of Croatia and Bamir Topi of Albania were special guests at the ceremony.

"My political agenda is clear," he said, vowing to work for NATO and EU membership, and for prosperity at home. He said he would seek good relations with all neighbours and countries in the region, and particularly with Greece.

"We undoubtedly share common European values, dream the same European dream," Ivanov said.

He is author of three books and numerous studies in various languages as well as participant in seminars and symposia.

Ivanov is married and has one child.

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