Dr. José Ramos-Horta is President of East Timor. In 1996, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with fellow countryman Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo for "sustained efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict of East Timor based on the people's right to self determination”.
Despite being exiled from his homeland for many years, in 1991 Ramos-Horta was elected as Vice President of the National Council Maubere Resistance (CNRM), the umbrella organization of pro-independence movements both in and outside East Timor. In 1998, he was again elected Vice President for CNRM's successor organization - CNRT.
Ramos-Horta has served as Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Information, Minister for External Relations and Information, and as representative of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) at the United Nations.
As Media Adviser to the government of Mozambique based in Washington, he helped prepare high level visits by Mozambican leaders to the U.S. and established Mozambique’s first lobby in Washington.
Over the years, Ramos-Horta has actively participated in numerous international conferences dealing with self-determination and de-colonization, human rights, law of the sea, world criminal court and small arms and disarmament.
Ramos-Horta is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and a distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. He is acting president of the East Timor Cultural Centre in Dili; a member of the Council of Honour at the University of Peace in Costa Rica; and co-president of the State of the World Forum based in San Francisco.
Ramos-Horta has been honoured with several major international awards including the Gold Medal from the President of Italy, the First Hague Peace Appeal Award and the Gran Cross of the Order of Freedom from President of Portugal.
Ramos-Horta holds an Executive Program for Leaders in Development Diploma from Harvard; a Master of Arts in Peace Studies from Antioch University in the U.S. and is a Senior Fellow in International Relations at St. Antony's College in Oxford. He also holds a number of honorary degrees and has written numerous books and articles about East Timor and international law.