Theodor Paleologu

Theodor Paleologu (Romanian pronunciation: [teˈodor ˌpale.oˈloɡu]; born July 15, 1973) is a Romanian historian, diplomat and politician. An independent who was formerly a member of the National Liberal Party (PNL), the People's Movement Party (PMP) and the Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L), he was a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Bucharest from 2008 to 2016. Additionally, in the first Emil Boc cabinet (December 2008 to December 2009) he was Minister of Culture, Religious Affairs and Cultural Heritage.

Theodor Paleologu
Paleologu in 2014
Minister of Culture
In office
22 December 2008  23 December 2009
Prime MinisterEmil Boc
Preceded byAdrian Iorgulescu
Succeeded byHunor Kelemen
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
30 November 2008  20 December 2016
Ambassador of Romania to Denmark
In office
Personal details
Born (1973-07-15) July 15, 1973 (age 47)
Bucharest, Socialist Republic of Romania
CitizenshipRomanian, French[1]
Political partyNone
Other political
Democratic Party (until 2007)
Democratic Liberal Party (2007–2014)
People's Movement Party (2014–2015)
National Liberal Party (2015–2016)
Spouse(s)Sarah Nassif (divorced)

Early life

The son of Olimpia and Alexandru Paleologu, he was born in Bucharest and completed secondary studies at the city's German High School.[2] He then attended University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne from 1992 to 1998, where he obtained undergraduate and master's degrees in philosophy. He also attended the École normale supérieure from 1996 to 2001, and from 1998 to 2001, worked on a doctorate in political sciences at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He was a lecturer at Boston College from 1999 to 2000, a visiting professor at Deep Springs College in 2003, and a research fellow at the University of Notre Dame (2001–2002), New York University (2002), Harvard University (2002–2003) and the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin (2005). He was an external lecturer at the University of Copenhagen in 2007 and 2008, and since 2003 has been assistant professor and director of the summer university at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin. Between 2005 and 2008, he served as Romania's ambassador to Denmark and Iceland;[3] he resigned from the office in order to pursue his successful parliamentary campaign.[4]

Political activity

In the Chamber, he sat on the Arts, Culture and Mass Media Committee.[5] As minister, his top priority was the preservation of Romania's historic monuments.[6][7] His ministerial term ended when he was not reappointed to a new cabinet under Boc at the end of 2009.[8] At the 2012 local election, he ran for mayor of Bucharest's Sector 1, finishing second with 14.1% of the vote.[9] Running in the legislative election later that year, he placed second in his district, but won another term through the redistribution mechanism specified by the electoral law.[10] In February 2014, he followed Elena Udrea in resigning from the PD-L and joining the People's Movement Party (PMP).[11] A year later, he entered the National Liberal Party (PNL), proclaiming that the PMP had degenerated into a "total fiasco".[12] In June 2016, the PNL expelled him after he criticized the party leadership for its disrespect toward Save Bucharest Union leader Nicușor Dan.[13] Paleologu ran as an independent in the December election and won some 8,000 votes, well short of the approximately 25,000 needed to secure a seat.[14] He was the PMP candidate in the 2019 presidential election,[15] placing fifth with 5.7% of the vote.[16]

Presidential elections

Election Affiliation First round Second round
Votes Percentage Position Votes Percentage Position
2019 Independent
(supported by PMP)
 5th not qualified

Private life

Paleologu was married to Sarah Nassif, a French opera singer of Lebanese origin.[17] The two are divorced and have one son, Mihail.[6][18]

He wrote two books, one on Carl Schmitt (2004) and one on the year 2004 in Romanian politics (2005).[3] In 2013, he began holding private courses on the humanities and diplomacy in his family home.[19]


