Ilham Aliyev attended a secondary school No. 6 in Baku from 1967 to 1977.
In 1977-1982, he studied at Moscow State University of International Relations (MSUIR).
In 1982, he embarked on postgraduate studies at MSUIR.
In 1985, he defended a thesis to receive a PhD degree in history.
From 1985 to 1990, he gave lectures at Moscow State University of International Relations.
In 1991-1994, he was engaged in a private business sector and headed several private industrial and commercial enterprises.
From 1994 to August 2003, he was vice-president and first vice-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). He has been actively involved in the implementation of national leader Heydar Aliyev's oil strategy.
In 1995 and 2000, he was elected to the Milli Majlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
He has been president of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan since 1997.
In 1999, he was elected as deputy chairman, in 2001 as first deputy chairman and in 2005 as chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party.
From 2001 to 2003, he headed the Azerbaijani Parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
In January 2003, he was elected as deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and a member of the PACE Bureau.
On 4 August 2003, following the approval of the Milli Majlis, he was appointed as Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This terminated his power as a member of parliament.
On 15 October 2003, Ilham Aliyev was elected as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan with more than 76 percent of votes.
In 2004, he was awarded a medal and certificate of an honorary member of PACE.
On 15 October 2008, Ilham Aliyev was elected for the second term as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, after gaining 88.73 percent of the votes.
As a result of the presidential election held on 9 October 2013, Ilham Aliyev was re-elected as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan with 84.54 percent of the votes.
In the election held on April 11, 2018, Ilham Aliyev gained 86.02 percent of votes and has been re-elected as the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Mr. Ilham Aliyev is fluent in Azerbaijani, Russian, English, French, and Turkish languages.
When Mr. Ilham Aliyev came to power, he claimed that he would continue his father’s, Heydar Aliyev, political and economic course and would not make radical reforms in any area. A foreign policy course has also not changed.
Ilham Aliyev heads a center-right party “New Azerbaijan”, whose program is focused first of all on the support of private initiative of citizens and business development. On the one hand Azerbaijan foreign policy concept focuses on the integration of Azerbaijan into the European structures and on the other hand it focuses on the development of the relationship with the countries of the Caspian region.
When Mr. Aliyev came into the power, he also claimed about the necessity of developing relations with Iran, as it’s one of the largest countries in the region. Ilham Aliyev has also been expanding the cooperation with the European Union (EU) since his presidency.
Mentioning domestic policy, it's necessary to point out that intercultural dialogue was one of priority areas of cultural policy of President Aliyev. In 2008, Mr.Aliyev launched the "Baku Process" initiative for promotion of intercultural dialogue at the Conference of Ministers responsible for Culture under the theme of "Intercultural dialogue as a basis for peace and sustainable development in Europe and its neighboring regions." Starting from 2011, four high level World Forums on Intercultural Dialogue has been held in Baku until 2017 Mr. Aliyev by signing a respective decree approved "Conception of Culture of Azerbaijan Republic" on 14 February 2014. Ilham Aliyev characterized the tolerance and multiculturalism as a state policy and lifestyle in Azerbaijan.
Ilham Aliyev married Mehriban Aliyeva (née Pashayeva) in Baku on 22 December 1983. They have three children: Leyla, Arzu and Heydar and five grandchildren. His wife Mehriban Aliyeva is the First Vice President of Azerbaijan.