István Simicskó has served as the third Orbán government’s defense minister since September 7, 2015. Simcskó has been a National Assembly representative since 1998—until 2006 as a member of the Fidesz parliamentary caucus and since that year as a member of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) parliamentary caucus.
Born in the town of Tiszalök (pop. 5,400) in northeastern Hungary in 1961. Completed his secondary and post-secondary education in Budapest, receiving B.A. degree from the College of Trade and Hospitality (Kereskedelmi és Vendéglátóipari Főiskola) in 1985, law degree from the Loránd Eötvös University School of Law and Political Sciences in 2002 and PhD degree in military sciences from the Miklós Zrínyi National Defense University in 2009.
Was deputy chairman of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee on three occasions for a total of six years between 1998 and 2006 and chairman of the National Assembly’s National Security Committee from 2006 to 2010. Served as state secretary in the defense ministry from 2010 to 2012 and in the human resources ministry from 2012 until his appointment as defense minister in place of Csaba Hende in 2015.
Simicskó was the only National Assembly representative to vote against providing the government of Hungarian Socialist Party Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy with the authorization to sign the Treaty of Accession by which Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 (source in Hungarian).
Turns 55 years old in 2016.