José Manuel is a former President of the European Commission (2004 to 2014). He remained in the Presidency for two five-year terms where he played an influential role in the passing of the Treaty of Lisbon, proposing the climate change legislation, responding to the financial crisis and incorporating new members in the European Union, as the EU went from 15 to 28 countries between 2004 and 2014.
José Manuel was Prime Minister of Portugal (2002 to 2004). He began his political career in government in 1985 and served as state secretary for home affairs, state secretary for foreign affairs and cooperation, and minister for foreign affairs.
Most recently, José Manuel joined Goldman Sachs in London in 2016 as chairman and non-executive director of Goldman Sachs International and an advisor to the firm.
On behalf of the EU, Jose Manuel received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 and gave the acceptance speech together with the President of the European Council.
José Manuel’s academic positions included visiting professor at Georgetown University, visiting professor of International Economic Policy and a policy fellow at the Liechtenstein Institute, Woodrow Wilson School, at Princeton University. He is currently a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Portugal and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
José Manuel has been awarded numerous honorary degrees and has received more than 60 decorations, prizes and honors, including Portugal’s Grã-Cruz da Ordem Militar de Cristo and Grande Colar da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique.
José Manuel graduated in Law from the University of Lisbon and completed a master’s degree in Political Science and a diploma in European studies at the University of Geneva.