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Former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili to join Tufts University

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 23, 2013 11:45 AM

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One month after the end his decade-long run as president of the country of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili announced he will join Tufts University.

Starting in January, Saakashvili will work as a as senior statesman at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the university's gradate school of international affairs, which the Saakashvili called "one of the greatest institutions specialized in these fields in the world."

“I am very honored," Saakashvili, a lawyer by training who turned 46 on Saturday, said in a statement. “I am back to my roots, as my educational background has everything to do with law and diplomacy. I will also get a chance to share the practical experience I acquired throughout the last several years.”

Campus officials said the job will include giving "major addresses and lectures on European governance and other contemporary international and regional issues."

“We welcome President Saakashvili, the leader of the Rose Revolution, to the Fletcher and Tufts community,” said a statement from the school's dean, James Stavridis. “He is an accomplished leader and statesman, renowned for changing the course of his country’s history and moving it strongly into the trans-Atlantic community, as well as for his impact on the region and indeed the world.”

Saakashvili began his political career as an elected member of Georgia's parliament in 1995.

Five years later, he became the country's justice minister. Soon after that he founded the United National Movement Party in Georgia and, in 2004, at age 37 became the youngest national president elected in Europe following the bloodless Rose Revolution, which ousted his predecessor, President Eduard Shevardnadze.

Saakashvili served two 5-year terms, the most allowed, before leaving office in November.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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