John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills (21 July 1944 – 24 July 2012) was a Ghanaian politician and legal scholar who served as President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012. He was inaugurated on 7 January 2009, having defeated the ruling party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 election. Previously he was Vice-President from 1997 to 2001 under President Jerry Rawlings, and he stood unsuccessfully in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections as the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He is the first Ghanaian head of state to die in office.
There was also an increase in capitation grants (government subsidies towards public education) under Mills. The government also introduced a programme to provide free school uniforms to deprived communities while providing over 100,000 laptops or notebooks to school children to facilitate the learning process in a highly technological world. An initiative to provide free exercise books started under Mills. More than 23 million books were distributed. His government also expanded the school feeding programme to include 230 more schools. Government paid the full tuition fees for all teachers pursuing further studies through distance learning. A sustained program involving the Ministry of Education, the GETFUND, and resources allocated by the various District Assemblies have begun to ensure the elimination of schools under trees and provide all schools in the country with decent classroom infrastructure. Out of the 4,320 schools under trees, almost 1,700 schools under trees were eliminated across the country. The Mills administration also started a program to re-equip science resource centres in all districts of the country to enhance the teaching and learning of science. Two new specialized public universities were established during his tenure: the University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta Region and the University Of Energy And Natural Resources in the Brong-Ahafo Region. As president, Mills established a working relationship between the Masters in Development Practice program (MDP) at the University of Winnipeg, Canada and the University for Development StudiesGhana, leading to a joint initiative on the study of development practice for Indigenous and traditional societies.