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Profile: Lithuania's President-elect Dalia Grybauskaite
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08:48, May 19, 2009

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European Union (EU) budget chief Dalia Grybauskaite will become Lithuania's first female president after a landslide victory in the Baltic country's presidential election on Sunday.

Grybauskaite was born in Vilnius on March 1, 1956. She graduated from the Zhdanov University in the Russian city of Leningrad -- today's St. Petersburg -- with a degree in political economic sciences in 1983.

During her years in university, Grybauskaite also worked in a fur factory.

She later returned to Lithuania and worked as a secretary at the Academy of Sciences. She was a lecturer at the Department of Political Economy at the Vilnius Higher Party school in 1983-1990.

She later completed a special course for leaders at the Georgetown University in Washington.

In 1991, she became a program director in Prime Minister's office. In 1991-1993, she headed the European Department in the Ministry of International Economic Relations.

In 1993, she became the director of the Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1994-1995, she was the extraordinary envoy and plenipotentiary minister at the Lithuanian Mission to the EU, and deputy chief negotiator for the Europe Agreement with the EU.

In 1996-1999, Grybauskaite acted as the plenipotentiary minister at the Lithuanian Embassy in the United States.

She served as deputy finance minister from 1999 to 2000, deputy foreign minister from 2000 to 2001, and finance minister from 2001to 2004.

In 2004, She was appointed EU commissioner in charge of financial programming and budget. She was elected Commissioner of the Year in November 2005 "for her unrelenting efforts to shift EU spending towards areas that would enhance competitiveness such as research and development."

In February 2009, Grybauskaite announced that she would run for Lithuania's president on May 17.


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