List of elected and appointed female heads of state

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Map showing countries which since independence have had (counting Governor-Generals as heads of state, but excluding monarchs):
  Female head of government
  Female head of state[1]
  Female head of state/government (combined)
  Female head of state and female head of government
Three former sovereign states (East Germany, Tannu Tuva, and Yugoslavia) have also had a female Head of State or Head of Government

This is a list of women who have been elected or appointed head of state of their respective countries since the mid 20th century. The list does not include female monarchs, nor does it include female heads of government who are not concurrently head of state, such as prime ministers.

Below the main list are separately listed female governors-general and French representatives of Andorra. As governors-general are appointed representatives of the monarch of the Commonwealth realms (currently Elizabeth II) and the French Representatives of Andorra are appointed representatives of the French Co-Prince of Andorra (currently François Hollande), they act as heads of state and carry out on a regular basis the functions and duties associated with such a role in the Commonwealth realms (excluding the United Kingdom, which has no governor-general, as the monarch of the Commonwealth realms primarily resides there) and Andorra, respectively.

To date, the country with most female Heads of State is San Marino (15, including three who served twice).

List of female heads of state[edit]

  Denotes incumbent head of state
  • Italics denotes an acting head of state and states that are either de facto (with limited to no international recognition) or defunct.
Name Image Country Office Mandate start Mandate end Term length
Khertek Anchimaa-Toka  Tannu Tuva Chairperson of the Presidium of the Little Khural 6 April 1940 11 October 1944 4 years, 188 days
Sükhbaataryn Yanjmaa Sükhbaataryn Yanjmaa.jpg Mongolia Acting Chairperson of the Presidium of the State Great Khural 7 September 1953 7 July 1954 0 years, 303 days
Soong Ching-ling Soong Ching-ling 1937.jpg  China Acting Co-Chairperson 31 October 1968 24 April 1972 3 years, 176 days
Isabel Martínez de Perón Isabelita ícono.jpg  Argentina President 1 July 1974 24 March 1976 1 year, 267 days
Lidia Gueiler Tejada  Bolivia Acting President 16 November 1979 17 July 1980 0 years, 244 days
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Vigdis Finnbogadottir (1985).jpg  Iceland President 1 August 1980 1 August 1996 16 years, 0 days
Maria Lea Pedini-Angelini  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 1981 1 October 1981 0 years, 183 days
Soong Ching-ling Soong Ching-ling 1937.jpg  China Honorary President 16 May 1981 28 May 1981 0 years, 12 days
Agatha Barbara Ms Agatha Barbara.jpg  Malta President 15 February 1982 15 February 1987 5 years, 0 days
Gloriana Ranocchini No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 1984 1 October 1984 0 years, 183 days
Carmen Pereira No image.svg  Guinea-Bissau Acting President of Guinea-Bissau 14 May 1984 16 May 1984 0 years, 2 days
Elisabeth Kopp Elisabeth Kopp.gif   Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 21 October 1984 12 January 1989 4 years, 83 days
Corazon Aquino Corazon Aquino 1986.jpg  Philippines President 25 February 1986 30 June 1992 6 years, 126 days
Gloriana Ranocchini No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 1989 1 April 1990 0 years, 182 days
Ertha Pascal-Trouillot No image.svg  Haiti Acting President 13 March 1990 7 February 1991 0 years, 331 days
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl Sabine Bergmann-Pohl.jpg  East Germany President of the People's Chamber 5 April 1990 2 October 1990 0 years, 180 days
Violeta Chamorro Violeta Chamorro 1993.jpg  Nicaragua President 25 April 1990 10 January 1997 6 years, 260 days
Mary Robinson Mary Robinson-Obama31.04secs.png  Ireland President 3 December 1990 12 September 1997 6 years, 283 days
Edda Ceccoli No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 1991 1 April 1992 0 years, 183 days
Ruth Dreifuss Ruth Dreifuss.gif   Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 April 1993 31 December 2002 9 years, 296 days
Patrizia Busignani No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 1993 1 October 1993 0 years, 183 days
