JAMES RICHARD MANCHAM was the first President of the Republic of Seychelles. Trained as a Barrister in London, he returned to serve as a member of the Executive Council of the British colonial administration. Prior to independence, he founded the Seychelles Democratic Party and was then elected President when the British left. He organized the building of the first airport in Seychelles, which increased tourism and economic development. He was overthrown in a socialist coup in 1977 and lived in exile 15 years, becoming successful in selling private islands and managing a German airline, among other things. He returned to Seychelles in 1992 to serve as an advisor for economic development and tourism, and serves as an emissary of Seychelles to numerous international organizations.