  2. (in Romanian) About Me, retrieved March 3, 2009
  3. (in Romanian) Profile at the Romanian Government site Archived 2014-02-26 at, retrieved March 3, 2009
  4. (in Romanian) "Theodor Paleologu - biografie" ("Theodor Paleologu - Biography"), Adevărul, 18 December 2008, retrieved March 3, 2009
  5. (in Romanian) Profile at the Romanian Chamber of Deputies site, retrieved March 3, 2009
  6. (in Romanian) Cezar Paul-Bădescu, "Theodor Paleologu, ministrul Culturii: 'Duc o luptă de gherilă în domeniul patrimoniului'" ("Theodor Paleologu, Minister of Culture: 'I Am Leading a Guerrilla Fight in the Cultural Heritage Field'"[permanent dead link], Adevărul, 3 February 2009, retrieved March 3, 2009
  7. (in Romanian) "Paleologu spune că va îmbunătăţi legislaţia pentru protejarea patrimoniului naţional" ("Paleologu Says He Will Improve Legislation for Protecting the Nation's Cultural Heritage") Archived 2009-06-27 at the Wayback Machine, Adevărul, 23 January 2009, retrieved March 3, 2009
  8. (in Romanian) Monica Iordache Apostol, "Guvernul Boc, zero barat" ("Boc Government, Total Zero"), Jurnalul Naţional, 31 August 2010; retrieved September 4, 2010
  9. (in Romanian) "Chiliman a obţinut un nou mandat" ("Chiliman Wins New Term") Archived 2012-08-30 at the Wayback Machine, România Liberă, 11 June 2012; retrieved June 13, 2012
  10. (in Romanian) Carmen Vintilă, "Cine câștigă la loteria redistribuirii: Blaga, Anastase, Udrea, Boagiu, Stănișoară" ("Who Wins the Redistribution Lottery: Blaga, Anastase, Udrea, Boagiu, Stănișoară"), Evenimentul Zilei, 11 December 2012; retrieved December 11, 2012
  11. (in Romanian) "Theodor Paleologu a demisionat din PDL pentru a se alătura PMP" ("Theodor Paleologu Resigns from PDL in order to Join PMP") Archived 2014-04-07 at the Wayback Machine, România Liberă, 3 February 2014; retrieved April 2, 2014
  12. (in Romanian) "Theodor Paleologu trece la PNL" ("Theodor Paleologu Switches to PNL") Archived 2018-05-27 at the Wayback Machine, 22, 4 February 2014; retrieved June 15, 2016
  13. (in Romanian) Cătălina Mănoiu, "Conducerea PNL a decis să îi excludă din partid pe Theodor Paleologu şi Cristian Bodea" ("PNL Leadership Decides to Expel Theodor Paleologu and Cristian Bodea"), Mediafax, 15 June 2016; retrieved June 15, 2016
  14. (in Romanian) Iulia Iancu, "Elena Udrea, Remus Cernea şi Theodor Paleologu au pierdut alegerile parlamentare" ("Elena Udrea, Remus Cernea and Theodor Paleologu Lost Parliamentary Elections") Archived 2016-12-13 at the Wayback Machine, România Liberă, 12 December 2016; accessed 13 December 2016
  15. (in Romanian) Daniel Budescu, "Theodor Paleologu este candidatul PMP la alegerile prezidențiale" ("Theodor Paleologu Is the PMP Candidate in the Presidential Election"), G4Media, 25 August 2019; retrieved August 25, 2019
  16. (in Romanian) "Rezultate provizorii vot alegeri prezidențiale 2019" ("Provisional Results of the Presidential Election"), Digi24, 11 November 2019; retrieved November 12, 2019
  17. (in Romanian) "Paleologu jr. - amintirile unui tânăr ambasador" ("Paleologu, Jr. - Memories of a Young Ambassador"), Evenimentul Zilei, 21 May 2006, retrieved March 3, 2009
  18. (in Romanian) "Paleologu: 'Să te ferească Dumnezeu de furia mielului'" ("Paleologu: 'May God Protect You from the Lamb's Wrath'", Evenimentul Zilei, 27 January 2009, retrieved April 2, 2014
  19. (in Romanian) "Theodor Paleologu predă cursuri de 'Understanding Romanian Mentality', la domiciliu" ("Theodor Paleologu Teaches Courses on 'Understanding Romanian Mentality', at Home") Archived 2014-04-07 at the Wayback Machine, Jurnalul Naţional, 4 December 2012; retrieved April 2, 2014