Jaime José Matos Gama
Nº OF MEETING: XII
Teacher, journalist and politician, Jaime José Matos da Gama was born on June 8, 1947, in the village of Fajã de Baixo, municipality of Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores. He attended the Antero de Quental National Secondary School in Ponta Delgadabefore entering university.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and completed the Complementary Course of Pedagogical Sciences at the Faculty of Artsand Humanities of the University of Lisbon. He taught at secondary schools and universities and also worked as a journalist.
A member and leader of the Socialist Party, he was elected to parliament several times, representing theelectoral districts of the Azores from 1975and of Lisbonfrom 1983. In Parliament, he chaired the Committee forthe Affairs of the Autonomous Regions of the Constituent Assembly (1975-1976), the Parliamentary Committees for Foreign Affairs (1976-1978), for National Defense (1985-1991) and for European Affairs and Foreign Policy (2002-2005). He was part of several international parliamentary delegations (Council of Europe, NATO and OSCE) and was a founding member of the Socialist Party, being a member of several of its national executive boards.
He heldvarious governmental positionssuch as Minister of Internal Affairs (1978), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1983-1985 and 1995-2002), Minister of National Defense (1999) and Minister of State (1999-2002). He was the president of the National Parliament and by virtuemember of the State Council (2005-2011).
He published several works in the area of Portuguese Foreign Policy (1983-1985, 1995-1999, 1999-2002).
He received several awards and accolades, including:
Grand Cross of the Military Order of Christ; Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry; Grand Cross of the Order of Liberty; Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (UK); Grand Cross of the Order of Carlos III (Spain); Grand Cross pro MeritoMelitensi of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil); Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor (France); Collar of theOrder of East Timor; Great-collarof the Order of the Rising Sun (Japan); among others.
On June 16, 2012, a street sign with his name was unveiled as a tribute in his native village of Fajã de Baixo.
He currently lives in Lisbon.