Jigme Thinley

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Bumthang, Bhutan
Birth Sign
Bumthang, Bhutan

The first prime minister of Bhutan to be chosen freely is Jigme Yoser Thinley. Between April 2008 and April 2013, he was the president. He held the position twice before Nepal’s democracy took hold: from August 30, 2003, to August 20, 2004, and from July 20, 1998, to July 9, 1999. Prior to entering politics, he spent more than three decades working for the Royal Government of Bhutan as a civil servant, holding a variety of top positions, including one in the “Department of Home Affairs.” He continued to be the Eastern Zone’s superintendent while also acting as the ministry of home affairs’ secretary. Before becoming the Lyonchen, he held a number of important political posts. His official title upon appointment was “Assistant Minister of Home Affairs,” and he later held the titles “Minister of Foreign Affairs” and “Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs.” He served as Bhutan’s “Permanent Representative” to the United Nations office in Geneva as well as other foreign organizations. In addition to receiving the Orange and Red scarves, he also received the moniker “Dasho.”

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Early Youth & Life

He was a member of a powerful family in Bhutan that had long been close to the king and queen and had supported the monarchy since its start. He was born on September 9, 1952, in the Chhokhor valley in the district of Bumthang.
When Bhutan’s third king chose to move the country’s capital from Punakha to Thimphu, his father moved to Thimphu to work for the Royal Secretariat.

Although he began his basic education in Bhutanese, he later switched to Hindi and English in Dechenchholing.

He attended “Dr. Graham’s Homes” in Kalimpong, India, where he received a government grant thanks to his father. Since his school days, he has shown excellent leading abilities. In his final year of school, he became the school’s captain and won the first poll for president of the youth club.

During his time in school, he also took part in athletics and other extracurricular activities. In his last year of school, he rose to the position of captain of his school’s sports team and won the “All Round Best Boy Award” at the Darjeeling District Interschool Games.

His standing as a talented student later led to his election to the school’s “Board of Management,” a post he held until his appointment as an ambassador to the “United Nations” in New York. He continued his education after high school at “St. Stephen’s College” in Delhi, India, where he graduated in 1974.

He was present at Jigme Singye’s coronation, which marked the beginning of his close relationship with “The Majesty,” which lasted throughout the fourth King’s reign in Bhutan. Thinley was appointed to the civil service at “His Majesty’s” request, specifically to manage palace matters.

Thinley traveled to the United States for additional education at His Majesty Jigme Singye’s suggestion and with funding from the Bhutanese government in early 1975. He attended Pennsylvania State University, where he earned an MA in Public Management as his postgraduate degree. He also completed coursework at Manchester University in England, where he earned a certificate in human resource administration.

Jigme Thinley’s Career

He began working for the Bhutanese government in 1976, and while his early years weren’t particularly successful, he quickly moved up the professional ladder in the 1980s. In February 1987, he received both the “Red Scarf” and the designation “Dasho.” In 1990, he was appointed governor of the Eastern Zone.

He received a promotion to minister in the “Ministry of Home Affairs” in 1992. He was then appointed “Assistant Minister of Home Affairs” in January 1994. The same year, he was awarded the “Orange Scarf,” and toward the end of the year, he was appointed Bhutan’s “Permanent Envoy” to the Geneva offices of the United Nations and other international organizations.

He was appointed Bhutan’s Prime Minister on July 20, 1998, during the pre-democratic era, and served in that capacity until July 9, 1999. The chairmanship of the council was based on an annual rotation, and the sequence of rotation was decided based on the total number of votes cast during the council election. He was Bhutan’s “Secretary of Foreign Affairs” from 1998 to 2003, and after that, “Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs.”

On June 2, 1999, the King of Bhutan bestowed upon him the title “Druk Thuksey,” which translates to “Son of the Heart of the Mighty Dragon.” He received this Royal Order of Bhutan in appreciation for his services to the nation’s growth.

Prior to Bhutan becoming democratic, he served as prime minister for a second one-year tenure from August 30, 2003, to August 20, 2004.

He was the leader of the “Druk Phuensum Tshogpa” party, which ultimately won 45 out of 47 seats in Bhutan’s “National Assembly” in the country’s first democratic election, held in March 2008. This cleared the way for him to be the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Bhutan, and on April 9 of that year, he assumed leadership. He served in that capacity until April 28, 2013.

He serves the Pemagatsel region of eastern Bhutan’s Nanong Shumar as a representative. He placed a strong emphasis on “Gross National Happiness,” and as a result, his government’s policies and programs, including those relating to agriculture, foreign trade, and transportation, were founded on this idea rather than just economic factors.

The policy of the Fourth King Jigme Singye, which focuses more on maximizing “Gross National Happiness” instead of “Gross National Product,” is strengthened by the motto, which was not to evaluate the programs by the economic benefits but rather by the happiness achieved. Additionally, his administration carried out Bhutan’s eleventh five-year plan.

On December 17, 2008, he received the “Druk Wangyal” medal, also known as the “Order of Great Victory of the Thunder Dragon,” which is one of the nation’s greatest civilian honors and is given in recognition of exceptional devotion, commitment, and loyalty.

In July 2009, Thinley joined the Netherlands Development Organization’s “International Advisory Council,” where he contributed his personal experiences to the group’s efforts to combat poverty and advance development.
On February 3, 2014, the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium awarded him an honors degree.

He has spoken before the “United Nations General assembly” several times. He has also attended numerous seminars, conferences, and gatherings. In his roles as Bhutan’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, he has delivered speeches at foreign gatherings such as “SAARC,” “Non-Aligned Movement,” and “BIMSTEC.”

Personal Influence & Life

He wed Rinsy Dem, and their son Palden Thinley is now a married man to a lady of Bhutan’s royal family.

Estimated Net Worth

Jigme Thinley is one of Bhutan’s most wealthy former prime ministers and among the country’s most well-liked. Jigme Thinley has a net worth of $5 million based on our study of data from sources like Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.