Born on November 20, 1957 in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Goodluck Jonathan began his primary education at St Stephen’s Primary School (now State School, Otuoke) and later moved to St Michael’s Primary School, Oloibiri, where he completed his elementary education in 1969, at the age of 12.
He proceeded to Mater Dei High School, Imiringi for his secondary education and passed out in 1975 with distinctions.
Before securing admission into the university, Jonathan worked as a Preventive Officer with the Department of Customs and Excise for two years
In 1977, he secured admission into the Department of Zoology, University of Port Harcourt. He was one of the pioneer students of the university.
He graduated with a B.Sc. in Zoology in 1981, an M.S. in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology (1985), and a Ph.D. in Zoology (1995).
While pursuing his doctorate, he taught at Rivers State College of Education from 1983 until 1993. He then served as an assistant director at the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, a now defunct government agency, from 1993 until 1998.
Jonathan Goodluck’s political career began when he became involved with the nascent People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the late 1990s. He was elected deputy governor of Bayelsa state in 1999 under the party’s banner. He served in the position until year 2005, when he was elevated to the governorship after the incumbent, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was charged with corruption and was impeached.
In 2007 he was selected as the vice presidential running mate of the PDP’s presidential candidate, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He and Yar’Adua were elected in April and inaugurated in May 2007.
He was sworn in as the President on 6 May 2010 following the death of Yar’ Adua on May 5.
He contested the 2011 presidential election and defeated General Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Chang (CPC) and Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with 59% of the votes.
His dedication to service earned him the Best Performing Deputy Governor Award, as well as the Honourary Award for Democracy and Good Governance.
Given his contributions to Environmental Management, he was decorated with the prestigious Honourary Fellowship of the Nigerian Environmental Society.
A member of various professional associations around the world, he remains a Fellow of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria, FISON, Fellow of the Public Administrators of Nigeria, Fellow, International Association of Impact Assessment, IAIA, and Fellow, Institute of Corporate Affairs Management. He is also a member, Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, and Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International.