Herman Achille Van Rompuy (pronounced ( listen); born 31 October 1947) is the first long term and full time President of the European Council (until the Treaty of Lisbon, the position had rotated among the Prime Ministers of the Member States for six months each, since then they choose a President of their meetings for a 2½ year period, renewable once). A Belgian politician of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party, he served as the 49th Prime Minister of Belgium from 30 December 2008 until his predecessor (Yves Leterme) succeeded him on 25 November 2009. He has the Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold.
On 19 November 2009 Van Rompuy was elected by the members of the European Council as the first full time President of the European Council under the Treaty of Lisbon. He was appointed to chair the institution for the period starting from 1 December 2009 until 31 May 2012, though he only took up his position officially on the first of January 2010.
Born in Etterbeek, Brussels to the later Prof. em. dr. Vic Van Rompuy and Germaine Geens, he attended Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege in Brussels (until 1965), where Ancient Greek and Latin were his main subjects. During his early teens, he was an avid rock and roll fan, especially of US singer Elvis Presley whose music and personality influenced him tremendously. Later he studied at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and received a bachelor's degree in philosophy (1968) and a master's degree in applied economics (1971). He worked at the Belgian central bank from 1972 to 1975.