Rafael Bardaji studied political science at the Madrid Complutense University and specialized in international relations in London, and at Harvard and MIT in the United States. He was a lecturer at ICADE, a private university in Madrid, from 1990-1993. In 1989 he became adviser to the Parliamentary Group of José María Aznar, then leader of the Popular Party. In 1996, when the Popular Party came to power, he was appointed strategic adviser, based in the Defense Ministry, to Prime Minister Aznar. After the March 2004 elections, he became head of International Policy Studies at FAES. He remains a personal adviser to Mr. Aznar.