Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership


Also see Chronological List of Female Presidents,
Woman Heads of State and Government
and Woman Premier Ministers

06.02.1952- Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Her other Realms and Territories, Defender of the Faith and Head of the Commonwealth

The following external territories are part of the kingdom: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands. She is also Sovereign of the Channel Islands and Lord of the Isle of Man. Furthermore she is Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand (1952), Jamaica (1962), Barbados, (1966), Bahamas (1973), Grenada (1974), Tuvalu (1978), the Solomon Islands (1978), Papua New Guinea (1975), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1979), Saint Lucia (1979), Antigua and Barbuda (1981), Belize (1981) and Saint Christopher and Nevis (1983). Queen Elizabeth used to be Head of State in most of the countries in the Commonwealth. She is the mother of three sons and a daughter. Married to Phillip Mountbatten, former Prince of Greece and Denmark. (b. 1926-).  

14.01.1972- Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces and Head of the Evangelian-Lutheran Church. The Rigsfælleskab - or
Commonwealth of the Realm - includes the external territories of The Faeroe Islands and Greenland. Married to Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, Prince Henrik. Margrethe II is the mother of two sons. (b. 1940-)

17.09.1997- Governor General Hon. Dr. Dame C. Pearlette Louisy, St. Lucia

Teacher, administrator, Vice-Principal and then Principal of St. Lucia's College. (b. 1946-).

22.11.2005- Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany

1990 Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of the DDR, 1990-98 Deputy Chairperson of CDU, 1991-94 Federal Minister Women and Youth and 1994-98 Federal Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Reactor Safety, 1993-2000 Chairperson of CDU in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 1998-2000 Federal Secretary General and since 2000 Federal Chairperson of CDU and 2002-05 also Parliamentary Leader, Chairperson of the European Council and President of the Group of Eight, G-8 in 2007. Née Kasner and married secondly to Joachim Sauer, no children. (b. 1954-).

16.01.2006- Executive President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia

1972-73 and 1977-79 Secretary of State of Finance, 1979-80 Minister of Finance, 1980 President of the National Bank, 1980-85 worked for the World Bank, 1985-86 in house arrest after her return, 1990-92 Leading member of exile-government of Amos Sawyer in United States of America, 1992-97 African Director of the UNDP (United Nations Development Program). From 1997 Leader of the Unity Party. Presidential Candidate in 1997, Candidate for the Chairmanship of the National Transitional Government in 2003 and finally won the presidential elections in November 2005. She is divorced, mother of a number of children, and grandmother. (b. 1938-).

06.01.2009- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh

Also Prime Minister 1996-2001. Her father, Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-72-75), and most of her family was killed during a military coup in 1975 when she and her sister were abroard. Returned to Bangladesh in 1981, President of the Awami Leauge from 1981, Opposition Leader 1986-87 and 1991-96 and 2001-06. In 1983, she formed the 15-party alliance to launch a movement to oust General Ershad from power and was in and out of prison throughout the 1980s and was under house arrest a few times. Her party, along with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Begum  Khaleda Zia, was instrumental in the movement against the military rule. 2007 she was arrested on corruption and murder charges, but was allowed to go to USA for medical treatment in 2007 though the military supported care-taker government tried to pressure her into exile. Returned in November 2008 to lead her party in the election campaign, which her party won overwealmingly. Married to the nuclear scientist Dr M. A. Wazed Miah and mother a son, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, and a daughter, Saima Wazed Putul, who both lives in the USA. (b. 1947- ).

15.10.2012- Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (South Africa)
1994-99 Minister of Health, 1999-2009 Minister of Foreign Affairs and 2009-12 of Home Affairs. She was offered the post of Deputy President in 2005 after her ex-husband, Jacob Zuma was fired after corruption charges, and was candidate for the post of Deputy President of ANC in 2007 (b. 1949-).

25.02.2013- President Park Geun-hye, South Korea
MP 1998-2012, Chairperson of the Grand National Party 2004-06, Candidate in the party primaries for presidential candidate in 2008, Leader of Saenuri (Renamed GNP) 2011-12. (b. 1952-).

13.03.2013- Prime Minister Željka Cvijanović, Republic Srpska (Autonomous Entity Within Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Zeljka Cvijanovic was Minister of Economic Relations and Regional Cooperation 2010-13. (b. 1967-).

07.05.2013- Governor-General Dame Cécile La Grenade, Grenada
Founder and chief executive of La Grenade Industries. (b. 1952-).

20.10.2013- Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway
Deputy Leader of Høyre 2002-04 and Party Leader from 2004, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development 2001-05, Deputy to the Prime Minister 2004-05. Married to Sindre Finnes and mother of 2. (b. 1961-).

11.03.2014- Executive President Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Chile

2000-02 Minister of Health, 2002-04 Minister of Defence and President for the first time 2006-10. Her father, a general, was killed by the Pinochet dictatorship. She had two children with her first husband and a daughter with her former partner. (b. 1952-).

04.04.2014- President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Malta
Labour MP 1998-2014 and Minister of Family and Social Solidarity 2013-14. (b. 1958-).

08.07.2014- Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, The Bahamas
Widow of Sir Lynden Pindling (1930-2000) who was Prime Minister of the Colony of Bahamas 1967-73 and of independent Bahamas 1973-92. She was Deputy to the Governor General 2012-14. (b. 1932-).

18.02.2015- President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Croatia
Appointed Minister of European Integration in 2003 and was also Foreign Minister 2005-08. English and Spanish languages professor and former adviser in the Foreign Ministry. Finished second in the first round of the presidential elections in 2014 and won 50,5 % in the second round. (b. 1968-).

21.03.2015- Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Namibia
Director-General of the National Planning Commission 1997-2003 and Minister of Finance 2003-15. (b. 1967-).

05.06.2015- President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritius
Professor of Organic chemistry and Pro-vice-chancellor of the University of Mauritius.

29.10.2015- President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Nepal
Minister for Population and Environment 1997 and Minister of Defence 2009-11, Vice-president of the Nepal Communist Party (Unified Marxist-Leninist) 1998-2015. (b. 1961-)

16.11.2015- Prime Minister Beata Szydło, Poland
Vice-President of the Law and Justice party (b. 1963-)

25.11.2015- Premier Katrin Sjögren, Åland (Finish External Territory)
2007-11 Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Care and Environment, Vice-Chairperson of the Liberal Party until 2012 and Party Leader from 2012.

28.01.2016- President Hilda Heine, the Marshall Islands
Former Secretary of Education as well as Senator and Minister of Education 2012-16. (1951-)

07.04.2016- State Councillor Aung San Suu Ky, Myanmar
Her party won 80 % of the votes in the 2015-elections, As the Constitution is designed to prevent her from becoming President, the Parliament created the new powerful position of State Councilor; a role similar to that of Prime Minister. Aso Minister of the President's Office and Foreign Minister. She also won the 1990 elections that were annulled,  was placed under house arrest for a total of 15 years over a 21-year period. General Secretary of he National Leauge for Democracy 1988-2011 and President from 2011, elected MP in 2012 and was Leader of the Opposition 2012-16. Widow of Dr. Michael Aris (1946-1999) and mother of 2 sons. (b. 1945-).

20.05.2016- President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan
Senior Advisor of the National Security Council 1999-2000, Minister and Chairperson of Mainland Affairs Council 2000-04. Member of the Legislative Yuan 2004-06, Vice-Premier and Minister of Consumer Protection 2006-07, Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party 2008-12 and from 2014 and Presidential Candidate in 2012. (b. 1956-)

Last update 16.05.16

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