Non-governmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, or nongovernment organizations referred to as NGOs, are non-profit and sometimes international organizations independent of governments and international governmental organizations that are active in humanitarian, health care, public policy, human rights and other areas to effect changes according to their objectives. They are thus a subgroup of all organizations founded by citizens, which include clubs and other associations that provide services and premises only to members. Sometimes the term is used as a synonym of "civil society organization" to refer to any association founded by citizens, but this is not how the term is used in the media or everyday language, as recorded by major dictionaries; the explanation of the term by NGO.org is ambivalent. It first says an NGO is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group, organized on a local, national or international level, but goes on to restrict the meaning in the sense used by most English speakers and the media: Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.
NGOs are funded by donations, but some avoid formal funding altogether and are run by volunteers. NGOs are diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, take different forms in different parts of the world; some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes. Others may be fronts for religious, or other interests. Since the end of World War II, NGOs have had an increasing role in international development in the fields of humanitarian assistance and poverty alleviation; the number of NGOs worldwide is estimated to be 10 million. Russia had about 277,000 NGOs in 2008. India is estimated to have had around 2 million NGOs in 2009, just over one NGO per 600 Indians, many times the number of primary schools and primary health centres in India. China is estimated to have 440,000 registered NGOs. About 1.5 million domestic and foreign NGOs operated in the United States in 2017. The term'NGO' is not always used consistently.
In some countries the term NGO is applied to an organization that in another country would be called an NPO, vice versa. Political parties and trade unions are considered NGOs only in some countries. There are many different classifications of NGO in use; the most common focus is on "orientation" and "level of operation". An NGO's orientation refers to the type of activities; these activities might include human rights, improving health, or development work. An NGO's level of operation indicates the scale at which an organization works, such as local, national, or international; the term "non-governmental organization" was first coined in 1945, when the United Nations was created. The UN, itself an intergovernmental organization, made it possible for certain approved specialized international non-state agencies — i.e. non-governmental organizations — to be awarded observer status at its assemblies and some of its meetings. The term became used more widely. Today, according to the UN, any kind of private organization, independent from government control can be termed an "NGO", provided it is not-for-profit, non-prevention, but not an opposition political party.
One characteristic these diverse organizations share is that their non-profit status means they are not hindered by short-term financial objectives. Accordingly, they are able to devote themselves to issues which occur across longer time horizons, such as climate change, malaria prevention, or a global ban on landmines. Public surveys reveal that NGOs enjoy a high degree of public trust, which can make them a useful - but not always sufficient - proxy for the concerns of society and stakeholders. NGO/GRO types can be understood by their level of how they operate. Charitable orientation involves a top-down effort with little participation or input by beneficiaries, it includes NGOs with activities directed toward meeting the needs of the disadvantaged people groups. Service orientation includes NGOs with activities such as the provision of health, family planning or education services in which the programme is designed by the NGO and people are expected to participate in its implementation and in receiving the service.
Participatory orientation is characterized by self-help projects where local people are involved in the implementation of a project by contributing cash, land, labour etc. In the classical community development project, participation begins with the need definition and continues into the planning and implementation stages. Empowering orientation aims to help poor people develop a clearer understanding of the social and economic factors affecting their lives, to strengthen their awareness of their own potential power to control their lives. There is maximum involvement of the beneficiaries with NGOs acting as facilitators. Community-based organizations arise out of people's own initiatives, they can be responsible for raising the consciousness of the urban poor, helping them to understand their rights in accessing needed services, providing such services. City-wide organizations include organizations such as chambers of commerce and industry, coaliti
Time is an American weekly news magazine and news website published in New York City. It was founded in 1923 and run by Henry Luce. A European edition is published in London and covers the Middle East, and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong; the South Pacific edition, which covers Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, is based in Sydney. In December 2008, Time discontinued publishing a Canadian advertiser edition. Time has the world's largest circulation for a weekly news magazine; the print edition has a readership of 26 million. In mid-2012, its circulation was over three million, which had lowered to two million by late 2017. Richard Stengel was the managing editor from May 2006 to October 2013, when he joined the U. S. State Department. Nancy Gibbs was the managing editor from September 2013 until September 2017, she was succeeded by Edward Felsenthal, Time's digital editor. Time magazine was created in 1923 by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce, making it the first weekly news magazine in the United States.
