Danilo Türk

Danilo Türk (pronounced [daˈníːlɔ ˈtýɾk]; born 19 February 1952) is a Slovenian diplomat, professor of international law, human rights expert, and political figure who served as President of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012. Türk was the first Slovene ambassador to the United Nations, from 1992 to 2000, and was the UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs from 2000 to 2005.

He is a visiting professor of international law at Columbia University in New York City, a professor emeritus at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana, and non-resident senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing. Türk is the founder of the Danilo Türk Foundation, devoted mostly to the rehabilitation of child victims of armed conflict. He is also the chairman of the Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace and the chairman of the board of the Global Fairness Initiative, a Washington-based NGO dedicated to economic and social development in developing nations.

In 2016, Türk was an unsuccessful candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Danilo Türk
Danilo Türk 2011
3rd President of Slovenia
In office
23 December 2007 – 22 December 2012
Prime MinisterJanez Janša
Borut Pahor
Janez Janša
Preceded byJanez Drnovšek
Succeeded byBorut Pahor
Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
PresidentMilan Kučan
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byErnest Petrič
Personal details
Born19 February 1952 (age 67)
Maribor, Yugoslavia
(now Slovenia)
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Barbara Miklič Türk
Alma materUniversity of Ljubljana
University of Belgrade
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life

Türk was born in a lower-middle-class family in Maribor, Slovenia (then part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). He attended Maribor Grammar School No. 2 (II. gimnazija Maribor). In 1971 he enrolled at the University of Ljubljana, where he studied law. After graduation (1975) he served as the secretary of the commission for minority and expatriate affairs at the Socialist Alliance of Working People (SZDL), an organisation sponsored by Yugoslav Communist Party. In December 1979 he became the chairman of that commission and a member of the executive committee of the SZDL. At the same time he continued his studies. He obtained an MA with a thesis on minority rights from the University of Belgrade's Law School. In 1978, he became a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana. In 1982, he obtained his PhD with a dissertation on the principle of non-intervention in international law at the University in Ljubljana and received a full-time job as an assistant professor at the University in Ljubljana's Faculty of Law. In 1983, he became the director of the University of Ljubljana's Institute for International Law. In the following years, he worked on human and minority rights. In the mid-1980s, he collaborated with Amnesty International to report on human rights issues in Yugoslavia.

Between 1986 and 1992, he served in a personal capacity as a member the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and was the UN Special Rapporteur on the Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Together with Louis Joinet (France), he was also the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression. In 1987 he initiated the establishment of the Council for Human Rights in Slovenia and served until 1992 as the council’s vice-chairman. In 1990/91 he coauthored the human rights chapter in Slovenia's constitution.

Diplomatic and academic career

From 1992 to 2000, Türk was the first Slovene Permanent Representative to the United Nations. During this time, he secured the election of Slovenia to the UN Security Council (1998–1999) and was president of the United Nations Security Council in August 1998 and November 1999.[1] Between 1996 and 1998, he was a member of the UN Human Rights Committee. From 2000 to 2005, he served as UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs under Secretary General Kofi Annan. In 2005 he returned to Slovenia and became a professor of international law; from May 2006 to December 2007 he served as the vice dean of student affairs at the University of Ljubljana's Faculty of Law. Türk has published over 100 articles in various law journals and three books. He authored the first Slovene book on international law, titled Temelji mednarodnega prava (Foundations of International Law, 2007, revised 2015).


Harald V and Sonja of Norway in Slovenia in 2011 (4)
Danilo Türk and his wife Barbara with King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway in 2011

In June 2007, Türk ran in the Slovene presidential election. As an "independent" candidate, he was backed by a broad coalition of left-wing parties, composed of the opposition Zares party and Social Democrats, the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia, and the extra-parliamentary Christian Socialist Party and Democratic Party. In the first round of the presidential elections, held on 21 October 2007, he placed second with 24.54% of the votes, which brought him into the runoff against the centre right candidate Lojze Peterle (who received 28.50% of the popular vote). He won the runoff on 11 November 2007 with 68.2% of the votes,[2] becoming the third president of Slovenia on December 23, 2007. Türk ran for reelection in 2012, but lost the election to Borut Pahor in a second round of voting, held on 2 December 2012.[5] He received roughly one-third of the votes.[1]


In March 2011, Danilo Türk successfully underwent robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery at the Urology Institute in Innsbruck, Austria.

