Female Leaders around the World

Angela Merkel
Chancellor, Germany (1954 –)

If there is a single leader able to defy existential economic and political challenges to the European Union, from edges and core, it has been German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Her successes on the one hand to convince ailing EU brethren such as Greece and Spain to aspire to German fiscal and legal logic, and on the other hand to persuade Germany's own constituents and political egos to buy in to her solutions, is illustrated by a European Union that in 2016 remains standing.
More information can be found at - http://www.forbes.com/profile/angela-merkel/?list=power-women

Belva Lockwood
Women's Rights Activist, Lawyer (1830–1917)

Activist and lawyer Belva Lockwood was the first woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/belva-lockwood-9384624

Christine Lagarde
Managing director, International Monetary Fund (1956 –)

Christine Lagarde was reelected earlier this year to a second five-year term heading the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the organization that serves as economic advisor and backstop for 188 countries. When she took over in 2011, the world economy was still recovering from the financial crisis, and the IMF from an institutional one. In the ensuing years, Lagarde has managed to enroll countries as diverse as China, Russia and Britain in the IMF's brand of fiscal discipline, even while bridling at the stern conditions of her structural loans.
More information can be found at - http://www.forbes.com/profile/christine-lagarde/?list=power-women

Princess of Wales (1961-1997)

British Royal princess who was noted for her humanitarian charity work. Despite troubled marriage to Prince Charles, she was popular for her natural sympathy with the poor and marginalised from society.
More information can be found at - http://www.biographyonline.net/people/short-bio-princess-diana.html

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President (non-U.S.) (1938–)

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the world's first elected black female president and Africa's first elected female head of state.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/ellen-johnson-sirleaf-201269

Federica Mogherini
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union (1973-)

The foreign minister who works on behalf of 500 million citizens of the European Union, Federica Mogherini received praise for her role in helping to broker a historic missile agreement between Iran and six world superpowers in July 2015, building on the work of her predecessor, Catherine Ashton. Mogherini represents the EU on such hot button issues as the Ukrainian crisis, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the influx of Mediterranean migrants, hundreds of whom have died at sea trying to reach Europe.
More information can be found at - http://www.forbes.com/profile/federica-mogherini/?list=power-women

Golda Meir
Prime Minister, Diplomat (1898–1978)

Golda Meir was best known as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel and the first woman to hold the title.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/golda-meir-9404859

Hillary Clinton
Government Official, U.S. First Lady, Women's Rights Activist (1947–)

When Hillary Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2001, she became the first American first lady to ever win a public office seat. She later became the 67th U.S. secretary of state in 2009, serving until 2013. In 2016, she became the first woman in U.S. history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/hillary-clinton-9251306

Indira Gandhi
Prime Minister (1917–1984)

Indira Gandhi was India's third prime minister, serving from 1966 until 1984, when her life ended in assassination. She was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/indira-gandhi-9305913

Jeannette Rankin
U.S. Representative, Women's Rights Activist (1880–1973)

Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. She helped pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, and was a committed pacifist.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/jeannette-rankin-9451806

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
President, Croatia (1968 –)

In 2015 Kalinda Grabar-Kitarović became the youngest president of Croatia, capping what has been a steady climb up the political ladder. Her career in politics and diplomacy includes key roles in Croatia's government and overseas. A representative in Croatia's parliament, she later became the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and she also served as Croatia's ambassador to the U.S. Prior to running for her country's highest office, she was the Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO.
More information can be found at - http://www.forbes.com/profile/kolinda-grabar-kitarovi263/?list=power-women

Loretta Lynch
Attorney General, United States (1959-)

When rumors began to circulate that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch could be tapped for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, she promptly put them to rest. The nomination process, she said, would prove too great a distraction in her current role and the "urgent issues" before her -- testament to just how seriously Lynch is taking her job. This year she hopes to abolish a North Carolina law that forces transgenders to use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate.
More information can be found at - http://www.forbes.com/profile/loretta-lynch/?list=power-women

Margaret Thatcher
Prime Minister (1925–2013)

The first female prime minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher was a controversial figurehead of conservative ideology during her time in office.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/margaret-thatcher-9504796

Nancy Pelosi
U.S. Representative (1940–)

Politician Nancy Pelosi became the first female Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives as well as the first female Speaker of the House.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/nancy-pelosi-38487

Oprah Winfrey
American chat show host (1954 – )

Oprah Winfrey was the first woman to own her own talk show host. Her show and book club are very influential, focusing on issues facing American women.
More information can be found at - http://www.biographyonline.net/humanitarian/oprah-winfrey.html

Park Geun-hye
President, South Korea (1952-)

Overseeing the world's 14th largest economy from the capital in Seoul, a mere 120 miles from her irascible and nuclear-tipped neighbor, Kim Jong-un, Park Guen-hye has maintained a firm and uncompromising stance against nuclear testing in the north, garnering the support of the world's superpowers. Yet she faces a difficult third year in office. In April, her party suffered a crippling blow in the elections, losing its majority in the parliament and raising concerns that she will serve the rest of her term as a lame duck.
More information can be found at - http://www.forbes.com/profile/park-geun-hye/?list=power-women

Queen Victoria
Queen (1819–1901)

Queen Victoria was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to 1901—the second longest reign of any other British monarch in history.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/queen-victoria-9518355

Rosa Parks
American civil rights activist (1913 – 2005)

Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, indirectly led to some of the most significant civil rights legislation of American history. She sought to play down her role in the civil rights struggle but for her peaceful and dignified campaigning she became one of the most well respected figures in the civil rights movements.
More information can be found at - http://www.biographyonline.net/humanitarian/rosa-parks.html

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike
Prime Minister (1916–2000)

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike was a Sri Lankan political leader, becoming the world’s first woman prime minister in 1960.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/sirimavo-rd-bandaranaike-39086

Tsai Ing-wen
President, Taiwan (1956 – )

Tsai Ing-wen was first a professor, not a career politician, nor did she hail from a political family. But in Taiwan's most recent presidential election, she faced off against controversial pro-Beijing incumbent Ma Ying-jeou, and won in a landslide. Tsai is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which favors independence from China; just weeks into her new position, she finds herself on the very tightrope she surely imagined, after refusing to say that she accepts China's definition of "One China" in her inaugural address.
More information can be found at - http://www.forbes.com/profile/tsai-ing-wen/?list=power-women

Ursula Burns
Chair-CEO, Xerox (1958-)

If the future is paperless, don't tell Ursula Burns. Since 2010 she has served as Xerox CEO, managing to return a company once only known for paper copies to a viable and profitable business. Burns is the first African-American woman to lead an S&P 500 company. In 2015 she helped generate $18 billion in revenue, with adjusted earnings per share of 98 cents, all down slightly from a year earlier. After six years as Xerox CEO, she will be stepping down after the company splits into two public companies: a $7 billion business process outsourcing company in a tax-free structure, and an $11 billion document technology company for which Burns was named CEO -- although at press time, it was breaking that she may retire from the company as of the 2017 shareholders' meeting.
More information can be found at - http://www.forbes.com/profile/ursula-burns/?list=power-women

Victoria Woodhull
Publisher, Editor, Women's Rights Activist (1838–1927)

Victoria Woodhull was a spiritualist, activist, politician and author who was the first woman to run for the presidency of the United States.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/victoria-woodhull-9536447

Wilma Mankiller
Women's Rights Activist (1945–2010)

Wilma Mankiller worked for several years as a leading advocate for the Cherokee people, and became the first woman to serve as their principal chief in 1985.
More information can be found at - http://www.biography.com/people/wilma-mankiller-214109


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