An academic economist by training, he was forced out of the Academy of Sciences after the Soviet invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia in 1968, after the Prague Spring.
He returned after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, as one of the founders of the Civic Forum Movement.
He was the country’s first non-Communist Finance Minister and served from 1992 to 1997 as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.
From 2003 to 2013, he was the country’s President, and now runs a free market think-tank in Prague, called Václav Klaus Institute. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.