Let's Compare some Leaders with Different Nationalities & Backgrounds


by All-Iranians

We, as the Iranians, most likely consider the leaders of the USA, Russia, the UK, Germany, France, and of course Iran among some top leaders of the world. The educational backgrounds of those leaders may be summarized as follows:

Barack Obama (USA)
1. St. Francis Assisi Catholic in Jakarta, Indonesia from first through third grade
2. State Elementary School Menteng 01 in Jakarta, Indonesia for the fourth grade
3. Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii from the fifth grade through the 12th grade where he received his high school diploma.
4. Occidental College in Los Angeles, California for his freshmen and sophomore year, but transferred to Columbia University
5. Columbia University in New York City, New York for his junior and senior year. He received his bachelor of arts in which he majored in Political Science with international relations.
6. Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass. for a three-year program. He received his J.D. magna cum laude.

Dmitry Medvedev (Russia)
Medvedev's father was a Professor at the Leningrad Institute of Technology. As a schoolboy, Dmitry Medvedev always liked chemistry and even dreamed of becoming a great chemist, like Mendeleev. But this was not to be. He attended the Law Faculty of Saint Petersburg State University, the same one that Lenin and Putin graduated from. Medvedev received a Bachelor’s law degree in 1987 and a PhD in law in 1990. For the next nine years he lectured at his Alma Mater combining his teaching activities with local politics.

David Cameron (UK)
David Cameron enjoyed a very traditional upbringing. He went to the no-longer existing Heatherdown School, also frequented by the princes Andrew and Edward. Subsequently, David went to Eton and then Oxford. From 1985 to 1988, after a three-month internship at a parent's company in Hong Kong, Cameron studied philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) in Oxford. David finished his PPE with a “first class degree”.

Angela Merkel (Germany)
She was educated in Templin and at the University of Leipzig, where she studied physics from 1973 to 1978. While a student, Angela Merkel participated in the reconstruction of the ruin of the Moritzbastei, a project that students initiated to create their own club and recreation facility on campus. Such an initiative was unprecedented in Germany at the timr, and initially resisted by the University of Leipzig. However, with backing of the local leadership of the Social Democratic Party, the project was allowed to proceed. Merkel worked and studied at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Adlershof from 1978 to 1990. She learned to speak Russian fluently, and earned a statewide prize for her proficiency. After being awarded a doctorate degree for her thesis on quantum chemistry she worked as a researcher.

Nicolas Sarkozy (France)
Nicolas Sarkozy completed his education first from the Lycee Chaptal School and after that from catholic school named Cours Saint –Louis de Monceau. Nicolas Sarkozy got his masters degree in private law and DEA degree in business law from the Paris X Nanterre University. After doing the graduation Nicolas Sarkozy e got admission in the institute of Detudes politics but there Nicolas Sarkozy failed because of bad command in English. Finally Nicolas Sarkozy became a lawyer who is specialized in business and family law.

Ali Khamenei (Iran)
He attended religious studies classes at the rudimentary and advanced levels in the Hawza of Mashhad, under his mentors such as Haj Sheikh Hashem Ghazvini, and Ayatollah Milani, and then went to Najaf in 1957. After a short stay he left Najaf to Mashhad, and in 1958 he settled in Qom. Khamenei attended the classes of Ayatollahs Husain Borujerdi and Ruhollah Khomeini. Khamenei is fluent in both Persian and Arabic. He has translated several books into Persian from Arabic, including the works of the famous Egyptian Islamist theoretician Sayyid Qutb. He is a less fluent speaker of the Azerbaijani language, his father's mother language and has some understanding of English.

You be the judge, who is more efficient at solving the problems of a country based on the educational backgrounds?

What do you think?

Altiusdirectory Website: Education of Nicolas Sarkozy
Answers Website: The Education of Barack Obama
Cosmopolis Website: The Family and Education of David Cameron
Russiapedia Website: Prominent Russian: Dmitry Medvedev
Wikipedia Encyclopedia: Biographies of Barack Obama, Dmitry Medvedev, David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Ali Khamenei


more from All-Iranians

Dear Anahid

by All-Iranians on

Thanks for your very informative comment. You may like to know that former US President Bill Clinton was not good in Chemistry either (as he admitted in his book, My Life):

"I was not very good in Dick Duncan's chemistry class, but did better in biology."

