March 28, 2014
José Manuel Barroso
Distinguished International Leadership AwardJosé Manuel Barroso is the president of the European Commission. 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. As state secretary for foreign affairs and cooperation, he played a key role as mediator in the signing of the peace accords for Angola in Bicesse in 1991, and as minister for foreign affairs, he was a driving force in the self-determination process in East Timor from 1992 and 1995.
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 and was re-elected for a second term in 2009.
President Barroso received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 on behalf of the European Union, together with the leaders of the other EU institutions. Member of the G8/7 and currently its "dean," he is also one of the founding members of the G20 Leaders Process set up in 2008 in response to the financial crisis.
He has degrees in law from the University of Lisbon, in European studies from the European University Institute at the University of Geneva, an in political science from the University of Geneva. He was named "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum in 1993 and "European of the Year" by European Voice in 2006.