Rosen Plevneliev is the fourth democratically elected President of the Republic Bulgaria. He was born on May 14, 1964 in the town of Gotse Delchev in the family of teachers.
His father is a teacher in literature, and his mother is a teacher in mathematics. He spent his school years in Blagoevgrad, where he graduated with honours the Natural Science and Mathematics High School in 1982. The same year, he ranked first in the National Computer Programming Contest.
From 1982 to 1984, he did his national military service at the military school for reserve officers in the town of Pleven and at the Computer Centre at the Bulgarian Army General Staff in Sofia. From 1984 to 1989, he studied at and graduated the Technical University in Sofia, with a Computer Science major. As a student, he participated in the development of innovative products at the computer laboratory of the Technical University and the National Institute of Microprocessor Technology. From 1989 to 1990, he worked as a research associate at the Institute of Microprocessor Technology. From 1990 to 1998 he worked as a partner and CEO of IRIS International Ltd and was in charge of the company’s activities in Germany. In this period, he managed activities related to the implementation of more than 80 construction projects in Germany. He participated in the implementation and completion of projects including the Reichstag, Commerzbank Frankfurt, Münich Airport and Düsseldorf Airport and others. From 1999 to 2009 he managed the largest German investments in Bulgaria in the construction and real estate sector. He launched some of Bulgaria’s major international projects, including Sofia Business Park and Residential Park Sofia. As General Manager of Business Park Sofia, in 2008 he was given the Investor of the Year Award by the Bulgarian Investment Agency.
From 2004 to 2009, as one of the leading managers in the country, he was involved in active public activity - member of the board of directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, member of the board of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria and member of the board of the “For Our Children“ Foundation. After the Bulgarian general election, held in July 2009, he was appointed Minister of Regional Development and Public Works. As Minister, he introduced a new approach to EU funds management for Bulgaria. He launched thousands of projects for the modernization of the Bulgarian regions. He designed a new long-term strategy and plan for road construction in Bulgaria. He accelerated the construction of highways, as a result of which another 350 km were built in a mere couple of years and the first three fully completed highways were commissioned. He implemented the first pilot projects on energy efficiency, which developed into a large-scale National program for energy renovation of the Bulgarian residential buildings, in which millions of Bulgarians took part.
In the Bulgarian presidential elections, held in November 2011, Rosen Plevneliev was elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria. On 22 January 2012 he was inaugurated as the fourth democratically elected Bulgarian president, for a five-year term in office. President Plevneliev was awarded “Politician of the Year” in Bulgaria for 2011 and 2012.
His awards and prizes include: European personality of the year in Southeastern and Central Europe award in 2015 (given to him for his enormous contribution to stabilizing and improving the relations between the European states and particularly those among the Balkan neighbors), person of the Year 2015 award of Ukraine (for his public and political activity in a European and international context), the international Prize "Nizami Gandzhevi" (for his contribution to intercultural understanding, tolerance and respect for the world's cultural diversity) and the "ERI prix" of the Province of Lower Austria and the Danube University Krems (for his contribution to preserving the diversity and equality of the regions on the path to united Europe).
His international honors include among others: Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the Grand Star of the Decoration for Services (highest state order of the Republic of Austria), the highest degree of the Order of the South Cruiser, the Order of the White Eagle (highest state order of the Republic of Poland), the Order of the Star of Romania (highest state order of Romania), the "1st class of the "Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise" Order (highest state order of Ukraine), 1st Class of the Order of the White Double Cross of the Republic of Slovakia, the Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer (highest state order of the Republic of Greece), Medal of the National Flag of the Albanian Republic, Order for Exceptional Merits (highest state order of Slovenia). He also received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Macedonia, Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul and Baku State University.
He is fluent in German and English, married with three children, and his hobbies include reading, skiing, diving, tennis and cycling.