John Evans Fifii Atta Mills (born 21 July 1944) is the current President of Ghana. He was inaugurated on 7 January 2009, having defeated the ruling party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo by 50.23%–49.77% in the 2008 election. He was Vice President from 1997 to 2001 under President Jerry Rawlings, and he stood unsuccessfully in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections as the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Mills is a Fanti from Ekumfi Otuam in the Central Region of Ghana but was born in Tarkwa, located in the Western Region of Ghana. He was educated at Achimota School, where he completed the Advanced Level Certificate in 1963, and the University of Ghana, Legon, where he received a bachelor's degree and professional certificate in law in 1967. Mills' life, which was largely spent with spells both in Ghana & internationally as an academic. In 1968, he studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. So began the pattern of the next twenty years of Mills' life, which was largely spent with spells both in Ghana & internationally as an academic. In Mills earned a Ph.D in Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London after completing his doctoral thesis in the area of taxation and economic development.
Mills' first formal teaching assignment was as a lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, Legon. He spent close to twenty five years teaching at Legon and other institutions of higher learning, and rose in position from lecturer to senior lecturer to associate professor, and served on numerous boards and committees. Additionally, he traveled worldwide as a visiting lecturer and professor at educational institutions such as the LSE, and presented research papers at symposiums and conferences In 1971, he was selected for the Fulbright Scholar Program at Stanford Law School in the United States Of America. At age 27, he was awarded his PhD after successfully defending his doctoral thesis in the area of taxation and economic development. He returned to Ghana that year, becoming a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana. He became a visiting professor of Temple Law School (Philadelphia, USA), with two stints from 1978 to 1979, and 1986 to 1987, and was a visiting professor at Leiden University (Holland) from 1985 to 1986. During this period, he authored several publications relating to taxation during the 1970s & 1980s. Outside of his academic pursuits, Professor Mills was the Acting Commissioner of Ghana's Internal Revenue Service from 1986 to 1993, and the substantive Commissioner from 1993 to 1996.By 1992, he had become an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ghana. Mills was also a Fulbright scholar at Stanford Law School.