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Participants at the 2010 Muskoka Summit

G8 Countries
Canada • FranceGermanyItalyJapan • RussiaUnited Kingdom • United States • European Union
African Outreach
AlgeriaEgypt • Ethiopia • MalawiNigeriaSenegal • South Africa
Extended Outreach
Colombia • Haiti • Jamaica

G8 Countries


Stephen Harper, prime minister
Leonard Edwards, sherpa

Stephen Harper was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on April 30, 1959. In 1985, he received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Calgary. In 1991, he returned to the University of Calgary and received his master’s degree in economics. Harper was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993. On February 6, 2006, Harper became prime minister after his Conservative party won the January 2006 election. This will be Harper’s fifth G8 summit and first as host. Leonard Edwards is his G8 sherpa.


Nicolas Sarkozy, president
Jean-David Levitte, sherpa

Nicolas Sarkozy was born in Paris, France, on January 28, 1955. In 1978, he received his degree in law from the University of Paris. Sarkozy worked as a lawyer while he pursued politics. From 1983 to 2002, he was mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. He has been president of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), France’s major right-wing party, since 2004. Sarkozy became president on May 16, 2007. This will be his fourth G8 summit. France is scheduled to host the G8 in 2011.


Angela Merkel, chancellor
Jens Weidmann, sherpa

Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg, Germany, on July 17, 1956. In 1978, she received her doctorate in physics from the University of Leipzig. Before entering into politics she worked as a physicist. Merkel was first elected to the Bundestag in 1990. She became chancellor on November 22, 2005 and was re-elected in September 2009. This will be her fifth G8 summit. Germany will likely follow Russia in the G8 hosting sequence (i.e., 2015).


Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister
Bruno Archi, sherpa

Silvio Berlusconi was born in Milan, Italy, on September 29, 1936. In 1961, he received his degree in law from the University of Milan. Before entering into politics he worked in business and was quite the entrepreneur-building construction businesses, establishing cable networks, and forming media groups. Berlusconi was first elected prime minister in 1994. He served a second term as prime minister from 2001 to 2006. On April 29, 2008, Berlusconi became prime minister for a third time. This will be Berlusconi’s ninth G8 summit. Italy hosted the 2009 summit and usually follows Japan in the G8 hosting sequence (i.e., 2017).


Naoto Kan, prime minister
Yoichi Otabe, sherpa

Naoto Kan was born in Ube City, Tamaguichi Prefecture, Japan, on October 10, 1946. In 1970, he graduated from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Before entering into politics, he opened a patent office. Kan was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1980. He became prime minister in June 2010. The Muskoka Summit will be his first G8 summit. Japan usually follows Germany in the G8 hosting sequence (i.e., 2016).


Dmitry Medvedev, president
Arkady Dvorkovich, sherpa

Dmitry Medvedev was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) of the former Soviet Union on September 14, 1965. He earned a degree in law in 1987 and a PhD in private law in 1990 from Leningrad State University. Before entering into politics, he worked as a lawyer. This will be his third G8 summit. Russia will likely follow the United Kingdom in the G8 hosting sequence (i.e., 2014).

United Kingdom

David Cameron, prime minister
Jon Cuncliffe, sherpa

David Cameron became prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in May 2010, after striking a deal with Nick Clegg, head of the Liberal Democratic Party, in a hung (coalition) parliament. He was first elected to parliament in 2001 as representative for Witney. Before becoming a politician Cameron worked for the Conservative Research Department and served as a political strategist and advisor to the Conservative Party. He has served as party leader since December 2005. Born in London, England, on October 9, 1966, Cameron received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford. He is married to Samantha Sheffield and had three children, one who passed away in 2009. This will be the first G8 and G20 summit that he has attended.

United States

Barack Obama, president
Mike Froman, sherpa

Barack Obama became president-elect on November 4, 2008, and was inaugurated January 20, 2009, replacing George W. Bush. In 2005 Obama was elected to the Senate, having previously worked as a community organizer, a civil rights lawyer and a state legislator for Illinois. The first black president of the United States, he was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a Kenyan father and American mother. He received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 1983 and a law degree from Harvard University in 1991. He is married to Michelle Obama and they have two children. This will be Obama’s second G8 summit. The U.S. usually follows France in the G8 hosting order (i.e., 2012).

European Union

Herman Van Rompuy, president, European Council
José Manuel Barroso, president, European Commission
Joao Vale de Almeida, sherpa

Herman Van Rompuy was elected by the members of the European Council as the first permanent president of the European Council in 2009. A Belgian politician of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party, he served as prime minister of Belgium from 2008 to 2009, and previously as minister of the budget and president of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, as well as a senator. Born on 31 October 1947 in Etterbeek, Belgium, he and his wife, Geertrui Windels, have four children. This will be the first G8 and G20 summits Van Rompuy has attended.

