Dr Heinz Fischer, President of the Republic of Austria

Dr Heinz Fischer was elected Federal President of Austria in April 2004, and re-elected for a second and final term in 2010. From 1983 to 1987, he served as the Federal Minister of Science and Research, and from 1990 to 2002, he was the Speaker of the Austrian National Assembly. For several years he also served as the Chairman of the Social Democratic Group in the National Assembly.

Born in Graz, Dr Fischer studied law and political science at the University of Vienna. In 1978, he became an associate professor of political science at the University of Innsbruck and was appointed full professor of political science in 1994.

The many honours and awards Dr Fischer has received throughout his long political and academic career include: the Grand Star of Honour of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria, Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav and honorary doctorates from Tel Aviv University, Israel and the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.