Arturas Zuokas is a third term Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania. He is a widely known for his innovative and creative solutions to complex urban issues and has been highly successful in converting the post-Soviet physical landscape of Vilnius and its infrastructure to that of a cutting edge international leader. Vilnius was recently named by The New York Times as one of the best managed cities in the world and as an especially attractive city for young professionals.
After starting his career as a war correspondent for print as well as television media in the 1990’s in hot spots such as Iraq, Azerbaijan and the Middle East, he returned to Lithuania where he became a successful entrepreneur, opening the first McDonald’s restaurant in the region and subsequently went on to run a series of Benetton franchises. A self-made millionaire, Arturas Zuokas first entered the Lithuanian political arena in 1991 by successfully steering Valdas Adamkus’ Presidential campaign and went on to manage many other significant national political campaigns before running for office himself.
In between terms as Mayor of the capital city of Lithuania, Arturas Zuokas was elected to the Lithuanian Parliament. He has been the Chairman of both the Liberal Union and the Liberal Center Party of Lithuania. He was recently elected leader of “TAIP” , a national political party that places emphasis on grass roots initiatives and encourages active participation in the electoral process.
He is the recipient of numerous international and national awards for public service. France and Latvia have both recognized Arturas Zuokas for his contribution towards strengthening bilateral relations. In 2002, the Junior Chamber International named him “Outstanding Young Person in the World”. This nomination is given once in a year for ten people who achieved great results in economical, cultural, political, and social spheres.
National awards in Lithuania have noted his wide range of achievements not only in civic life, but also in the areas of culture and, in particular, for creating a business friendly environment for new investments and ventures.
Married to Agnė Zuokienė, has three children, daughters – Gabrielė (1993), Emilija (2005), son – Domantas 1995