José Manuel Barroso became president of the European Commission in November 2004. Previously, he was prime minister of Portugal from 2002 to 2004. Before entering politics Barroso was an academic. He studied law at the University of Lisbon, holds a master’s degree in economics and social sciences from the University of Geneva and received his doctorate from Georgetown University in 1998. He is married to Maria Margarida Pinto Ribeiro de Sousa Uva and has three children. This is Barroso’s sixth G8 and fourth G20 summit.

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Outreach Leaders

African Outreach


Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected the tenth president in 1999. He was re-elected in 2004 and 2009. Upon becoming president, he launched a five-year economic plan, called Support Plan for Economic Recovery, which produced significant national growth. In 2000, Bouteflika presided over the African Union. He was involved in peace negotiations in the African Great Lakes Region. Born on March 2, 1937, in Oujda, Morocco, Bouteflika lived and attended school in Morocco until he joined the National Liberation Front. After Algeria’s independence in 1962, Bouteflika became deputy minister for youth and sport and was later appointed minister of foreign affairs. He is one of the founding leaders of the New Economic Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD). He is married to Amal Triki.


Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak became president of Egypt on October 14, 1981. He served as a commander of Egypt’s Air Force Academy. He was chief of staff for the Egyptian Air Force before becoming commander of the Air Force. He later served as deputy minister of defence in 1972. Mubarak is the longest serving president of Egypt. He is one of the founding leaders of the New Economic Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD). He is married to Suzanne Mubarak and has two sons.

Ethiopia (Chair of NEPAD)

Meles Zenawi Asres is the current prime minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chair of the Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF), and heads the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). He is one of the founding leaders of the New Economic Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) and holds the current chair. Meles was born on May 8, 1955, in Adwa, Tigray, in Northern Ethiopia. He acquired an MBA from the Open University of the United Kingdom in 1995 and a MSc in economics from Erasmus University of the Netherlands in 2004. Meles is married to Azeb Mesfin, the current chair of the Social Affairs Standing Committee of Parliament, and is the father of three children.

Malawi (Chair of the African Union)

Bingu wa Mutharika assumed office as president of Malawi on May 24, 2004, after winning a disputed presidential election. He also holds the portfolios of agriculture and food security as well as education. On January 31, 2010, Mutharika replaced Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi as leader of the African Union. After serving in the Malawi civil service, Mutharika worked at the United Nations. In 1991 he was appointed the secretary general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Born on February 24, 1934, in Thyolo, Malawi, Mutharika was educated at the University of Delhi, where he gained a master’s degree in economics. He later obtained a doctorate in development economics from Pacific Western University. He is married to former Malawi tourism minister Callista Chimombo and has four children from a previous marraige.


Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became president on May 6, 2010, succeeding Umaru Yar’Adua. Jonathan previously served as vice-president. Before becoming a politician, Jonathan worked as an education inspector, lecturer and environmental protection officer. Jonathan was born in Ogiba, Nigeria, on November 20, 1957. He holds a BSc in zoology and a MSc in biology from the University of Port Harcourt. Jonathan is married to Patience Faka Jonathan and has two children.


Abdoulaye Wade is the country’s third president. Before assuming office in 2000, he led the Senegalese Democratic Party since its founding in 1974. Wade studied and taught law at the Lycée Condorcet in France. He holds doctorates in law and economics, and served as dean of the law and economics faculty at the University of Dakar. He is one of the founding leaders of the New Economic Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD). He is married to Viviane Wade and they have two children.

South Africa

Jacob Zuma became president on May 9, 2009, succeeding Petrus Kgalema Motlanthe, who had held the position since September 2008. Zuma joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1958 and started serving on its national executive committee in 1977. In 1994, Zuma was elected National Chair of the ANC and chair of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal. He was re-elected to the latter position in 1996 and selected as the deputy president of the party in December 1997. Zuma was appointed executive deputy president of South Africa in 1999. He held that position until 2005 and was elected ANC president at the end of 2007. He was born on April 12, 1949, in Inkandla, KwaZulu-Natal Province. He has three wives and several children.

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Extended Outreach


Alvaro Uribe Vélez became president of Colombia on August 7, 2002, and was re-elected in 2006. Before assuming office, Uribe worked as a lawyer. He also served as mayor of Medellin and governor of Antioquia. Uribe studied law at the University of Antioquia and completed a post-graduate management program at Harvard University. He was awarded the Simon Bolivar Scholarship of the British Council, and was nominated senior associate member at the St. Anthony’s College of the University of Oxford. He is married to Lina Moreno and has two sons.


René Garcia Préval became president in 1996 and was re-elected on May 14, 2006. Préval previously worked with the National Institute for Mineral Resources. He served as prime minister from February 13 to October 11, 1991. Préval was born in Marmelade, Cap-Haitien. He studied business at the Collège de Gembloux and the University of Leuven in Belgium, as well as biology at the University of Pisa in Italy. Préval is married to Elisabeth Débrosse Delatour.


Bruce Golding became prime minister on September 11, 2007. He founded the National Democratic Movement before rejoining the Jamaica Labour Party in November 2003. He was first elected to Parliament in 1972. Golding received a degree in economics from the University of the West Indies in 1969. He is married to Lorna Golding and has three children.

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