UN Secretary-General candidature

In December 2013 Türk announced that he was planning to run for UN Secretary-General. He was soon supported by Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Erjavec. In January 2014 the Slovene government endorsed Türk as its candidate for UN Secretary-General. He was later also supported by Prime Minister Miro Cerar and President Borut Pahor, as well as by Speaker of the National Assembly of Slovenia Milan Brglez (also a professor at the University of Ljubljana). In accordance with the UN procedure, the government of Slovenia nominated Danilo Türk as candidate for UN Secretary-General on 8 February 2016.

Türk is an experienced member of the United Nations community. He served as the first Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the UN and remained in New York as ambassador for eight years, from 1992 until 2000. As Slovenian representative he also presided over the United Nations Security Council twice. His work was recognised by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who chose Türk as one of his close advisors and appointed him Assistant Secretary-General in 2000. He served in this position until 2005, when he returned to Slovenia to teach international law at the University of Ljubljana.

Türk has long been recognised as an expert and global advocate for human rights and his work has been connected with human rights and the fight for equality for more than 40 years.

One element of human rights that Turk has been questioned about is the UN's role in the Haiti cholera outbreak that has been widely discussed and criticized. There has been indisputable evidence that the UN is the proximate cause for bringing cholera to Haiti. Peacekeepers sent to Haiti from Nepal were carrying asymptomatic cholera and they did not treat their waste properly before dumping it into Haiti's water stream.[2] In an interview with the New York Times, Türk was asked if cholera victims should receive compensation. He responded by saying he hopes the UN would "provide the victims with a fair process and an effective remedy." [3] St. Vincent followed this up during the UN informal dialogues by asking Mr. Türk how he would place the pursuit of an effective remedy on his list of priorities. Türk's response was that though the UN enjoys immunity from prosecution, "there are other ways of establishing fair process and effectiveness". He also stated "current discussions that I know exist within the Secretariat and between the Secretariat and member states will produce such effectiveness and fairness."[4] Following-up at the media stakeout, Inner City Press questioned Türk about his statement that there may be some process going on behind the scenes to pay compensation. Türk responded by saying that there have been informal conversations about the Haitian situation, and though he does not have full knowledge, he can say that "this story is not closed." [4] He admits that he values the importance of legal regulation including UN immunity, but he also believes in remedies and fair processes.

37 human rights organizations recently signed onto a UN Secretary General accountability pledge. This pledge asks the candidates to take action on two human rights violations that have tarnished the United Nations' image: failing to provide remedies for victims of cholera in Haiti, and sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.[5] Türk issued a statement responding to Aids Free World and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, expressing his support for the organizations' efforts.[6] While he acknowledges that he has "clearly expressed [his] commitment to fairness towards the victims of cholera in Haiti and for substantial, credible and speedy investigations of the cases of sexual abuse committed by peacekeepers", he cannot undertake formal pledges.[6] Nevertheless, he reaffirms his commitment to better UN accountability and says "it is abundantly clear where my heart is."[6]

Honors and awards

Personal life

Danilo Türk has been married to Barbara Türk (née Miklič) since 1976. They have one daughter and one granddaughter. He is the brother of the manager Vitoslav Türk, member of the Slovenian Democratic Party.[11][12] Türk speaks Slovene, English, French, and Serbo-Croatian.


