He Guoqiang is a chemical engineer by training who rose to become head of the Communist Party's organisational department.
This apparently obscure department is in charge of investigating officials before they are promoted, so it has influence and power.
He was born in Hunan Province in 1943 and studied at the Beijing Institute of Chemical Engineering.
He Guoqiang had a number of jobs at a fertiliser plant in the 1970s and 80s, before starting his rise through the party hierarchy.
And he has survived several brushes with scandal - suggesting that he has a knack for political survival.
Firstly, the largest smuggling case in party history hit Fujian province while he was deputy party chief there.
Scores of senior officials were implicated, but Mr He survived - possibly because of his close relationship with Jiang Zemin, who was president at the time.
He moved on to serve as party chief of Chongqing, and is generally regarded as having done good work in attracting huge investment to the south-western industrial municipality in Sichuan province.
His tenure there was marked by another corruption
scandal, this time involving misused funds from the massive Three Gorges Dam project.
But Mr He once again showed his survival instincts and managed to maintain the upward momentum of his party career.