The two had worked together as chairman and managing editor of the Yale Daily News. They first called the proposed magazine Facts, they wanted to emphasize brevity. They changed the name to Time and used the slogan "Take Time–It's Brief". Hadden was liked to tease Luce, he saw Time as important, but fun, which accounted for its heavy coverage of celebrities, the entertainment industry, pop culture—criticized as too light for serious news. It set out to tell the news through people, for many decades, the magazine's cover depicted a single person. More Time has incorporated "People of the Year" issues which grew in popularity over the years. Notable mentions of them were Steve Jobs, etc.. The first issue of Time was published on March 3, 1923, featuring Joseph G. Cannon, the retired Speaker of the House of Representatives, on its cover. 1, including all of the articles and advertisements contained in the original, was included with copies of the February 28, 1938 issue as a commemoration of the magazine's 15th anniversary.
The cover price was 15¢ On Hadden's death in 1929, Luce became the dominant man at Time and a major figure in the history of 20th-century media. According to Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise 1972–2004 by Robert Elson, "Roy Edward Larsen was to play a role second only to Luce's in the development of Time Inc". In his book, The March of Time, 1935–1951, Raymond Fielding noted that Larsen was "originally circulation manager and general manager of Time publisher of Life, for many years president of Time Inc. and in the long history of the corporation the most influential and important figure after Luce". Around the time they were raising $100,000 from wealthy Yale alumni such as Henry P. Davison, partner of J. P. Morgan & Co. publicity man Martin Egan and J. P. Morgan & Co. banker Dwight Morrow, Henry Luce, Briton Hadden hired Larsen in 1922 – although Larsen was a Harvard graduate and Luce and Hadden were Yale graduates. After Hadden died in 1929, Larsen purchased 550 shares of Time Inc. using money he obtained from selling RKO stock which he had inherited from his father, the head of the Benjamin Franklin Keith theatre chain in New England.
However, after Briton Hadden's death, the largest Time, Inc. stockholder was Henry Luce, who ruled the media conglomerate in an autocratic fashion, "at his right hand was Larsen", Time's second-largest stockholder, according to Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise 1923–1941. In 1929, Roy Larsen was named a Time Inc. director and vice president. J. P. Morgan retained a certain control through two directorates and a share of stocks, both over Time and Fortune. Other shareholders were the New York Trust Company; the Time Inc. stock owned by Luce at the time of his death was worth about $109 million, it had been yielding him a yearly dividend of more than $2.4 million, according to Curtis Prendergast's The World of Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Changing Enterprise 1957–1983. The Larsen family's Time stock was worth around $80 million during the 1960s, Roy Larsen was both a Time Inc. director and the chairman of its executive committee serving as Time's vice chairman of the board until the middle of 1979.
According to the September 10, 1979, issue of The New York Times, "Mr. Larsen was the only employee in the company's history given an exemption from its policy of mandatory retirement at age 65." After Time magazine began publishing its weekly issues in March 1923, Roy Larsen was able to increase its circulation by using U. S. radio and movie theaters around the world. It promoted both Time magazine and U. S. political and corporate interests. According to The March of Time, as early as 1924, Larsen had brought Time into the infant radio business with the broadcast of a 15-minute sustaining quiz show entitled Pop Question which survived until 1925". In 1928, Larsen "undertook the weekly broadcast of a 10-minute programme series of brief news summaries, drawn from current issues of Time magazine, broadcast over 33 stations throughout the United States". Larsen next arranged for a 30-minute radio program, The March of Time, to be broadcast over CBS, beginning on March 6, 1931; each week, the program presented a dramatisation of the week's news for its listeners, thus Time magazine itself was brought "to the attention of millions unaware
The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788; the Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, have only had common ownership since 1967. In 1959, the historian of journalism Allan Nevins analysed the importance of The Times in shaping the views of events of London's elite: For much more than a century The Times has been an integral and important part of the political structure of Great Britain, its news and its editorial comment have in general been coordinated, have at most times been handled with an earnest sense of responsibility. While the paper has admitted some trivia to its columns, its whole emphasis has been on important public affairs treated with an eye to the best interests of Britain.
