Barack Obama is a leader with integrity who was born in the United States to a white American mother and a black Kenyan father and raised by his mother and grandparents in the U.S. His grandfather was a veteran who served our country during WWII and his grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School and served as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. He worked as a community organizer before he was elected as a U.S. senator. He authored two biographical books, Dreams From My Father, A Story of Race and Inheritance and The Audacity of Hope. He was elected by the majority of American voters in a historical election in 2008 as the first African American president after winning the Democratic Party's nomination. Since his inauguration on January 20 2009, his accomplishments include reversing President Bush's ban on federal funding to foreign establishments that allow abortions, changing procedures to promote disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, directing the U.S. military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, reducing the secrecy given to presidential records, issuing orders closing Guantanamo Bay detention camp, issuing presidential memorandas concerning energy independence which direct the Department of Transportation to raise fuel efficiency standards and the Environmental Protection Agency to allow individual states to set stricter tailpipe emissions regulations, signing into law a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening recession, ordering an increase of 17,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, repealing a Bush-era policy preventing federal tax dollars from being used to fund research on new lines of embryonic stem cells, nominating Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter as the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, granting benefits to same sex partners of federal employees and reaching out to middle eastern and Islamic nations to promote a "new beginning" and more peaceful relations with the U.S.