Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhamedow (Russian transliteration: Курбанкули (or Гурбангулы) Мяликгулыевич Бердымухаммедов, born June 29, 1957) has been the President of Turkmenistan since December 21, 2006, when he became acting president following the death of Saparmurat Niyazov, and the imprisonment of his constitutionally appointed successor, Öwezgeldi Ataýew. Berdimuhamedow and the Halk Maslahaty announced on December 26 that the next presidential elections would be held on February 11, 2007. On February 14, 2007, Berdimuhamedow was named the winner of the presidential election held three days earlier, and immediately sworn into office.
Berdimuhamedow was born on June 29, 1957 in Babarab in what is now the Geok Tepe etrap ("district") of Ahal province. He graduated from the Turkmen State Medical Institute in 1979 and entered a career in dentistry. He also received a PhD in medical sciences in Moscow. By 1992 he had become part of the dentistry faculty at the Medical Institute.
In an interview when asked about his life experience Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said: