José Manuel Durão Barroso was President of the European Commission from 2004-14. He was previously Prime Minister of Portugal from 2002-04.
After university, Barroso embarked on an academic career, working successively as a teaching assistant on the Law Faculty of the University of Lisbon, in the Department of Political Science of the University of Geneva, and as a visiting professor at the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.). In 1995, he became head of the international relations department of Lusíada University (Lisbon).
In 1999 he was elected President of the PSD Party in Portugal and was re-elected three times. During the same period, he served as Vice President of the European People’s Party. As Portugese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation he played a key role as mediator of the peace accords for Angola in Bicesse (Estoril, Portugal) in 1991, and as Minister for Foreign Affairs he launched the talks with the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, under the auspices of the Secretary General of the United Nations, that ultimately led to the independence of East Timor. Under his leadership, the PSD won the general election in 2002 and he was appointed Prime Minister of Portugal in April of that year. He remained in office until July 2004 when he was nominated by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament to the post of President of the European Commission.
He has been awarded numerous honorary degrees and has received over 60 decorations, prizes and distinctions. 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 (1983); Uma Certa Ideia de Europa (1999); Mudar de Modelo (2002) and Reformar: Dois Anos de Governo (2004).