To guide this treatment, the editors have for long periods been in close touch with 10 Downing Street. The Times is the first newspaper to have borne that name, lending it to numerous other papers around the world, such as The Times of India and The New York Times. In countries where these other titles are popular, the newspaper is referred to as The London Times or The Times of London, although the newspaper is of national scope and distribution; the Times is the originator of the used Times Roman typeface developed by Stanley Morison of The Times in collaboration with the Monotype Corporation for its legibility in low-tech printing. In November 2006 The Times began printing headlines in Times Modern; the Times was printed in broadsheet format for 219 years, but switched to compact size in 2004 in an attempt to appeal more to younger readers and commuters using public transport. The Sunday Times remains a broadsheet; the Times had an average daily circulation of 417,298 in January 2019. An American edition of The Times has been published since 6 June 2006.
It has been used by scholars and researchers because of its widespread availability in libraries and its detailed index. A complete historical file of the digitised paper, up to 2010, is online from Gale Cengage Learning; the Times was founded by publisher John Walter on 1 January 1785 as The Daily Universal Register, with Walter in the role of editor. Walter had lost his job by the end of 1784 after the insurance company where he worked went bankrupt due to losses from a Jamaican hurricane. Unemployed, Walter began a new business venture. Henry Johnson had invented the logography, a new typography, reputedly faster and more precise. Walter bought the logography's patent and with it opened a printing house to produce a daily advertising sheet; the first publication of the newspaper The Daily Universal Register in Great Britain was 1 January 1785. Unhappy because the word Universal was omitted from the name, Walter changed the title after 940 editions on 1 January 1788 to The Times. In 1803, Walter handed editorship to his son of the same name.
In spite of Walter Sr's sixteen-month stay in Newgate Prison for libel printed in The Times, his pioneering efforts to obtain Continental news from France, helped build the paper's reputation among policy makers and financiers. The Times used contributions from significant figures in the fields of politics, science and the arts to build its reputation. For much of its early life, the profits of The Times were large and the competition minimal, so it could pay far better than its rivals for information or writers. Beginning in 1814, the paper was printed on the new steam-driven cylinder press developed by Friedrich Koenig. In 1815, The Times had a circulation of 5,000. Thomas Barnes was appointed general editor in 1817. In the same year, the paper's printer James Lawson and passed the business onto his son John Joseph Lawson. Under the editorship of Barnes and his successor in 1841, John Thadeus Delane, the influence of The Times rose to great heights in politics and amongst the City of London.
Peter Fraser and Edward Sterling were two noted journalists, gained for The Times the pompous/satirical nickname'The Thunderer'. The increased circulation and influence of the paper was based in part to its early adoption of the steam-driven rotary printing press. Distribution via steam trains to growing concentrations of urban populations helped ensure the profitability of the paper and its growing influence; the Times was the first newspaper to send war correspondents to cover particular conflicts. W. H. Russell, the paper's correspondent with the army in the Crimean War, was immensely influential with his dispatches back to England. In other events of the nineteenth century, The Times opposed the repeal of the Corn Laws until the number of demonstrations convinced the editorial board otherwise, only reluctantly supported aid to victims of the Irish Potato Famine, it enthusiastically supported the Great Reform Bill of 1832, which reduced corruption and increased the electorate from 400,000 people to 800,000 people.
