Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Laws
University of Minnesota, Duluth, July 25, 2008
Tarja K. Halonen is the 11th President of the Republic of Finland and the first female head of state. She graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1968 with a Master of Laws degree. Her political career began in 1974 when she was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister. In 1979 she was elected to Parliament for the first time and was re-elected four times. In 2000 she assumed the office of President and was re-elected as President in 2006. Described as a compassionate humanitarian, she has been a powerful voice for the rights of the poor, advocate for gay rights, and has worked tirelessly on behalf of rights for women. While president, the International Labour Organization (ILO) appointed her to serve as co-chair of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. She is a role model for public service and global citizenship. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including several honorary degrees from international institutions.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.