José Ramos-Horta

José Ramos-Horta

President José Ramos-Horta served as the fourth president of East Timor. He co-founded the political party Fretilin, which spearheaded the struggle for independence from Portugal. President Ramos-Horta remained active in the cause for independence for several more decades, even while living in exile after the Indonesian military occupation of East Timor. As the Minister of External Affairs and Information, he garnered international support for East Timor's independence and conveyed the country’s situation to the rest of the world during its most violent years. President Ramos-Horta primarily worked with the United Nations to first establish full independence from Indonesia, and then lead the country toward a peaceful transition. In 1996, he was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize along with Bishop Ximenese Belo. He continued his activism and was elected president of East Timor in 2007. After the end of his term in 2012, he was appointed as UN envoy for his country, where he continues to advocate for peace and ending poverty in East Timor.