Biographical Notes for:
Dr. José Ramos-Horta
Dr. Ramos-Horta is a former journalist, a passionate promoter of peace and poverty alleviation by choice, and by circumstance an internationally renowned diplomat. He is currently serving as Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister and Minister for Defence.
He lives in Dili, his birthplace and Timor-Leste’s capital. He has one son, Loro.
No stranger to sorrow, the Prime Minister lost four siblings to the violence that beset Timor-Leste during the Indonesian military occupation (175-1999).
With degrees in peace studies and honorary doctorates from many leading academic institutions, and prestigious awards, he is fluent in Tetun, Portuguese, French, Spanish and English.
In 1996, he received a Nobel Peace Prize, sharing it with fellow
countryman Bishop Belo. It came after 21 years in exile, and a
lifetime's peaceful promotion of his country’s independence.
A confidant of many world leaders, he is one of the most experienced United Nations international diplomat and politician. He has been witness to and involved in many ground breaking events, visiting more than 100 countries.
Following the 1999 referendum where the citizens of Timor-Leste overwhelmingly chose independence, he returned home to a rapturous homecoming.
Dr. Ramos-Horta served with great distinction in Timor-Leste'
first Constitutional Government (2002-2006) as Minister for Foreign
Affairs and Cooperation and Senior Minister.
Considered a candidate for the top UN post of Secretary General,
recent events in Timor-Leste demanded he take up the post of Prime
Minister and Minister for Defence.
He accepted the position as Minister of Defense reluctantly and he prefers to be known as Chaplain to the Defense Forces.