Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nika Gilauri

Nika Gilauri (Georgian: ნიკა გილაური, born February 14, 1975) is a Georgian politician and Prime Minister of Georgia since February 6, 2009. He had served as Minister for Energy (2004–2007) and Minister for Finance (2007–2009) and First Vice Prime Minister in the Cabinet of Georgia (2008–2009).

Education and Early Career
Born in Tbilisi, Nika Gilauri graduated from Tbilisi State University, where he gained Bachelor of Arts in International Economics. He pursued education at the University of Limerick, in Limerick, Ireland where he studied Economics and Finances and gained an MA in International Business Management from Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. In 1999, Nika Gilauri worked for Dublin International Financial Centre as well as in the fund management corporation Invesco, as a fund administrator-manager. He was a financial consultant for energy conservation projects at the Philadelphia Small Business Development Centre (2000), the Georgian telecommunication company Telecom Georgia (2001), and the Georgian energy market management contractor, the Spanish corporation Iberdrola (2002). From 2003 to 2004 he worked for the Georgian state electricity system management contractor, ESBI (Ireland) as a management contractor and financial controller on the Georgian state electricity system.

In the Government
Nika Gilauri first joined the government of Georgia after the peaceful 2003 "Rose Revolution" replaced President Eduard Shevardnadze in favor of a young reformist team led by Mikheil Saakashvili. In the Saakashvili administration, Nika Gilauri received the post of Minister for Energetics on February 17, 2004. After a series of blackouts in Georgia from December 2004 to February 2005, there were some speculations regarding Gilauri's possible dismissal. He spearheaded a program to overcome energy crisis. He played a prominent role in negotiating the provision of gas supply by Azerbaijan and Iran in January 2006, when gas and electric power supply to Georgia was suspended as a result of alleged sabotages in the Russian territory.

In March 2006, a controversy followed Nika Gilauri's statement that selling of Georgia's gas pipelines to the Russian state-run Gazprom was possible provided the price and terms of contract were acceptable. He later explained that talks on privatization were not underway and these proposals had never been discussed with Russian side. In December 2006, Gilauri was praised by President Saakashvili for his "historic" deals with Turkey and Azerbaijan on gas supplies to Georgia.

On September 7, 2007, Nika Gilauri was moved to the post of Minister of Finances, a post he retained in a cabinet reshuffle following the 2007 political crisis.

In December 2008, Gilauri also assumed the newly created office of the First Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, and succeeded Grigol Mgaloblishvili as Prime Minister of Georgia on February 6, 2009. Having won a confidence vote by the Parliament of Georgia, Gilauri named tackling unemployment as his foremost priority and promised to set up an inter-agency working group to coordinate further democratic reforms and pursue a "consistent policy towards de-occupation Abkhazia and South Ossetia", two disputed regions considered by Georgia as "Russian-occupied territories". He also said under his premiership Georgia would remain committed to its NATO integration policy. One of the very first political decisions that Gilauri made as Prime Minister was to dismiss Kakha Bendukidze, Head of the State Chancellery and a leading figure behind Georgia’s economic reforms of the 2000s.

Personal Life
Nika Gilauri married in January 2010 the former Georgian fashion model Marine Shamugia (b. February 9, 1985), member of beauty contest Miss Georgia-2004. They have a daughter, Mari (born July 17, 2010).

From :