During the American Civil War, The Times represented the view of the wealthy classes, favouring the secessionists, but it was not a supporter of slavery. The third John Walter, the founder's grandson, succeeded his father in 1847; the paper continued as more or less independent, but from t
Chief executive officer
The chief executive officer or just chief executive, is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and some government organizations; the CEO of a corporation or company reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc. In the early 21st century, top executives had technical degrees in science, engineering or law; the responsibility of an organization's CEO are set by the organization's board of directors or other authority, depending on the organization's legal structure.
They can be far-reaching or quite limited and are enshrined in a formal delegation of authority. Responsibilities include being a decision maker on strategy and other key policy issues, leader and executor; the communicator role can involve speaking to the press and the rest of the outside world, as well as to the organization's management and employees. As a leader of the company, the CEO or MD advises the board of directors, motivates employees, drives change within the organization; as a manager, the CEO/MD presides over the organization's day-to-day operations. The term refers to the person who makes all the key decisions regarding the company, which includes all sectors and fields of the business, including operations, business development, human resources, etc; the CEO of a company is not the owner of the company. In some countries, there is a dual board system with two separate boards, one executive board for the day-to-day business and one supervisory board for control purposes. In these countries, the CEO presides over the executive board and the chairman presides over the supervisory board, these two roles will always be held by different people.
This ensures a distinction between management by the executive board and governance by the supervisory board. This allows for clear lines of authority; the aim is to prevent a conflict of interest and too much power being concentrated in the hands of one person. In the United States, the board of directors is equivalent to the supervisory board, while the executive board may be known as the executive committee. In the United States, in business, the executive officers are the top officers of a corporation, the chief executive officer being the best-known type; the definition varies. In the case of a sole proprietorship, an executive officer is the sole proprietor. In the case of a partnership, an executive officer is a managing partner, senior partner, or administrative partner. In the case of a limited liability company, executive officer is any manager, or officer. A CEO has several subordinate executives, each of whom has specific functional responsibilities referred to as senior executives, executive officers or corporate officers.
Subordinate executives are given different titles in different organizations, but one common category of subordinate executive, if the CEO is the president, is the vice-president. An organization may have more than one vice-president, each tasked with a different area of responsibility; some organizations have subordinate executive officers who have the word chief in their job title, such as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief technology officer. The public relations-focused position of chief reputation officer is sometimes included as one such subordinate executive officer, but, as suggested by Anthony Johndrow, CEO of Reputation Economy Advisors, it can be seen as "simply another way to add emphasis to the role of a modern-day CEO – where they are both the external face of, the driving force behind, an organisation culture". In the US, the term chief executive officer is used in business, whereas the term executive director is used in the not-for-profit sector; these terms are mutually exclusive and refer to distinct legal duties and responsibilities.
Implicit in the use of these titles, is that the public not be misled and the general standard regarding their use be applied. In the UK, chief executive and chief executive officer are used in both business and the charitable sector; as of 2013, the use of the term director for senior charity staff is deprecated to avoid confusion with the legal duties and responsibilities associated with being a charity director or trustee, which are non-executive roles. In the United Kingdom, the term director is used instead of chief officer". Business publicists since the days of Edward Bernays and his client John D. Rockefeller and more the corporate publicists for Henry Ford, promoted the concept of the "celebrity CEO". Business journalists have adopted this approach, which assumes that the corporate achievements in the arena of manufacturing, wer
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures some governments, policy makers and human rights abusers to denounce abuse and respect human rights, the group works on behalf of refugees, children and political prisoners. Human Rights Watch in 1997 shared in the Nobel Peace Prize as a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, it played a leading role in the 2008 treaty banning cluster munitions; the organization's annual expenses totaled $50.6 million in 2011 and $69.2 million in 2014, $75.5 million in 2017. Human Rights Watch was co-founded by Robert L. Bernstein and Aryeh Neier as a private American NGO in 1978, under the name Helsinki Watch, to monitor the then-Soviet Union's compliance with the Helsinki Accords. Helsinki Watch adopted a practice of publicly "naming and shaming" abusive governments through media coverage and through direct exchanges with policymakers.
