After completing his undergraduate education in political science at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Sarkozy completed his master’s degree in private law (1978) and his certificate to practice law (1981). Born in Paris on January 28, 1955, Sarkozy is married and has four children. Prior to his political career, he worked as a lawyer and was a member of the Paris Bar Association. Nicolas Sarkozy served as the President of the French Republic from 2007 to 2012, a position which culminated from years spent dedicating his life to a highly esteemed and richly diverse political career in France. Prior to his presidency, Sarkozy was appointed as Minister of State, Minister of the Interior and Spatial Planning under Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin (2005). Previously, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin appointed Sarkozy to Minister of the Interior, Internal Security and Local Freedoms (2002-2004), followed by an appointment to Minister of State, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry (April-November 2004). Shortly after his second appointment under Raffarin, Sarkozy resigned after being elected president of the French political party, Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), with 85.1% of the vote (November 2004). Earlier in his career, Sarkozy held a wide variety of political positions. He was elected president of the General Council of Hauts-de-Seine in 2004, prior to which he served as president of the Departmental Committee for the Rally for the Republic political party (RPR) of Hauts-de-Seine (2000-2004). He held a number of other positions for RPR including acting chairman (1999), general secretary (1998), coordinator and spokesman for the transition team (1997), member of the Political Bureau (1993), deputy secretary general (1992-1993) and co-director of the union list for the European elections (1989). In 1988, he was the national secretary of the RPR.