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-).

10.12.2007- Executive President Cristina Fernández  de Kirchner, Argentina

Won the first round of the presidential elections in October 2007 as candidate for Partido Justicalista. She was Member of the Assembly of Santa Cruz 1989-95 and 1. Vice-President of the Assembly in 1990, National Senator 1995-97 and again since 2001, National Deputy 1997-2001. President of the Senate Committee of Contitutional Affairs since 2001. Her late husband Néstor Carlos Kirchner (1950-2010) was President of Argentina 2003-07 and held a number of other posts. Mother of 2 children. (b. 1953-).

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- ).

26.05.2010- Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Trinidad and Tobago
Attorney General (second in Cabinet) 1995-06 and 2001, Minister of Legal Affairs 1996-99 and 2001 and Minister of Education 1999-2001. First appointed acting premier on the absence of the Premier in September 2000. Leader of The United National Congesss and Oppostion Leader 2006-07 and 2010 and Political Leader from 2010. (b. 1952-).

01.01.2011- President Dilma Vana Linhares Rousseff, Brazil
Dilma Rousseff is a former student leader who fought Brazil's military dictatorship as a guerrilla during the early 1970s and an economist. Secretary of Mines, Energy and Communication of Rio Grande do Sul 1993-94 and 1999-2002, Minister of Mines and Energy 2003-05 and Minister and Secretary General of the Presidential Staff (Cabinet Chief) 2005-10. (b. 1947-).

07.04.2011- President Atifete Jahjaga, Kosovo

She was Deputy Chief of Police of Kosovo with rank of Major General at the time of her election. Married to Astrit Kuçi. (b. 1975-).

03.10.2011- Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark
Social Democrat Member of the European Parliament 1999-2004 and Member of the Parliament, Party Chairperson from 2005 and Chairperson of the European Council, the rotating presidency of the European Union. Married to Stephen Kinnock and mother of two daughters. (b. 1966-).

22.11.2011- Premier Camilla Gunell, the Åland Islands (Finish External Territory)
Member of the Lagting since 2003, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Group of the Social Democrats 2003-05 and Party Chairperson from 2009 and Minister of Education and Culture 2005-2007. (b. 1970-).

05.01.2012- Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, Jamaica

Also Prime Minister 2006-07. Since 1976 MP, 1976-82 Parliamentary Secretary of the Prime Minister, Deputy President of People's National Party 1978-2006 and President from 2006. Minister of Labour, Social Welfare and Sports 1989-2000, Candidate for the party leadership and Premiership in 1992, Minister of Tourism, Entertainment, Sports and Women’s Affairs 2000-02 and Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport 2002-06. Acting Prime Minister on various occasions whenever the chief of government was out of the country. 2006-2007 and from 2012 also Minister of Defence and a number of other portfolios. Opposition Leader 2007-11. (b. 1946-).

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-).

10.07.2013-  Prime Minister Tatyana Turanskaya, Transnistria
Earlier in 2013 she was appointed Deputy Prime Minister with responsiblity for Regional Administration in the the self-declared and de facto independent Republic of Transnistria within the territory of Moldova. (b. 1972-).

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-).

21.01.2014- Acting Head of State Catherine Samba-Panza, Central African Republic
Businesswoman and corporate lawyer. Appointed Mayor of the capital Bangui in 2013 by the former interim government before she was elected Interim President. (b. 1954-).

22.01.2014- Minister President Laimdota Straujuma, Latvia
1999-2000 Deputy State Secretary of Agriculture, 2000-06 State Secretary of Agriculture, 2007-10 State Secretary of Regional Development, 2010-11 Deputy State Secretary Regional Development and 2011-14 Minister of Agriculture. Joined the Unity Party after she was nominated as chief of the government by the party chair and President of the Parliament Solvita Āboltiņa. (b. 1951-).

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 (from 04.04.)
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-).

22.07.2014-Ana Rosario Jara Velásquez, Peru
2011-14 Minister of Women's Promotion and Social Development, 2014 Minister of Labour and Promotion of Employment and MP 2011. (b. 1968-)

22.09.2014- Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, Poland
Member of the Sejm 2001-2005 and from 2011 for Platforma Obywatelsk, Minister of Helth 2007-11 and Marshall of the Sejm from 2011. (b. 1956-)

01-2015-31.12.2015 President Simonetta Sommaruga, Switzerland

Federal Councillor of Justice and Police and Substitute Councillor of Interiorfrom 2010. VicePresident in 2014.

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-).

Last update 21.03.2015

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