By shining the international spotlight on human rights violations in the Soviet Union and its European partners, Helsinki Watch says it contributed to the democratic transformations of the region in the late 1980s. Americas Watch was founded in 1981. Relying on extensive on-the-ground fact-finding, Americas Watch not only addressed perceived abuses by government forces but applied international humanitarian law to investigate and expose war crimes by rebel groups. In addition to raising its concerns in the affected countries, Americas Watch examined the role played by foreign governments the United States government, in providing military and political support to abusive regimes. Asia Watch, Africa Watch, Middle East Watch were added to what was known as "The Watch Committees". In 1988, all of these committees were united under one umbrella to form Human Rights Watch. Pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Watch opposes violations of what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR.
This includes capital discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. HRW advocates freedoms in connection with fundamental human rights, such as freedom of religion and freedom of the press. HRW seeks to achieve change by publicly pressuring governments and their policy makers to curb human rights abuses, by convincing more powerful governments to use their influence on governments that violate human rights. Human Rights Watch publishes research reports on violations of international human rights norms as set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it perceives to be other internationally accepted, human-rights norms; these reports are used as the basis for drawing international attention to abuses and pressuring governments and international organizations to reform. Researchers conduct fact-finding missions to investigate suspect situations using diplomacy, staying in touch with victims, making files about public and individuals, providing required security for them in critical situations and in a proper time generate coverage in local and international media.
Issues raised by Human Rights Watch in its reports include social and gender discrimination, military use of children, political corruption, abuses in criminal justice systems, the legalization of abortion. HRW has documented and reported various violations of the laws of war and international humanitarian law. Human Rights Watch supports writers worldwide, who are being persecuted for their work and are in need of financial assistance; the Hellman/Hammett grants are financed by the estate of the playwright Lillian Hellman in funds set up in her name and that of her long-time companion, the novelist Dashiell Hammett. In addition to providing financial assistance, the Hellman/Hammett grants help raise international awareness of activists who are being silenced for speaking out in defense of human rights; each year, Human Rights Watch presents the Human Rights Defenders Award to activists around the world who demonstrate leadership and courage in defending human rights. The award winners work with HRW in investigating and exposing human rights abuses.
Human Rights Watch was one of six international NGOs that founded the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers in 1998. It is the co-chair of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a global coalition of civil society groups that lobbied to introduce the Ottawa Treaty, a treaty that prohibits the use of anti-personnel landmines. Human Rights Watch is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of non-governmental organizations that monitor censorship worldwide, it co-founded the Cluster Munition Coalition, which brought about an international convention banning the weapons. HRW employs more than 275 staff—country experts, lawyers and academics – and operates in more than 90 countries around the world. Headquartered in New York City, it has offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Nairobi, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, Washington, D. C. and Zürich. HRW maintains direct access to the majority of countries. Cuba, North Korea, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela are among the handful of countries that have blocked access for HRW staff members.
The current executive director of HRW is Kenneth Roth, who has held the position since 1993. Roth conducted investigations on abuses in Poland after martial law was declared 1981, he focused on Haiti, which had just emerged from the Duvalier dictatorship but continued to be plagued wi
Mark Malloch Brown, Baron Malloch-Brown
George Mark Malloch Brown, Baron Malloch-Brown, is a former UK government minister and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, as well as development specialist at the World Bank and United Nations, a communications consultant and journalist. He was Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Labour party government with responsibility for Africa and the United Nations. Following his appointment to government, Malloch Brown was created a life peer on 9 July 2007 as Baron Malloch-Brown, of St Leonard's Forest in the County of West Sussex. Malloch Brown was at the World Bank, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, he had worked at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He is a former journalist for The Economist, development specialist, communications consultant, he has served as Chair of the Royal African Society, among other non-governmental and private sector roles, such as membership of the Executive Committee of the International Crisis Group.
