President of the Republic of Lithuania
Rolandas Paksas was born on 10 June 1956, in the town of Telšiai. His parents, Feliksas and Elena, still live in this town. Rolandas is their only child. In 1974, he completed his studies at the Žemaitės Secondary School in Telšiai, and left for Vilnius. In 1979, he graduated from the Vilnius Civil Engineering Institute (now Vilnius Gediminas Technical University) with a degree in Industrial and Civil Engineering. In 1984, he graduated from Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) Civil Aviation Academy as an engineer pilot.
Rolandas Paksas then became a professional sportsman. He was a member of the former Soviet and Lithuanian national aerobatic team. For several times, he won the aerobatics championship in Lithuania, and was the winner of international aerobatics competitions.
While a sportsman, Rolandas Paksas worked as a pilot instructor. Later he became Director of Darius and Girėnas Flying Club in Vilnius, and a Commander of Voluntary National Defence Service. From 1992 to 1997 was President of the Construction Company Restako.
In 1997, Rolandas Paksas was elected to Vilnius City Council, and in 1999 he became the Mayor of the City of Vilnius. Later in the same year he became Prime Minister of Lithuania, and headed the ninth Government after the restoration of independence. After his resignation from the Prime Minister's post, he took the position of an Adviser to the President of Lithuania, and Plenipotentiary of the President for Special Assignments.
In December 1997, Rolandas Paksas was elected Chairman of the Lithuanian Liberal Union. In 2000, he again became the Mayor of Vilnius. Soon afterwards he was elected to the Seimas of Lithuania. From November 2000 to June 2001 he was Prime Minister in the eleventh Cabinet. Later he became the leader of the opposition in the Seimas. In March 2002, Rolandas Paksas was elected chairman of the newly founded Liberal Democratic Party.
On 5 January 2003, Rolandas Paksas was elected President of Lithuania.
From October 1999 through September 2002, he was also President of the Vilnius Club, of which he is one of the founders. Since September 2002 he has been Honorary President of the Vilnius Club. He is a member of the Aerobatics Federation of Lithuania.
Rolandas Paksas is married. His wife Laima is an economist. They have two children: daughter Inga, who is a student at the Lithuanian Law University and International Business School, and son Mindaugas, who attends the Liubertienės Secondary School in Vilnius.