Frederik de Klerk is best known for the role he played in transforming South Africa into a non-racial democracy. In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Nelson Mandela.
Frederik de Klerk graduated with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees from the Potchefstroom University for Higher Christian Education, where he was active in student affairs. After eleven years of practicing law in Vereeniging (South Africa) he won the local seat in Parliament for the then-ruling National Party in 1972, and in 1978 he was appointed to the South African Cabinet.
From 1982 to 1989, de Klerk served as leader of the National Party in the Transvaal, the most populous of South Africa's four provinces. He also served as chairman of the Ministers' Council and later as Leader of the House of Assembly. In February 1989 he was elected as his party's national leader, and seven months later - after President P.W. Botha resigned - he was unanimously elected President of South Africa.
De Klerk made fundamental changes to the South African political processes and accelerated the elimination of apartheid. He also introduced a set of initiatives that led directly to South Africa's first-ever universal-franchise election in April 1994. He was widely praised for his efforts to keep South Africa on the negotiation path during its transition into a non-racial democracy, and for the serene self-confidence he displayed during the transition.
An engaging and insightful speaker, de Klerk is in great demand by audiences eager to benefit from his experiences as the key player in the transformation of the South African political landscape. He shows audiences the importance of a strong leadership. Decision makers from all fields will benefit from his deep political insights and wealth of experience as a world leader.