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Born in Vilnius on March 1 1956, Dalia Grybauskaite attended the Secondary School of Salomeja Neris. At the age of 19 (in 1975-1976), she worked as an inspector at the personnel division of the National Philharmonic Society.

In 1976, she entered the Zhdanov University in the then Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and graduated with a degree in political economic sciences in 1983. During her years in university, Grybauskaite worked at a fur factory Rot-Front.

Upon return to Lithuania in 1983, she worked as a secretary at the Academy of Sciences. She was a lecturer at the Department of Political Economy at the Vilnius Higher Party school in 1983-1990. In 1988, she received a doctoral degree of economic sciences at the Moscow Academy of Social Studies.

She completed a special course for leaders at the Georgetown University in Washington in 1991 and worked as a scientific secretary at the Institute of Economy in 1990-1991 before taking a position of director of programs at the government in 1991.

In 1991-1994, she headed departments at ministries of International Economic Relations and Foreign Affairs before working as deputy senior negotiator for the Treaty of Europe with the EU and envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian mission at the EU in 1994-1995.

In 1996-1999, Grybauskaite worked as minister plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian Embassy to the United States, followed by positions of vice-minister of finance and foreign affairs in the Cabinet of Andrius Kubilius in 1999-2001. She headed the Finance Ministry in the government of Algirdas Brazauskas in the 2001-2004 period.

On May 1 2004, Grybauskaite was appointed EU commissioner in charge of financial programming and budget. She was elected Commissioner of the Year in November 2005 “for her unrelenting efforts to shift EU spending towards areas that would enhance competitiveness such as research and development.

She was awarded the Cross of Commander of the Order of Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas in 2003.

On Feb. 26 2009, the European commissioner said she was ready to run for Lithuania’s president on May 17, which, according to preliminary data, she won after receiving 68.17 percent of the vote.

Grybauskaite speaks English, Russian, Polish and French.