Tinatin Khidasheli, who earned a Master of Political Science at CEU in 1996, has been named defense minister of Georgia, the first woman to hold the post. She is also the first of CEU's alumni to become defense minister.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili, leader of the Georgian Dream coalition, appointed Khidasheli on May 1. The appointment of new ministers was affirmed by a mandatory vote of confidence in Parliament on May 8, won by the governing coalition, writes Reuters. Following the vote, Garibashvili asserted that Georgia will continue its pro-Western policy, stating that "our main choice is European democracy, our main achievement, freedom.”
In her first official meeting, Khidasheli visited Army Chief of Staff Vakhtang Kapanadze, according to Civil Georgia.
“I am confident that our main goal to become a NATO member as soon as possible is achievable,” she said after the meeting.
Prior to her appointment as defense minister, she chaired the parliamentary committee on European integration. She became a member of Parliament as a representative of the Republican Party of Georgia in 2012. She joined the political formation led by Davit Usupashvili in 2005.
Khidasheli was born in Tbilisi and earned a degree in international law at Tbilisi State University in 1995. In addition to earning a degree at CEU, she was a human rights fellow at the Washington College of Law, and World Fellow at Yale University. She became president of the influential Georgian Young Lawyers' Association in 2000 and was involved in the protest movements that led to the Rose Revolution and Eduard Shevardnadze’s resignation in 2003. She served as chair of the board of Open Society Georgia Foundation in 2004 and 2005.