  1. ^ "Pahor : Türk 67,44% : 32,56%. Nizka udeležba, 2% neveljavnih glasovnic. :: Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija". Rtvslo.si. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Advocacy Cholera Accountability". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  3. ^ "U.N. Strives for Transparency in Picking New Secretary General". The New York Times. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Danilo Türk (Slovenia) - Informal dialogue for the position of the next UN Secretary-General". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  5. ^ "UN Accountability Pledge". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "www.en.fundacija-danilaturka.org - Improving accountability of the United Nations". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  7. ^ Received a copy of the key of the city of Tirana Archived 6 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 1923. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  9. ^ Nomination by Sovereign Ordonnance n°3076 of 11 January 2011 (French)
  10. ^ "Queen begins Slovenia state visit". BBC. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  11. ^ Avtor: T. L. "Brat predsednika republike kandidira na listi SDS" (in Slovenian). Slovenskenovice.si. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Uganka ministrski kandidati SDS". Delo.si. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Janez Drnovšek
President of Slovenia
Succeeded by
Borut Pahor
10th Government of Slovenia

The 10th Government of Slovenia and the second one of Janez Janša was announced on 10 February 2012. It was government, that has been formed after the 2011 Slovenian parliamentary election. It was the second government of Janez Janša, and so he became the second premier to return to the position, after Janez Drnovšek, who was Prime minister four times.

On 5 January 2012, President Danilo Türk proposed Zoran Janković as the candidate to form a government to the National Assembly. Two days before the scheduled voting, the Slovenian Association of Journalists and Commentators, the second largest journalists' association in the country, issued a statement raising the concern that Janković might abuse his power as Prime Minister by curtailing the freedom of media through intimidation. A coalition agreement between PS, SD, DL and DeSUS was initialled on 7 January. However, in the evening of 9 January, DL announced it would not support Janković as the new Prime Minister and also not join his coalition, due to large differences in the programs of the parties. On 11 January, Janković was not elected as the new Prime Minister by the National Assembly. In a secret ballot, his candidacy only gained the support of 42 deputies, two less than expected prior to the voting, and four short of the absolute majority needed for his election. Following the election of Janez Janša as the Prime Minister in the second round of the voting, Positive Slovenia became an opposition party.Janša's second government did not finish its mandate. The trouble began when Commission for the Prevention of Corruption of the Republic of Slovenia (KPK) published a report of control of the assets of each president of Slovenian parliamentary parties. Janez janša and Zoran Janković did not know how to explain the source of all of their assets

Cabinet members came from five parties of the new coalition, until SLS, DL and DeSUS left the coalition on 23 January 2013:

Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) - 4 Ministers - 6 Ministers at the end of the term

New Slovenia (NSi) - 1 Minister + 1 Minister without portfolio

Gregor Virant's Civic List (DL) - 2 Ministers - Left coalition with resignation of both ministers on 23 January 2013

Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS) - 2 Ministers - Left coalition on 23 January 2013 but both ministers stayed on positions

SLS - 2 Ministers - Left coalition on 23 January 2013 but both ministers stayed on positions

2007 Slovenian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Slovenia in October and November 2007 to elect the successor to the second President of Slovenia Janez Drnovšek. France Cukjati, the President of the National Assembly, called the elections on 20 June 2007.Seven candidates competed in the first round on 21 October 2007; three entered the race as independent candidates, the other four were supported by political parties. Several political events, as well as tension between the Government and the political opposition, overshadowed the campaign. The front runner Lojze Peterle, supported by the governing conservative coalition, won the first round with far fewer votes than predicted by opinion polls. In the second round, held on 11 November 2007, Peterle faced the runner-up, the left-wing candidate Danilo Türk. Türk won the second round in a landslide, with 68.03% of the vote.In a referendum called by the National Council, and held on the same day as the second round, the electorate voted to overturn a law providing for the nationalization of citizens' share in the major national insurance company. Nearly three quarters of the votes were cast against the law. After both election and referendum results were announced, the Prime Minister Janez Janša announced that he might resign, following what he perceived to be a heavy defeat for the Government. The Government later won a vote of confidence in the National Assembly.

2011 in Slovenia

Events in the year 2011 in Slovenia.

2012 Slovenian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Slovenia on 11 November 2012, with a run-off held on 2 December 2012. Slovenia's 1.7 million registered voters chose between the incumbent president Danilo Türk, the SDS/NSi party candidate Milan Zver and Borut Pahor of the Social Democrats who was also supported by the Civic List. The first round was won, contrary to the opinion poll predictions, by Pahor, with Türk placing second. In the run-off election, Pahor won with roughly two thirds of the vote.

