Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, prime minister of the Southeast Asian nation Timor-Leste, speaks at Indiana University Bloomington as part of the IU School of Global and International Studies' Distinguished Diplomat Speaker Series. Araújo, who became prime minister in February 2015, discusses the work of leading a young nation and working toward its goals for sustainability and self-reliance
A physician, Araújo leads the sixth Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, since it gained its independence in 2002. Araújo was an active member of the resistance during Indonesia's occupation of Timor-Leste.
The resistance movement fought for independence for 25 years after Indonesia invaded the country to its south in 1975. The country that covers half the island of Timor is considered among Southeast Asia's most democratic, with multiple political parties and having held two presidential and legislative elections and an independence referendum, all considered free and fair by international observers.
He first served the new Timor-Leste government starting in 2001 as minister of health, later becoming the deputy prime minister of social affairs. From 2007 to 2012, he was appointed to the Council of State and held a position as an advisor to the ministry of health and later as senior advisor to the ministry of finance.