President of Latvia (1999-2007); Co-Chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC)
Vaira Vike-Freiberga was President of Latvia from 1999 to 2007.
Dr. Vike-Freiberga emerged as a prominent spokesperson on politics and science whilst Professor of psychology and interdisciplinary scholar at the University of Montreal (1965-1998). She has held leading positions in national and international scientific and scholarly organisations, as well as in several Canadian governmental, institutional, academic and interdisciplinary committees, where she acquired extensive administrative experience.
Dr. Vike-Freiberga returned to her native country in 1998 to head the Latvian Institute, an organization devoted to promoting Latvian awareness abroad. In June 1999, she was elected President of the Republic by the Latvian Parliament and re-elected in 2003. As President, she is known for her role in Latvia’s NATO membership and accession to the European Union (2004). She was named Special Envoy to the Secretary-General on United Nations reform and was official candidate for UN Secretary General in 2006.
Since the end of her presidency in July 2007, Dr. Vike-Freiberga is a member of several international organizations, including inter alia, co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), the Council of Women World Leaders, the European Council on Foreign Relations and the World Leadership Alliance. From 2014 to 2019, she was President of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid.
Dr. Vike-Freiberga has been awarded many medals, prizes and honours, including the 2005 Hannah-Arendt Prize for political thought, the 2010 Konrad Adenauer Prize for her contribution to the political construction of a united Europe, and the 2013 Knight of Freedom award of the Casimir Pulaski Foundation.
She holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology (1965) from McGill University in Montreal.