George Vassiliou was born in Famagusta, Cyprus. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Budapest and specialized in marketing and market research in London.
In 1963 he returned to Cyprus and founded MEMRB International, which developed to a major market research, marketing and economic consultancy organization with offices in 30 countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe and over 1500 employees (now part of Nielsen International).
George Vassiliou was elected as independent President of the Republic of Cyprus for the period 1988 to 1993. He initiated the resumption of negotiations with the T/C which led to the Ghali Set of Ideas and the unanimous Security Council Resolution 789 approving the Ideas.
During his Presidency he created the University of Cyprus, carried out a major tax reform, achieved growth rates above 6% and reduced unemployment to 1.5%. In 1996 he was elected Member of Parliament. From 1998 to 2003 he was Coordinator and Chief Negotiator for the accession of Cyprus to the EU.
He has been awarded honorary doctorates by several Universities and received the highest Decorations from Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Hungary and others.
Dr Vassiliou is an active participant in international fora and member of the Trilateral Commission, the InterAction Council and the Board of Governors of the Shimon Peres Institute for Peace. He is the author of several books and hundreds of articles and contributions in Cyprus and international publications.