Barbara Miklič Türk

Barbara Miklič Türk (née Miklič, born 1948) is a Slovenian politician, who was First Lady of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012, when her husband Danilo Türk was President.

Borut Pahor

Borut Pahor (Slovene pronunciation: [ˈbóːɾut ˈpàːxɔɾ]; born 2 November 1963) is a Slovenian politician serving as President of Slovenia since December 2012. He was Prime Minister from November 2008 to February 2012.

A longtime president of the Social Democrats party, Pahor served several terms as a member of the National Assembly and was its speaker from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, Pahor was elected as member of the European Parliament. Following the victory of the Social Democrats in the 2008 parliamentary election, Pahor was appointed as Prime Minister.

In September 2011, Pahor's government lost a confidence vote amidst an economic crisis and political tensions. He continued to serve as the pro tempore Prime Minister until he was replaced by Janez Janša in February 2012. In June 2012, he announced he would run for the largely ceremonial office of President of Slovenia. He defeated the incumbent Danilo Türk in a runoff election held on 2 December 2012, receiving roughly two-thirds of the vote. In November 2017, Pahor was re-elected for a second term.

Jože Humer

Jože Humer (24 June 1936 – 13 June 2012) was a Slovenian composer, choirmaster, lyricist, translator, and cultural organiser. He was born in Maribor, attended a local classical gymnasium, and then studied and graduated from law. He established the Ljubljana Madrigalists Chamber Choir and led the Tone Tomšič Academic Choir and the Gallus Octet in Ljubljana. He was president of the Ljubljana Musical Youth, the renovator of the Ljubljana Musical Society, and president of the Association of Cultural Organisations of Slovenia. He wrote and translated hundreds of librettos and other lyrics for children, choirs, and soloists. In 1999, he received the Golden Medal of the Slovenian Public Fund of Cultural Activities for his work. He was also a judge, a secretary of the Supreme Court of Slovenia, and involved in the legal and organisational arrangements in the field of culture in the 1980s and during Slovenian secession from Yugoslavia. Later, he collaborated as an expert with the Slovenian Constitutional Court. In March 2012, he was decorated by Slovenian President Danilo Türk with the Order for Merits of Slovenia, with a rationale that described him as an "above-average deserving personality of the Slovenian cultural life."

Ladislav Lipič

Ladislav Lipič (born 30 November 1951 in Murska Sobota) is a Slovene major general, who in his career was:

Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces (1 December 2000 - January 2001);

State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia (January - 1 March 2001);

Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces (from 1 March 2001 to 2006);

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Slovenia to the Republic of Hungary and the Republic of Bulgaria with its seat in Budapest (2006–2008)

Adviser to the President of the Republic Slovenia (Danilo Türk) on defence matters (5 December 2008 - 2012).He is also a veteran of the Slovenian War.

Let's Clean Slovenia 2012

Let's Clean Slovenia 2012 (Slovene: Očistimo Slovenijo 2012) was a Slovenian environmental volunteer project organized by the environmental organization Ecologists Without Borders with the goal of joining 250,000 people on 24 March 2012 and cleaning municipal waste from illegal landfills in the country. Cleaning of scattered garbage in urban areas was also organized. The project, a continuation of the Let's Clean Slovenia in One Day! carried out two years before, was inspired by the Estonian campaign Let's Do It 2008 and organized within the frame of the World Cleanup 2012.

The work started in March 2011 and culminated in the all-Slovenian cleanup on 24 March 2012. Around 121,000 people applied until a few days before the event, with official support from almost all Slovene municipalities. Data from the inventory of illegal landfills created in collaboration with Slovene mapping service Geopedia was used in directing volunteers towards landfills.

Among the participants were the Slovenian Army, top Slovene politicians, celebrities, and Rainer Nõlvak, the main motivator of the movement Let's Do It! World. President of Slovenia Danilo Türk acted as an honorary patron, and the folk-rock musician Vlado Kreslin responded to a request for use of one of his songs with a new song written for the occasion which became the official hymn of the event.The World Cleanup 2012 initiative, which was started on that day by Portugal and Slovenia, will continue with clean-up actions in over 80 countries until September 2012. Over 270,000 people or 12% of the population participated in Slovenia. 5000 tons of waste were picked up.

