Thursday, November 14th, 2002
Pierre Hotel, New York City
Athens Mayor-elect Dora Bakoyannis
Dora Bakoyannis was elected the 48th mayor of Athens on October 20, 2002. With her victory she broke several records that have stood for generations:
Born in 1954, she is the oldest of four children of veteran Greek politician Constantine Mitsotakis, 83, who was prime minister of Greece from 1990 to 1993 and leader of the country's conservative party, New Democracy, from 1984 to 1993. Her mother, Marika Yannoukou, has led the struggle to expand the rights of the handicapped in Greece.
At 14, Dora and her family fled to Paris to escape the military dictatorship which ruled Greece for seven years starting in 1967. They returned to Athens in 1974 when military rule collapsed.
That same year she married Pavlos Bakoyannis, a noted journalist and politician, and bore him two children, Alexia and Kostas. During the next several years she worked in the Ministry of Economic Coordination and later the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1984, when her father was elected leader of the New Democracy Party, she became his chief of staff.
In 1989, her husband, then a deputy in the Greek Parliament, was gunned down by members of the Greek terrorist group "November 17", as he entered his office building. After his death, she ran for her husband's seat in the remote mountainous region of Evrytania and won the election.
When her father was elected Prime Minister the following year, she served first as an undersecretary of the state and then as Minister of Culture. She was re-elected three times as deputy from Evrytania and later shifted to a district in central Athens, where she was elected by a sweeping margin.
When New Democracy lost power in 1993 and her father gave up leadership of the Party, she ran for a seat in its central committee and won. In 2000 she was appointed as shadow foreign and defense minister by the new leader of her party, Kostas Karamanlis.
During her years in Parliament, she became a leading advocate of strong anti-terrorist legislation. In 2000 a bill was finally passed aimed at strengthening the fight against Greek terrorists, especially November 17, which had assassinated 23 persons, including her husband and five Americans. Last June, the investigation against November 17 intensified and a series of arrests began that have so far netted 17 individuals, most of whom have acknowledge being members of the terrorist group. Among then are three men who said they participated in the murder of Pavlos Bakoyannis.
Last summer when Mr. Karamanlis was looking for a way to demonstrate his party's growing strength against the ruling Socialist Party in upcoming local elections, he picked Dora Bakoyannis to go after the biggest prize - Athens. She led a large field of candidates in the first round of the elections on October 13 by a wide margin and then trounced her Socialist opponent in the runoff a week later by the biggest majority in her party's history.
Mrs. Bakoyannis studied political science and public law at the University of Athens and politics and communication in Munich, Germany. She is fluent in English, French and German.
In 1998 she married for the second time to Greek businessman Isidoros Kouvelos.
Bank of Cyprus
JP Morgan Treasury Services
The Annapolis Group Ltd.
Aegean Corporate Realty Partners
Alexander S. Onassis Foundation (USA)
American Hellenic Institute
Baker & Hostetler LLP
Det Norske Veritas
Dino Mavros Co., Inc.
Holland & Knight LLP
Interbank of New York
John S. Latsis (USA) Inc.
Kallimopoulos, Loukopoulos, Chiotellis Law Firm
Marathon National Bank of NY
Polaris Marine Agency Inc.
Royal Olympic Cruises