Zhu Rongji, male, Han nationality, was born in 1928 in Changsha, Hunan Province. He attended middle school there, and then went to Qinghua University where he majored in electrical engineering. Zhu worked in the State Planning Commission from 1952 to 1969, and from 1970 to 1975 he was assigned to a "May 7th Cadre School" during the Cultural Revolution. He then worked in the petroleum industry before being assigned to the State Economic Commission in 1979, where he served as vice-minister from 1983 to 1987.
Zhu was appointed mayor of Shanghai in 1987 and oversaw the economic development of that city, including transformation of the Pudong District into a thriving economic zone. He was appointed vice-premier of the State Council in 1991 and served concurrently as governor of the central bank. Zhu became premier in March 1998. His administration has been characterized by efforts to reform state enterprises and control inflation.
Zhu has been a Politboro standing committee member since 1993. He became head of the State Steering Group on Science, Technology and Education in 1998, and, in 1997, he became chairman of the State Council Three Gorges Project Construction Committee.