Sandra Roelofs

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Sandra Roelofs
Born Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs
(1968-12-23) 23 December 1968 (age 45)
Terneuzen, Netherlands
Residence Tblisi, Georgia
Term 25 January 2004 - 25 November 2007, 20 January 2008 – 17 November 2013
Spouse(s) Mikheil Saakashvili
Children Eduard Saakashvili
Nikoloz Saakashvili

Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs Saakashvili (born 23 December 1968) is a Dutch linguist and the First Lady of Georgia from 2004 to 2013, when her husband Mikheil Saakashvili assumed the presidency.

Biography[edit]

Sandra E. Roelofs was born in Terneuzen, Netherlands. She graduated from the Institute of Foreign Languages in Brussels and the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg. She met Mikheil Saakashvili in 1993 while attending a course on human rights in Strasbourg and later that year moved to New York where she worked at Columbia University and a Dutch law firm. In 1996 the couple came to Georgia, where Roelofs worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tbilisi.

From 1999 to 2003, Sandra E. Roelofs was a visiting lecturer at Tbilisi State University, where she also worked on her doctoral thesis on linguistic aspects of French in Belgium. Beyond her native Dutch, Sandra E. Roelofs speaks French, English, German, Russian, and Georgian.

Roelofs acquired Georgian citizenship in January 2008 and is now a dual Dutch-Georgian citizen.

Roelofs and Saakashvili have two sons, Eduard and Nikoloz.

She is an author of an autobiographic book The Story of an Idealist (2005).

Charity work[edit]

In 1998 Roelofs founded charity foundation SOCO which has the primary focus of implementing the programs funded by western European and Georgian companies and individuals and is aimed at supporting low income families. Since setting new targets in 2007, SOCO has been actively taking care of reproductive health and child welfare in Georgia. In 2007 Mrs. Roelofs founded Radio Muza, the first Georgian radio dedicated solely to classical music.

References[edit]

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