Ruto Part of Exclusive Club of 8 World Leaders With PhDs

Earning a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a significant academic achievement that requires years of studying and taking numerous tests. 

This accomplishment becomes even more remarkable when earned by a politician considering the demanding schedules that elected leaders often maintain. 

With this in mind, has compiled a list of eight world leaders who currently hold PhDs, along with their respective fields of study. 

Notably, President William Ruto stands as the only leader within the East African Community (EAC) to have a Ph.D.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the 13th regular session of the House of People’s Representatives held on June 14, 2022.


Prime Minister’s Office

The only leader in close proximity who has a PhD is Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Mohammed, whose country is not a member of the EAC. 

Rodrigo Chaves Robles 

Rodrigo Chaves Robles is currently serving as the President of Costa Rica, assuming office in 2022. 

He obtained all his academic qualifications from Ohio State University in the United States, holding a Bachelor of Science, a Master’s in Arts, and a PhD, all in Agricultural Economics.

Abiy Mohammed 

Abiy Mohammed, the incumbent Prime Minister of Ethiopia since 2018, possesses a first degree in Computer Engineering. 

He is respected among world leaders for his extensive education, boasting two Master’s degrees in Transformational Leadership and Business Administration. 

Additionally, he holds a PhD in Transformational Leadership from the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University. 

Notably, his PhD thesis was titled “Social Capital and its Role in Traditional Conflict Resolution in Ethiopia: The Case of Inter-Religious Conflict in Jimma Zone State.”

Lazarus Chakwera

Chakwera is a theologian by profession and won the Malawi presidency in 2020. 

He started his higher education in Malawi where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) Degree from the University of Malawi. 

He proceeded to South Africa for his master’s in Theology before moving to the United States at The Trinity International University where he graduated with a PhD in Ministry. 

William Ruto 

President William Ruto holds a PhD in Plant Ecology from the University of Nairobi. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Zoology, as well as a Master of Science in Plant Ecology, all earned from the University of Nairobi. 

In October 2018, President Ruto successfully defended his thesis, titled “Influence of Anthropogenic Activities on Land Use/Cover Changes and Environmental Quality of Saiwa Wetland Watershed, Western Kenya.” 

He has also contributed to academia with a research paper titled “Plant Species Diversity and Composition of Two Wetlands in the Nairobi National Park, Kenya.”

Dritan Abazovic 

Dritan Abazovic, the Prime Minister of Montenegro since 2022, holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Montenegro Faculty of Political Sciences. 

Additionally, he pursued a similar field at the doctoral level, completing his dissertation at the University of Sarajevo. His doctoral thesis is titled “Global Politics—Ethical Aspects of Globalization.”

Pedro Sanchez

Pedro Sanchez, the current Prime Minister of Spain, holds a PhD in Business Leadership. 

His doctoral thesis faced allegations of plagiarism, prompting the Spanish government to publish it in 2018 to address these accusations.

Keith Rowley

Keith Rowley, the seventh Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was first elected in 2015. 

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology with First Class Honors from the University of West Indies. 

Additionally, he possesses an MSc in Volcanic Stratigraphy and a PhD in Geology with a specialisation in Geochemistry.

Serdar Berdimuhamedow

Serdar Berdimuhamedow took office as the leader of Turkmenistan in March 2022, following his years of service in his father Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow’s government. 

He earned a master’s degree in 2014 and a doctorate degree in 2015 in the field of Technical Sciences.

The 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Heads of State held at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 18, 2023.


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