Ilham Aliyev was born in Bakı on December 24, 1961. After completing his secondary education, Aliyev studied at the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International
Relations (MGIMO) from 1977-1982, where he subsequently pursued his doctoral studies. In 1985 he completed his studies with a doctorate in history. From 1985 until 1990 he taught at MGIMO. From 1991 through 1994 he headed a group of private companies.
From May 1994 until 2003 he served as First Vice President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) where he was actively involved in the conception and implementation of Azerbaijan’s oil strategy. From 1995-2003 he was also a member of Azerbaijan’s parliament - Milli Majlis. In December 1999 he was elected Deputy Chairman, in 2001 First Deputy Chairman and in 2005 Chairman of the New Azerbaijani Party (Yeni Azərbaycan Partiyası). He has also served as president of Azerbaijan’s National Olympic Committee since 1997.
From 2001-2003 Aliyev led the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). In January 2003, he was elected Vice President of the PACE. On August 4, 2003 he was appointed Prime Minister of Azerbaijan. Aliyev was elected President of Azerbaijan on October 15, 2003. In 2008 and 2013, he was reelected with landslide victories.
In addition to Azerbaijani, President Aliyev speaks English, French, Russian and Turkish. He is married to Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, and they have three children and three grandchildren.
Under the astute leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has undergone a dramatic transformation to become one of the fastest developing and modernizing countries of the region and beyond.