John Evans Atta Mills ’71 has long been referred to as “The Prof” by his students, colleagues, and friends. Now, the Fulbright Scholar, teacher, and tax expert will be referred to by a more formal title: Mr. President. Mills was sworn in as the fifth democratically elected president of Ghana in January after emerging victorious from a very close race. His narrow win came after initially losing the race. But when none of the contestants earned the 50 percent of the vote required to seal the bid, a run-off election was held in December 2008 with Mills winning by a small margin. Then the results of the run-off were hotly contested, which prompted a revote in early January that ultimately decided the election in Mills’s favor. A swift and peaceful resolution to the controversy surrounding the election results spurred pundits to categorize the race as a substantial boon for the fledgling democracy, which didn’t select its own leader until 1992. Many hope it will help spread democracy throughout other parts of Africa. And many hope too that Mills will repair the country’s ailing economy and devauled currency.  “Over the last few months, the cedi has lost substantial value with respect to the U.S> dollar attributable to the delayed effect of excessive spending and trade imbalances that we have experienced in 2006,” Mills told the Ghanaian Chronicle in a recent interview. “We intend to build on the multi-sectoral strategic framework for the development of the private sector which should provide the vehicle for driving and delivering the changes so urgently required in making Ghana’s private sector locally and globally competitive.” Described as a social democrat, Mills campaigned on a platform of social welfare and public interest. A candidate of the National Democratic Congress party, he made two previous unsuccessful runs for the presidency of the African nation in 2000 and 2004. Mills came to Stanford Law School as a Fulbright Scholar. A highly regarded professor at the University of Ghana’s law school, he spent nearly 25 years as an educator before breaking into politics in 1992 with an appointment as Ghana’s national tax commissioner. He was named the country’s vice president in 1997 under then-president Jerry Rawlings. Prior to attending Stanford Law School, Mills earned a bachelor’s degree and a professional certificate in law from the University of Ghana. He also holds a PhD in law from the Oriental and African Studies Institute in London.”