Malloch Brown was born to an exiled South African diplomat. He was educated at Marlborough College, earned a First Class Honours Degree in History from Magdalene College, Cambridge and a master's degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan, he has four children with his wife. He was the political correspondent at The Economist between 1977 and 1979. Following this he worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1979 to 1983, where he worked for Kofi Annan, was stationed in Thailand where he was in charge of field operations for Cambodian refugees and supervised the construction of camps at Sa Kaeo and Khao-I-Dang. In this period the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded the 1981 Nobel Peace Prize, the second time it had been awarded the prize. Malloch Brown contemplated running for the SDP in the 1983 UK general election but was not selected as a candidate. In 1983, Malloch Brown returned to The Economist as the founding editor of the Economist Development Report, a position he retained until 1986.
Malloch Brown was the lead international partner at the US-based Sawyer-Miller Group communications consultancy from 1986 to 1994. The Group was among the first communication consultants to use US-style election campaign methods for foreign governments and public policy debates. Malloch Brown "worked extensively on privatisation and other economic reform issues with leaders in Eastern Europe and Russia". Malloch Brown focused much of his public relations energies on advising politicians in Latin America, he advised Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada's 1989 presidential campaign in Bolivia. In Peru, he assisted Mario Vargas Llosa with his 1990 presidential campaign, though Vargas Llosa did not heed his advice and lost to Alberto Fujimori despite having an initial lead in polls. In Chile, Malloch Brown advised the opposition in its successful challenge to former dictator Augusto Pinochet. In Colombia, he advised the government on how to shed "its image as the political wing of the Medellin cartel" In the Philippines, Malloch Brown worked with Corazon Aquino in the campaign against the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.
On election day, Malloch Brown wrote Aquino's victory speech which she recited days before voting results were to be released since her campaign assumed that Marcos claim victory as well. He stated that an "outstanding accomplishment during the Cory campaign was to produce an exit poll that indicated that she had won" since other polls released showed that Aquino had been less popular than Marcos. Since it has been reported that Malloch Brown has formed a close relationship with the Aquino family and Corazon's son Benigno Aquino III. In 1994, Malloch Brown joined the World Bank as Vice-President for External Affairs, which included responsibility for relations with the United Nations, he used his experience to good effect at the bank, helping to transform its reputation: "under his guidance, the bank blitzed opinion-makers with full-page newspaper advertisements and a television campaign to change perceptions of it as an arrogant institution unwilling to heed outsiders. To his credit, the institution gained a reputation as a'listening bank', unlike its more aloof sister institution, the International Monetary Fund."
Malloch Brown moved back to the United Nations as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in July 1999, remaining in this position until August 2005. He led the UN's creation of the Millennium Development Goals which were adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in December 2000 recounting that the draft had gone to the printers without an environmental goal when Malloch Brown passed the head of the UN environment programme in a corridor, leading to the rapid addition of MDG number 7. In late 2002, Malloch Brown offered to assist talks between Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian government and the opposition, seeking to begin the process of attempting to recall Chávez a year later, his UNDP observers were chosen by Venezuela's National Electoral Council to supervise the signature collection for the 2004 Venezuela recall. In this role Malloch Brown co-ordinated the UN's response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Internally at UNDP, facing increased competition from the World Bank in its areas of responsibility such as capacity building and emergency recovery, he tried to re orient UNDP's activities, be
Thein Sein is a Burmese politician and retired general in the Myanmar Army who served as the 8th President of Myanmar from 2011 to 2016. He served as Prime Minister from 2007 to 2011, is considered by many in and outside Myanmar as a moderate and reformist in the post-junta government, his government undertook a series of political reforms including some deregulation of the country's censored media, releasing many political prisoners and halting the country's controversial large Chinese-led hydro-power project. The developments that followed included Myanmar's appointment to chair ASEAN in 2014, improved relations with the US, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi – his 2015 general election rival – from house arrest, the reinstatement of major opposition party National League for Democracy in the by-election held on 1 April 2012. Thein Sein was born in Kyonku, British Burma, a small Irrawaddy delta village near Hainggyi Island in what is now Ngapudaw Township to Maung Phyo and Khin Nyunt, he was the youngest of three children.
