Nobel Peace Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei began his career four decades ago as a diplomat in his native Egypt.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in law at the University of Cairo, he joined the foreign ministry and was posted to the United Nations office in Geneva.

In 1974, he earned a doctorate in International Law at New York University in the United States, where he also taught for several years.

Mr. ElBaradei, 63, joined the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency in 1984 and rose quickly through the organization, becoming its director in 1997.

In recent years, Mr. ElBaradei's work has taken him to such political hot spots as North Korea, Libya, Iran and Iraq.