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The Foreign Minister Ms. Dora Bakoyannis

Born in 1954, she is the eldest of four children of veteran Greek statesman Constantine Mitsotakis and Marika Yannoukou- Mitsotakis.

In 1968, Dora Bakoyannis and her family were exiled to Paris by the military dictatorship, which ruled Greece for seven years. They returned to Athens in 1974, when military rule collapsed.

In December of the same year, she married respected journalist and scholar Pavlos Bakoyannis. They had two children, Alexia and Kostas. On 26 September 1989, the November 17 terrorist group gunned down her husband, then a New Democracy party deputy as he was entering his office building. Nine years later, in July 1998, she married entrepreneur Isidoros Kouvelos.

Dora Bakoyannis completed her secondary schooling at the German School of Paris. She studied political science and communication at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, and continued her academic studies in political science and public law at the University of Athens. She is fluent in English, French and German.

In 1977, following examinations, Dora Bakoyannis was appointed at the Ministry of Economic Coordination in the Department of European Economic Community (EEC) affairs.

Between 1984 and 1989, she served as Chief of Staff for opposition New Democracy party leader Constantine Mitsotakis.

After her husbands assassination, she stood as candidate for Pavlos Bakoyannis seat in the remote mountainous region of Evrytania, where he had been elected in June 1989. On 5 November 1989, she was elected New Democracy deputy for Evrytania, where she was re-elected on 8 April 1990 and 10 October 1993.

In October 1990, she assumed the post of Under-Secretary of State in the Mitsotakis government, and in December 1992, that of Culture Minister.

For the 1996 elections, she stood as a candidate for the Athens 1st electoral district.

On 22 September 1996, she was elected deputy for New Democracy in Athens 1st electoral district, where she was re-elected by a majority vote in the April 9, 2000 polls.

Between September 1991 and August 1992, she served as the General Secretariat of International Affairs for New Democracy, and represented the party at the European Democratic Union (EDU) and International Democratic Union (IDU).

On 29 April 1994, she was elected by the New Democracy 3rd Congress to the partys Central Committee.

At the 4th Congress on 22 March 1997, she was once again elected to the Central Committee, which re-elected her twice as chairperson of the partys executive committee.

In September 1997, she was appointed by New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis as party representative for development, and in May 2000, was appointed Shadow Foreign and Defence Minister.

On 29 March 2002, during a convention of the partys parliamentary committee, she accepted party leader Costas Karamanlis proposal to run as mayoral candidate for Athens in the October 2002 local elections.

On 20 October 2002, Dora Bakoyannis was elected Athens first female mayor winning by a greater majority - 60.6% - than any Athens mayor in the history of Modern Greece.

On 15 February 2006, Dora Bakoyannis assumed her duties as the first woman Foreign Minister of Greece in the government of Costas Karamanlis.

In March 1992, the International Centre for Women awarded Dora Bakoyannis the International Leadership Award, and in June 1993, she was recognised by the 14th International Symposium Fontana di Roma for her valuable contribution to culture.

In 2003, upon the invitation of Romano Prodi, then President of the European Commission, Mrs. Bakoyannis joined a group of 12 high-level independent figures as a member of a prestigious round-table conference, contributing proposals on the social character, cultural identity and economic future of the new Europe.

In December 2005, she was voted World Mayor in an annual international competition organised by the London-based City Mayors organisation. Of the 550 Mayors from around the world nominated for the title, Mrs. Bakoyannis received the greatest number of votes and most positive comments in the Internet-based contest.

In September 2006, Dora Bakoyannis was included in Forbes list of the Worlds Most Powerful Women together with 99 other female leaders in politics, business and philanthropy.


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Last Updated 21.2.2007

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