His Excellency Mr. Jusuf Kalla has been serving as the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia for the second time since 2014. Previously, he held the position from 2004 to 2009. Mr. Kalla was born in Watampone, South Sulawesi, on 15th of May 1942 in the big family of Hadji Kalla, a successful businessman from Bugis.
Soon after he graduated in Economics from the University of Hasanuddin in 1967, Mr. Kalla started his career in the private sector by joining the family business, the NV (Namlozee Venonchamp) Hadji Kalla, now widely known as the Kalla Group. In 1977, he attended an executive programme at the INSEAD International Business School in Fontainebleau, Paris, France.
After some years working in the family business, Mr. Kalla took over the Group in 1986, and successfully expanded its business sectors from exports and imports to manufacturing, automotive, construction, palm oil, shipping, real estate, transportation, shrimp farming, telecommunications, and energy and electricity sectors.
While building his career in the private sector, Mr. Kalla also demonstrated a strong interest in politics and public service when he joined the Provincial People’s Representative Council (DPRD) of South Sulawesi in 1965. In 1982, he represented the South Sulawesi chapter of the Party of Functional Groups (Golongan Karya - Golkar) in the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) until 1987. He returned to the Assembly in 1997 as a Regional Representative representing the South Sulawesi Province.
In 1999, Mr. Kalla was appointed by President Abdurrahman Wahid as the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Indonesia as well as the Chairman of the Indonesian Bureau of Logistics until the year 2000. From 2001 to 2004, he served the country as the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare under President Megawati Soekarnoputri. As the running mate of Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Mr. Kalla won the 2004 Presidential election, and was sworn in as the 2004-2009 Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia. During his first tenure as Vice President, Mr. Kalla became the Chairman of the Golkar Party.
Besides being a politician, Mr. Kalla has also played an active leadership role in various organizations.
He had also served as the Chairman of Centrist Asia Pacific Democrat International (2010-2012) as well as the Coordinator of the South East Asia Red Cross and Red Crescent (2010-2011). Mr. Kalla now concurrently serves as the Chairman of the Indonesian Mosques Council and Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross. He is also the Chairman of various organisations, including the Hasanuddin University’s Alumni Association, the Islamic Centre Foundation of Al Markez.
Among his many achievements, Mr. Kalla has received international recognition and praise for his notable role as peace maker in Indonesia. He played an important role in the Moluccan and Poso conflicts and played a key role in negotiating peace in Aceh, resulting in the Helsinki Agreement that ended the prolonged conflict in Aceh in 2005. He actively speaks in many forums, both nationally and internationally, about his extensive experiences in conflict resolution.
For his dedication and contribution to the public welfare of Indonesia, Mr. Kalla has been awarded numerous national, international, government and community honors. In 2004, he was awarded the Star of the Republic of Indonesia, which is the highest decoration awarded by the Indonesian Government for extraordinary service to the country. He was also awarded the Star of Mahaputra Adipurna, a highly prestigious award given for outstanding national service outside of the military. Mr. Kalla was awarded Commandeur de l’Ordre de Leopold in 2009 by the Government of Belgium, the highest Belgian national honorary of knighthood given to distinguished individuals. In December 2011, he received awards from the Academia of Islamic Culture (Budai) from the University of Islam Sultan Agung in Semarang, as well as the Figures Peace Award in the World Youth Forum for Peace in Maluku, Ambon.
Mr. Kalla has also been extensively recognized by the academic community, including several Honoris Causa Doctorates in many disciplines including politics, economics, management, government, and decentralization. Mr. Kalla’s first Doctor Honoris Causa was from Malaya University, Malaysia in 2007. He then received Doctor Honoris Causa from the Soka University, Japan (2007), the Indonesian University of Education, Bandung (2011), the Hasanuddin University, Makassar (2011), the Brawijaya University, Malang (2011), the University of Indonesia, Jakarta (2013), the Syiah Kuala University, Banda Aceh (2015), from the Andalas University, Padang (2016), and the Rajamangala University of Technology Isan Bangkok in March 2017. Recently, He also received Honoris Causa Doctorates from the Islamic University of Alauddin Makassar in January 2018, from the Hiroshima University Japan in February 2018, and from the University of Muslim Indonesia Makassar in June 2018.