His parents were landless farmers, his father made a living carrying cargo at the river jetty and weaving bamboo mats. Thein Sein's father Maung Phyo became a Buddhist monk 10 years after his wife's death, spent his remaining years as a monk. Thein Sein graduated from the 9th intake of the Defence Services Academy with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968, becoming a second lieutenant afterward. Throughout Thein Sein's four-decade long military career, he was considered a bureaucrat, not a combat soldier. In 1988, he served as a major for Sagaing Division's 55th Light Infantry Division and served as a commander for Sagaing Division's 89th Infantry Battalion in Kalay Township; the following year, he studied at the General Staff College in Kalaw, Shan State. By 1991, he had returned to Yangon, after being promoted to the rank of colonel and 1st Grade General Staff Officer in the War Office, he was promoted to brigadier general, but remained at his position in the War Office, which marked the first time a brigadier general was promoted to General Staff Officer.
In 1995, he was recruited as the commander of Yangon Division's Military Operations Command 4 in Hmawbi. A year in 1996, he was appointed to lead the new Triangle Regional Military Command in Kyaingtong, Shan State, serving this role for four years. In 1997, he became a member of the State Peace and Development Council and was appointed as Secretary-2 in 2003, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general that year. After Khin Nyunt was deposed and Soe Win became Prime Minister in 2004, he was promoted to Secretary-1 and promoted to General in late 2004. Thein Sein was appointed in April 2007 by the nation's ruling military junta as interim prime minister, replacing Soe Win, undergoing medical treatment for leukaemia, he was formally appointed as Soe Win's permanent successor on 24 October 2007 after Soe Win's death on 12 October 2007. He held the position of first secretary in the ruling State Development Council junta, he was the country's fourth-highest ranking general, served as the chairman of the government-sponsored National Convention Convening Commission.
Thein Sein carried out high-level negotiations with Cambodia. In 2007, sometime after his official appointment as prime minister, he was promoted to the rank of general from lieutenant general. On his first official visit outside Myanmar as prime minister, Thein Sein carried out high-level negotiations with Laos and Cambodia. In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, he led the National Disaster Preparedness Central Committee as chairman and was criticised for the government's systematic blocking of relief efforts. On 29 April 2010, he retired from the military, along with 22 other military officials, to lead the Union Solidarity and Development Party as a civilian. During the 2010 general election, he was head of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, which contested in a controversial election and won the overwhelming majority of seats in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. Thein Sein ran against National Unity Party candidate Kyaw Aye during the election, contesting a Pyithu Hluttaw seat to represent the constituents of Naypyidaw Union Territory's Zabuthiri Township.
He purportedly won 91.2% of the votes. On 4 February 2011, he was elected by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw's Presidential Electoral College as the next President of Myanmar, becoming the country's first non-interim civilian president in 49 years. Tin Aung Myint Oo and Sai Mauk Kham were named as the new vice-presidents, he was sworn in on 30 March 2011 alongside the newly elected parliament. In the first month of his presidency, he sought the support of ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan to support Myanmar's bid to chair the ASEAN Summit in 2014; as of July 2011, the government has formed a planning committee led by foreign affairs minister Wunna Maung Lwin. In his presidency, Myanmar took the ASEAN chairmanship in 2014. ASEAN summit was held in Naypyidaw in the same year; some have considered Thein Sein as a moderate because he was willing to engage with Aung San Suu Kyi. On 17 August 2011, he was quoted by the state newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar as saying: Various news sources interpreted his suggestion as an invitation for overseas Burmese citizens to return to their country of origin and help rebuild the Burmese economy.
In 2012, Thein Sein proposed that the minority Rohingya ethnic group, which had lived in Burma for hundreds of years, be "resettled" abroad, a proposal the United Nations was quick to object to. Thein Sein has supported domestic policies that label