Head of the International Advisory Council on Reforms in Ukraine, President of Georgia (2004 – 2013)
Mikheil Saakashvili is a Georgian politician and was the third President of Georgia for two consecutive terms from 25 January 2004 to 17 November 2013. He is the founder and the former chairman of the United National Movement Party.
Involved in national politics since 1995, he became president in January 2004 after President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned in the November 2003 bloodless "Rose Revolution" led by Saakashvili and his political allies, Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Zhvania. He was re-elected in the Georgian presidential election on 5 January 2008. He was widely regarded as a pro-NATO and pro-West leader who spearheaded a series of political and economic reforms. In 2010, he had a 67% approval rating despite being criticized by the opposition for his alleged authoritarian tendencies and electoral fraud.
On 2 October 2012, Saakashvili admitted his party's defeat in Georgia's parliamentary election against the Georgian Dream coalition led by Bidzina Ivanishvili. He was barred by the constitution of Georgia from seeking a third term in the 2013 presidential election, which was won by the Georgian Dream's candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili. Shortly after the election, Saakashvili left Georgia. In December 2013, he accepted the position of lecturer and senior statesman at Tufts University in the United States.
Saakashvili energetically supported Ukraine's Euromaidan movement and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. On 13 February 2015, he was appointed by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko as head of the International Advisory Council on Reforms.