Let's Clean Slovenia in One Day!

Let's Clean Slovenia in One Day! (Slovene: Očistimo Slovenijo v enem dnevu!; OSVED!) was a Slovenian environmental volunteer project organized by the environmental organization Ecologists Without Borders on 17 April 2010. Its goal was carrying out the largest environmental act in the history of Slovenia by joining 200,000 volunteers which would remove at least 20,000 tons of municipal waste from illegal landfills in the country. Cleaning of scattered garbage in urban areas was also organized. The project was inspired by the Estonian campaign Let's Do It 2008.

In the months before the event, momentum was built up by various promotional and organizational activities. A large-scale inventory of illegal landfills was performed with the help of Slovene mapping service Geopedia. 115,000 such landfills were registered, containing an estimated 100,000 cubic metres (3,500,000 cu ft) of waste. In this phase, several other organizations joined the effort, such as the Administration for Civic Protection and Disaster Relief, Department of Geography at the Faculty of Arts (University of Ljubljana) and others. Around 300 members of the Slovenian Armed Forces participated in the experimental cleanup a week before the main event to sort out logistical problems.According to official data, around 105,000 people from all Slovene municipalities applied by the end of initial period of registration on 10 April, which was later extended to until the day of the event. Removal of 80,000 cubic metres (2,800,000 cu ft) of waste was planned; the remaining content of the inventoried landfills was hazardous waste or demolition waste. Such waste was not to be cleaned, only noted for informing the officials.On the day of the event, around 270,000 volunteers, or more than 13% of the Slovenian population participated, making Let's Clean Slovenia in One Day! the largest civic initiative in the history of independent Slovenia and setting the world record. They removed 60,000 cubic metres (2,100,000 cu ft), or 12,000 tons of waste from 7000 landfills. For this achievement, Ecologists Without Borders were awarded the Order of Merit of Slovenia by the president Danilo Türk.

List of University of Ljubljana people

This is a partially sorted list of notable persons who have had ties to the University of Ljubljana.

President of Slovenia

The office of President of Slovenia, officially President of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: Predsednik Republike Slovenije), was established on 23 December 1991 when the National Assembly passed a new Constitution as a result of independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

According to the Constitution, the President is the highest representative of the state. In practice, the position is mostly ceremonial. Among other things, the President is also the commander-in-chief of the Slovenian Armed Forces. The office of the President is the Presidential Palace in Ljubljana.

The President is directly elected by universal adult suffrage for a term of five years. Any Slovenian citizen can run for president, but can hold only two consecutive terms in office.

Russia–Slovenia relations

Russia–Slovenia relations are foreign relations between Russia and Slovenia. Both countries established diplomatic relations on May 25, 1992. Russia has an embassy in Ljubljana. Slovenia has an embassy in Moscow and two honorary consulates (in Saint Petersburg and Samara).

Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

In March 2011, the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Slovenia and met with the Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor and the President of Slovenia Danilo Türk. The Russian and Slovenian delegations discussed economic, scientific and cultural partnership, especially regarding the construction of the South Stream pipeline.Slovenia and Russia are traditionally strong economic partners. This applies not only to the inter-state relations but also to the ties between regions. The level of economic exchange between Slovenia and various Russian regions is constantly growing. Such growth is supported by agreements on cooperation, joint ventures and business delegations. Russia is steadily in top ten trade partners of Slovenia and exports from this Alpine Republic substantially overweigh imports from Russia.The bilateral relations, however, were seriously affected in 2009 by external factors, namely the global financial and economic crisis led to the downturn of economic activities and lower consumption which, as a consequence, resulted in a significant down-slide in the trade between the two countries.The structure of the trade exchange during the crisis though remained largely the same - 60-70 % of Slovenian exports are pharmaceuticals, wired communications systems, electrical equipment, mechanical installations and paints. Imports from Russia are mostly comprised by oil and gas products and their derivatives, aluminium products, together comprising 70-75 % of the total Russian import.After the Ukrainian crisis began in 2013 and later prolonged into conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, Slovenia sides with Ukraine over territorial integrity; however unlike most of Western countries, Slovenia refrains from criticizing against Russia, instead urging for political solution to handle the problem.

