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Georgian Politician Gia Maisashvili passes away aged 56
26 February, 2018
Politician and founder of the School of Leaders Gia Maisashvili passed away at the age of 56. Maisashvili had been suffering from cancer for the last few years. He was diagnosed with brain tumors in 2015.

The politician had been undergoing a treatment course in the United States in recent years.

Born in Tbilisi, Maisashvili graduated from the Tbilisi State University in 1985. He was involved in students' pro-independence protests against
the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and on the forefront in the struggle for Georgian independence and democracy, which was achieved in 1991.

In 1991-92, Gia Maisashvili became instrumental in transitioning Georgia into the free-market economic system by founding the country's first ever commodity exchanges - Tbilisi Universal Exchange and Georgian Tea and Wine Exchange.

After the Georgian Civil War and the overthrowing of the democratically elected government by Eduard Shevardnadze in 1992, Maisashvili was forced to flee the country and was granted a political asylum by the United States.
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Gia Maisashvili

While living in the US, he graduated from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1997. The same year, he joined the Houston, Texas-based energy company Enron and served as the head of a risk analysis unit until quitting the company in 2001.

He returned to Georgia on the eve of the 2003 Rose Revolution and became a political mentor and an economic adviser to then opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili. Shortly after Saakashvili's ascend to power, Maisashvili became publicly critical of Saakashvili and distanced himself from the new president. In July 2007, he established his own political party - the Party of Future.

In May 2008, he ran in the Georgian Parliamentary elections representing Tbilisi’s Saburtalo constituency on the Christian-Democratic Alliance ticket—The Alliance.
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He returned to Georgia on the eve of the 2003 Rose Revolution

On May 6, 2009, while attempting to arbitrate a peaceful outcome in a clash between a disorderly political demonstration and the riot police, Maisashvili was shot by the riot police in the head with a rubber bullet. He fully recovered from his injuries.

He has since shifted away from direct involvement in Georgian politics and has instead focused on bringing about an ambitious bottom-up educational reform in Georgia through the expansion of his Leadership School brand, a venture he originally started in 2006 with the declared aim to rear "a new generation of skilled, wise and courageous future leaders of Georgia."

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