His Excellency Dr. Nikola Špirić obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in economics (BBE) from the faculty of Economy of the University of Sarajevo in 1980 and holds MSc and PhD degrees in economics. Špirić joined the University of Sarajevo Economics faculty in 1980, working as a researcher until 1992. He then became a professor in monetary and public finance at the Faculty of Economy, Banja Luka University. Špirić began his political career in 1999, when he was elected member of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2000, Špirić was appointed Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Refugees in Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 2001 to 2002, Špirić served as Chairman of the House of Peoples of Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 2002 to 2006, he served as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly. In January 2007, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency issued a decree nominating Špirić as Chairman of the Council of Ministers. The move came a day after the seven parties that won the October 2006 elections reached an agreement on the new Prime Minister and the distribution of the ministerial seats in the Cabinet, composed of members of the Balkan nation’s three main ethnic groups — Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. The parties also agreed on an overall strategy, whose key goals include constitutional reform, boosting foreign investment and fulfilling the requirements for signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, as well as the preconditions for joining NATO. Špirić has served as Chairman of the Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina since February 2007. Špirić has named the security and stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its entities, economic development, and the EU and NATO integration processes as his top priorities.