Slovenian Alpine Museum

The Slovenian Alpine Museum (Slovene: Slovenski planinski muzej), also the Slovenian Mountaineering Museum, is a mountaineering museum in Mojstrana, in the vicinity of Triglav National Park (Julian Alps), in northwestern Slovenia. It was opened on 7 August 2010 by Danilo Türk, the then President of Slovenia. It is operated by the Jesenice Upper Sava Museum. In June 2016, the Swiss King Albert I Memorial Foundation bestowed it the Albert Mountain Award for its important contribution to the sustainable development of the Alpine space.

Tomaž Ertl

Tomaž Ertl (16 November 1932 – 11 November 2012) was a Slovenian politician. He was the Interior Minister of what was then the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, just prior to its independence from Yugoslavia in 1990. He was also chief of the Slovenian branch of the State Security Administration (UDBA) – the Yugoslav secret police. In 2009 he was controversially awarded the Silver Order of Merit by President Danilo Türk for his role in Operation North.

Turk (surname)

Turk or Türk is a surname.

Those bearing it include:

Ahmet Türk (born 1942), Kurdish politician

Alex Türk (born 1950), French politician

Alexander Turk (1906–1988), Canadian politician

Brian Turk, American actor

Dan Turk (1962–2000), American football player

Daniel Gottlob Türk (1756–1813), German musician

Danilo Türk (born 1952), Slovenian politician

Dilara Türk (born 1996), Turkish-German women's footballer

Frank Turk (c. 1818–1887), American jurist & entrepreneur

Gavin Turk (born 1967), British artist

Gerd Türk, German singer

Godwin Turk (born 1950), American football player

Greg Turk, American-born computer scientist & academic

Gordon Turk, American musician

Hanan Turk (born 1971), Egyptian actress & dancer

Hasan Türk (born 1993), Turkish footballer

James Clinton Turk (born 1923), American jurist

Matt Turk (born 1968), American football player

M. K. Turk (born 1942), American basketball coach

Neil Turk (born 1983), English cricketer

Rifaat Turk (born 1954), Palestinian football player

Roy Turk (1892–1934), American songwriter

Samuel Turk (1917–2009), American religious leader

Tommy Turk (1927–1981), American musician

William Turk (fl. c. 1900), American musician

Željko Turk (born 1962), Croatian politician

Yousif Ghafari

Yousif Boutrous Ghafari (sometimes Youssef B. Ghafari, born September 27, 1952), American businessman of Lebanese birth, owner of architectural firm Ghafari Associates LLC, former United States Ambassador to Slovenia. During the Senate confirmation hearings, then-Senator Barack Obama called Ghafari "an immigrant who has truly lived the American dream."Born in Alma El-Chaab, Lebanon, "in a home with no electricity, phone or running water," Ghafari moved to the United States in 1972. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1974, a Master of Arts in Applied Mathematics and Computer Applications in 1975, and a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1977, from Wayne State University.In 2004 and 2005, Ghafari was a public delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.His alma mater named one of its residence halls in his honor after he donated $9 million to the school. The school gave him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on May 3, 2008. He was notified of the degree the same week the Senate confirmed his ambassadorship.A significant donor to the Republican party, Ghafari is considered one of "the active, vocal and successful Republican leaders of the Michigan Arab-American community."On May 25, 2008, Ghafari presented his diplomatic credentials to Dimitrij Rupel in Ljubljana. He was received by Slovenian President Danilo Türk on May 29. He climbed Mount Triglav, making him "an honorary Slovenian." On January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama was sworn in as U. S. President, Ghafari's term ended.

Presidents of the People's Assembly of SR Slovenia (1945–74)
Presidents of the Presidency of SR Slovenia (1974–90)
Presidents of Slovenia (1990–present)


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