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Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki

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12 December 1955 (age 68) Heraklion, Greece (

Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

My Greek Drama: Life, Love, and One Woman's Olympic Effort to Bring Glory to Her Country

Panagiotis Angelopoulos, Dimitris Angelopoulos, Carolina Parthenis

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South Africa - Olympic Committee annual dinner

Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (born Ioanna Daskalaki, 12 December 1955) is a Greek businesswoman. She is best known for being the president of the bidding and organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She was named one of the 50 most powerful women by Forbes magazine.


Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki The woman behind the 2004 Athens Olympics A Conversation

My Big Greek Drama, Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki visits Philadelphia

Early life

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Born to a middle-class family in Heraklion, Crete, she distinguished herself academically and politically. Daskalaki studied law in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Personal life

Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki President of the Athens 2004 Organising Committee Gianna

In 1990, she married the Greek shipping and steel magnate Theodore Angelopoulos, and has since been involved in several aspects of Angelopoulos' business interests, mainly in shipping. The couple has two sons, Panagiotis Angelopoulos and Dimitris Angelopoulos. She also has a daughter, Caroline, from a previous marriage.

Political career

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In the late 1980s, she became actively involved in politics in Athens. In 1986, she was elected to the Athens Municipal Council. In 1989, she was elected to parliament, and won reelection the following year.

Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki Gianna AngelopoulosDaskalaki Photos Zimbio

In 1998, she was appointed Ambassador at Large by the Greek government. She was paid for this appointment and donates the sums to several Greek charities each year.

In October 2008, she was appointed Chevalier of the French Republic's National Order of the Legion of Honor during the Presidency of Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy.

Involvement In 2004 Athens Olympic Games

Disappointed over losing the bid for the 100 Year Celebration of the revival of the Olympic Games in 1996, Greece officials decided to bid for the 2004 Summer Olympics. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki was named president of the Bidding Committee, making her the first female president of any Olympic organizing committee, and succeeded in bringing the games to Athens. She was however excluded from the initial organization committee that would prepare for the games.

When the International Olympic Committee questioned Greece's commitment to the games and its ability to complete all preparations prior to the opening ceremony, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki was asked to return and was named president of the Olympic Organizing Committee in May 2000. She was the first woman to hold this position. Under her watch, competition facilities were completed and security issues were taken care of. International Olympic Committee presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch and Jacques Rogge both specifically credit Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki for the success of the games. In his speech at the Closing Ceremony, Rogge said, "These Games were unforgettable, dream Games."

After the 2004 Olympic Games, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki bought "Eleftheros Typos" ("Free Press"), but the daily failed to meet its sales goals and was eventually sold off.

Post-Political Career

In 1994, she was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Dean’s Council of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she continues to serve today.

In 1995, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki co-chaired, along with Kennedy School Professor Graham Allison, a Harvard Leadership Symposium titled The Greek Paradox: Promise vs. Performance, which addressed the gap between Greece’s potential and its performance in the realms of politics, economic growth, and regional leadership. Harvard published a book that followed the symposium with the same title. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki is the author of the book’s Preface.

In 2012, she created the Harvard Kennedy-School based Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellowship program as a part of a Commitment to Action for the Clinton Global Initiative. The program was announced by Ambassador Angelopoulos, with Dean Ellwood and President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in 2011. The program provides opportunities for high-profile leaders who are transitioning out of public office or other leadership positions to spend time in residence at Harvard for teaching, learning and research. Former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon was the inaugural Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at the Kennedy School. In 2014, Former President of Finland Tarja Halonen was named as the 2015 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow.

In 2013, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki established the Angelopoulos Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Fellowship and began sponsoring Greek students to attend Clinton Global Initiative University. She has since sponsored over 60 students. She also served as a Convening Sponsor of the 2014 and 2015 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meetings.

Authored Books

She is the author of My Greek Drama: Life, Love, and One Woman's Olympic Effort to Bring Glory to Her Country. The book debuted at #18 on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller list for the June 2, 2013 print edition, and entered the top 10 at #7 in the June 9, 2013 print edition of the paper. The book was also a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.

TV Interviews

MSNBC 5/6/13: Greece Is In a 'Bad Marriage With the European Union'


Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki Wikipedia