Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev was born on December 24, 1961, in Baku, Azerbaijan.
He attended a secondary school in Baku from 1967 till 1977.
In 1977, he entered the Moscow State University of International Relations (MSUIR).
In 1982, upon graduation, Mr. Aliyev continued his education as a postgraduate student at MSUIR.
In 1985, he finalized his research works and received a Ph.D. degree in history.
During 1985-1990, he gave lectures at the Moscow State University of International Relations.
From 1991 to 1994, he led a group of private industrial-commercial enterprises.
In 1994-2003, he served as vice-president and later first vice-president of the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). He had been actively involved in the implementation of the oil strategy initiated by Heydar Aliyev.
He is the author of numerous research works on geopolitical aspects of the oil strategy of sovereign Azerbaijan. He holds a degree of a doctor of political sciences.
In 1995 and 2000, he was elected to the Milli Majlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Since 1997, Mr. Ilham Aliyev has been the President of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan. For his great contribution to the development of sports and Olympic movement, Mr. Aliyev was awarded the highest order of the International Olympic Committee and the “Grand Cordon” Order of Merit of the International Military Sport Council.
He was elected deputy chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party in 1999, first deputy chairman in 2001 and chairman of the Party in 2005.
From 2001 to 2003, he was the head of the Azerbaijani Parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
In January 2003, he was elected deputy-chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and member of the PACE bureau.
In August 4 2003, following the approval by the Milli Majlis (Parliament), he was appointed Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In October 15, 2003, he was elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. More than 76% of voters supported Ilham Aliyev’s candidacy during the elections. He assumed the office on 31 October, 2003.
In April of 2004, Mr. Aliyev was awarded the medal and diploma of honorary member of PACE for his active participation in PACE events and commitment to European values.
Ilham Aliyev was elected to the second term of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, after acquiring 88% of the electoral votes in the elections, held on October 15, 2008. He started to execute the office of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on October 24, 2008.
Mr. Aliyev is fluent in Azerbaijani, English, Russian, French, and Turkish.
Mr. Ilham Aliyev is married, has two daughters, a son and three grandchildren.
President Aliyev’s honorary names, orders, and awards include: The Heydar Aliyev Order (the Republic of Azerbaijan), The Ihsan Dogramacı Prize for International Relations for Peace (Turkey), The Star of Romania Order (Romania), The King Abdul Aziz Order (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), The Order of Honour (Georgia), The Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor (France), The Sheikhulislam Order (Azerbaijan), The Prepodobniy Sergiy Rodonejskiy first degree Order of Russian Orthodox Church, The Grand Cordon Order of Merit (International Military Sport Council), The Honorary decoration of International Confederation of Sport Organizations of CIS countries, highest order of FİLA Sport legend, The Grand Cross of Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (Poland), The Order of Prince Yaroslav Mudry of 1st Class (Ukraine), The Mubarak Al-Kabeer Order (Kuwait), The Gold medal of the Hellenic Republic (Greece), The Badge of Honor of European Fair Play Movement, The Order of the Three Stars (Commander of the Grand Cross) (Latvia); The National Order "Faithful Service" in rank of Grand Cross Special Order (Romania).
Honorary Doctor of the Baku State University (Azerbaijan), Honorary Doctor of the Lincoln University (USA), Honorary Doctor of the Moscow State University of International Relations, Honorary Professor of L.N.Gumilev Eurasian National University (Kazakhstan), Honorary Doctor of the Bilkent University (Turkey), Honorary Doctor of the National Academy for Taxes (Ukraine), Honorary Doctor of the Petroleum and Gas University of Ploesti (Romania), Honorary Professor of the University of National and World Economy (Bulgaria), Honorary Doctor of the Kyung Hee University (South Korea), Honorary Doctor of the Jordan University (Jordan), Honorary Doctor in Social Sciences of the Corvinus University (Hungary), Honorary Professor of the Moscow State University (Russian Federation), Honorary Doctor of the Kiev National University named after Taras Shevchenko (Ukraine), Honorary Professor of the Turkmenistan State University after Makhtumkuli (Turkmenistan), Honorary Professor of the Belarusian State University (Belarus).