Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Ong San Soo Chee) is an opposition leader in her home country of Myanmar (formerly Burma) and the winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Suu Kyi was born June 19, 1945 in Rangoon, Burma, the daughter of General Aung San and Khin Kyi. Her father, a national leader who led Burma's fight for independence from Great Britain in the 1940s, was assassinated in 1947 when Suu Kyi was two years old.
After graduating from Oxford University in 1967, she worked for the United Nation's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and later as a visiting scholar at Kyoto University and a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies.
Suu Kyi return to her home country in 1988, only to find widespread slaughter of protesters rallying against the brutal rule of dictator U Ne Win. She spoke out against him and initiated a nonviolent movement toward achieving democracy and human rights.
Suu Kyi helped found her country's pro-democracy political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). In the 1990 general election, the NLD, under the leadership of Suu Kyi, challenged the ruling party and won with an overwhelming 80 percent majority. However, the military junta that had ruled Burma since 1962, refused to recognize the election results and placed Suu Kyi, along with the elected pro-democracy leaders, under house arrest.
In November 2011, a year after Suu Kyi's release from house arrest in 2010, the NLD announced that it would re-register as a political party, and in January 2012, Suu Kyi formally registered to run for a seat in parliament.
On April 1, 2012, following a grueling and exhausting campaign, the NLD announced that Suu Kyi had won her election. A news broadcast on state-run MRTV confirmed her victory, and on May 2, 2012, Suu Kyi took her oath and took office.
Suu Kyi has won numerous international awards, including the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Rafto Human Rights Price, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Award from India. She is the author of several books, including The Voice of Hope and Letters from Burma. In 2005 she was named by Forbes magazine as one of the "World's 100 Most Powerful Women."
Suu Kyi appeared via video at Omega's Women, Power & Peace conference in 2007.