Anahid Hojjati

Thanks All-Iranians for an interesting blog, about Chemistry...

by Anahid Hojjati on

Not Only "Angela Merkel" was a Quantum Chemist but you wrote:"Dmitry Medvedev always liked chemistry and even dreamed of becoming a great chemist, " So it seems that from your sample, not considering law which is usually the educational background that most Politicians have, Chemistry rules. In one case, it was the profession of the politician and in the other case, it was the dream. Also some US politicians came from education background in earlier years like several decades ago. Here are some lines regarding Lyndon Johnson:

Lyndon B Johnson, In 1927 Johnson taught mostly Mexican children at the Welhausen School in Cotulla, some ninety miles south of San Antonio in La Salle County. In 1930 he taught in Pearsall High School in Pearsall, Texas, and afterwards took a position as teacher of public speaking at Sam Houston High School in Houston.


Dear MM

by All-Iranians on

Thank you for your very well-written comment, and particularly this part: "I agree that as far as Khamenei, being in politics for >31 years does not make him a good leader since his core beliefs are based on a one-sided Islamic view".



by MM on

Not every leader comes out of a political science class room and even so, the personal beliefs and they way a person conveys them to the masses is something unique to an emerging leader. 

You may love or hate him for his personal beliefs, but, Ronald Reagen, one of the recent most inspiring American leaders was an actor who got into politics in his later life.

But, I agree that as far as Khamenei, being in politics for >31 years does not make him a good leader since his core beliefs are based on a one-sided Islamic view.


Dear Yolanda

by All-Iranians on

Thank you for your excellent comment; you can find more info on his education here:




Dear Bot Shekan

by All-Iranians on

Your comment is highly appreciated. Here is the Persian text of your link, which is also interesting

لوئیس ایناسیو لولا داسیلوا سیاستمدار برزیلی و رئیس جمهور سابق این کشور است.

داسیلوا که از بنیانگذاران «حزب کارگر» می‌باشد تا کلاس هشتم تحصیل کرده‌است.او برای کمک به خانواده خود کارهایی چون واکس زنی،روزنامه فروشی وکارگری در کارخانه نیز کرده‌است.داسلیوا پیش از پیروزی در انتخابات ریاست جمهور سال ۲۰۰۲ سه بار درانتخابات ریاست جمهوری شکست خورد.



Dear Dirty Angel

by All-Iranians on

Backgrounds of other ME leaders? Most of them are not much educated. And one thing is for sure: The Middle East is the most militarized region in the world and most arms sales head there:




They all differ:

by All-Iranians on

Political Science, International Relations, Literature & Poetry: Obama
Law and Business: Medvedev
Philosophy, politics and economics (PPE): Cameron
Physical Chemistry: Merkel
Business and Family Law: Sarkozy
Religion & Poetry: Khamenei



by yolanda on

Thank you for all the very interesting facts........so 3 lawyers, one Quantum Chemist..........not sure what Khamenei studied...... Koran and Arabic? I thought he also knows (studied?) Persian poetry!

I lived in Hawaii and my dwelling place is walking distance from Obama's private school, Hunahou school......a pretty expensive private school!


بت شکن

بینش شرط است نه دانش

بت شکن



تاریخ نشان داده که کار ساز‌ترین رهبران همانا بینشمند‌ترین آنان بوده‌اند.  غیر از خانم مرکل که دانشمند علوم عملی‌ می‌‌باشد و این خود حکایت از جهان بینی‌ وسیع او دارد بقیه این افراد از حال رعیت بی‌ خبرند. اگر می‌‌بایست مردمی‌ترین را انتخاب می‌کردم رأی من فقط به یکی‌ تعلق می‌گرفت: 

 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva


Dirty Angel

afternoon tea menu - Rotten Fishhead Supreme

by Dirty Angel on

 I was going to go on and on about contextualizing education opportunities or rather lack of,  a la T. Ali and mushrooming madressahs in Pakistan, but got the giggles instead. 

What are the backgrounds of other ME leaders? 

"If they chew you up, they still have to spit you out "