Azerbaijan`s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador and Member of the Azerbaijani Parliament Mehriban Aliyeva was born in Baku.
Mehriban Aliyeva graduated from secondary public school No. 23 in Baku in 1982 with a gold medal, and later entered the Nariman Narimanov Azerbaijan State Medical University. She continued her studies at the Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy (currently the I.M.Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University), from where she graduated with an honorary diploma in 1988. She worked at the Moscow Scientific Research Institute for Eye Diseases under leadership of academician Krasnov in 1988-1992.
Since 1995, Mehriban Aliyeva has been the president at the Friends of the Azerbaijani Culture Foundation, created upon her initiative. In 1996, Mehriban Aliyeva founded the `Azerbaijan - Irs` magazine, published in three languages (Azerbaijani, Russian, and English) for a wider promotion of Azerbaijani culture.
Mehriban Aliyeva has been heading the Heydar Aliyev Foundation since the very date of its establishment on May 10, 2004. The foundation`s goal is to study and preserve the rich heritage of the National Leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, to bring up new generations in the spirit of his ideas of national statehood. The priority directions of the foundation are education, health, culture and social sphere. This covers assistance to children devoid of parents, recreation and improving logistics base of orphanages and boarding schools.
She was also awarded the title of ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2005 according to the social poll held in Azerbaijan. On June 9, 2005, the first lady of Azerbaijan was awarded the order of the ‘Ruby Cross’ from the International Charitable Foundation ‘Maecenas of the Century’ for her public support and charity activities, considerable contribution to the support of educational and cultural institutions and strengthening friendships between the peoples of Russia and Azerbaijan.
Mehriban Aliyeva received a PhD in Philosophy in 2005. On November 24, 2006, she was conferred with the title of ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Goodwill Ambassador for extensive and selfless activity in various fields, including intercultural dialogue, attention to children in need of special care and support for improving living conditions, great support for education and projects being realized in the Islamic world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) awarded Mehriban Aliyeva for her exceptional services in protecting and strengthening the health of mother, child and family. This was made upon a unanimous decision of the 120th session of the WHO executive committee in Geneva on January 29, 2007.
Mehriban Aliyeva was honored with ‘Gold Heart’ international award in 2007 for her charitable activities and the outstanding achievements in services to the highest ideals of humanity.
The first lady was awarded the `Grand Commander`s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland’ on September 14, 2009. She received this Order for her contribution to development of friendly ties between Azerbaijan and Poland.
Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the ‘Order of Legion of Honor’ by French president’s order dated February 10, 2010.
She was honored with the title of Honorary Professor of Russian Federation’s I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University on February 13, 2012.
The Humanitarian Cooperation Council (HCC) of CIS member states and the CIS Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Foundation (IHCF) presented Mehriban Aliyeva the ‘Stars of the Commonwealth’ Interstate Prize on April 13, 2012.
Mehriban Aliyeva was elected the deputy chairperson of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party at the fifth meeting of the party on June 7, 2013.
Mehriban Aliyeva was honored with Pakistani ‘Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women Excellence Award 2013’ on December 27, 2013.
The first lady was awarded an honorary prize of the Turkish-German Friendship Federation on May 12, 2014 for her contributions to dialogue between civilizations, as well as for the services towards promotion of the Turkic world in Germany and development of relations between Azerbaijan and Germany.
Azerbaijan’s first lady received the Olympic Excellence award of the International Olympic Academy in Athens on June 16, 2014. She also chaired the Baku 2015 European Games Organizing Committee.