Emil Constantinescu was president of Romania from 1996 to 2000, serving as the country's first elected non-communist leader. During his presidency Constantinescu sought to promote respect for the rule of law and respect for human rights, which were vital objectives in the aftermath of 42 years of Romanian dictatorship. Constantinescu began his public service career in 1960 as a junior judge in a district court. After the Romanian revolution in 1989, he became a founding member and vice president of the Civic Alliance, an NGO working for the consolidation of civil society. He was awarded the Romanian Army’s Badge of Honor in 2012. Today he continues to speak out for government reform, civil society issues, and free and fair elections. Constantinescu is a member of the International Advisory Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.