Sylvie Kinigi No image.svg  Burundi Acting President 27 October 1993 5 February 1994 0 years, 101 days
Chandrika Kumaratunga Chandrika Kumaratunga.jpg  Sri Lanka President 12 November 1994 19 November 2005 11 years, 17 days
Ruth Perry No image.svg  Liberia Chairperson of the Council of State 3 September 1996 2 August 1997 0 years, 333 days
Rosalía Arteaga Serrano R Arteaga.jpg  Ecuador Acting President 9 February 1997 11 February 1997 0 years, 2 days
Mary McAleese Mary McAleese.jpg  Ireland President 11 November 1997 10 November 2011 13 years, 364 days
Janet Jagan Janet Jagan.png  Guyana President 19 December 1997 11 August 1999 1 year, 235 days
Ruth Metzler-Arnold Ruth Metzler.gif   Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 May 1999 31 December 2003 4 years, 295 days
Rosa Zafferani No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 1999 1 October 1999 0 years, 183 days
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga Vaira Vike-Freiberga 13062007.JPG  Latvia President 8 July 1999 8 July 2007 8 years, 0 days
Mireya Moscoso Mireya Moscoso.jpg  Panama President 1 September 1999 1 September 2004 5 years, 0 days
Tarja Halonen Tarja Halonen 2003.jpg  Finland President 1 March 2000 1 March 2012 12 years, 0 days
Maria Domenica Michelotti No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2000 1 October 2000 0 years, 183 days
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Gloria Macapagal Arroyo WEF 2009-crop.jpg  Philippines President 20 January 2001 30 June 2010 9 years, 161 days
Megawati Sukarnoputri President Megawati Sukarnoputri - Indonesia.jpg  Indonesia President 23 July 2001 20 October 2004 3 years, 89 days
Micheline Calmy-Rey Micheline Calmy-Rey 2011.jpg   Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 January 2003 31 December 2011 8 years, 364 days
Valeria Ciavatta No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 2003 1 April 2004 0 years, 183 days
Nino Burjanadze NinoB.jpg  Georgia Acting President 23 November 2003 25 January 2004 0 years, 63 days
Fausta Morganti No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2005 1 October 2005 0 years, 183 days
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, April 2010.jpg  Liberia President 16 January 2006 Incumbent 8 years, 246 days
Michelle Bachelet Michele Bachelet (2009).jpg  Chile President 11 March 2006 11 March 2010 4 years, 0 days
Doris Leuthard Doris Leuthard, 2010.jpg   Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 August 2006 Incumbent 8 years, 49 days
Dalia Itzik Dalya itzik.jpg  Israel Acting President 25 January 2007 15 July 2007 0 years, 171 days
Pratibha Patil PratibhaIndia.jpg  India President 25 July 2007 25 July 2012 5 years, 0 days
Nino Burjanadze NinoB.jpg  Georgia Acting President 25 November 2007 20 January 2008 0 years, 56 days
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Cristina fernandez de kirchner cropped 2007-04-25.JPG  Argentina President 10 December 2007 Incumbent 6 years, 283 days
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, 2010.jpg   Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 January 2008 Incumbent 6 years, 261 days
Rosa Zafferani No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2008 1 October 2008 0 years, 183 days
Assunta Meloni No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 2008 1 April 2009 0 years, 182 days
Rose Francine Rogombé No image.svg  Gabon Acting President 10 June 2009 16 October 2009 0 years, 128 days
Dalia Grybauskaitė Dalia Grybauskaitė 2010.jpg  Lithuania President 12 July 2009 Incumbent 5 years, 69 days
Roza Otunbayeva Roza Otunbaeva.jpg  Kyrgyzstan President 7 April 2010 1 December 2011 1 year, 238 days
Laura Chinchilla Chinchilla Adelante.jpg  Costa Rica President 8 May 2010 8 May 2014 4 years, 0 days
Simonetta Sommaruga Simonetta Sommaruga (2007).jpg   Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 November 2010 Incumbent 3 years, 322 days
Dilma Rousseff Dilma Rousseff - foto oficial 2011-01-09.jpg  Brazil President 1 January 2011 Incumbent 3 years, 261 days
Maria Luisa Berti No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2011 1 October 2011 0 years, 183 days
Atifete Jahjaga Atifete Jahjaga 2011.jpg  Kosovo President 7 April 2011 Incumbent 3 years, 165 days
Monique Ohsan Bellepeau No image.svg  Mauritius Acting President 31 March 2012 21 July 2012 0 years, 112 days
Slavica Đukić Dejanović Slavica Djukic Dejanovic (1).jpg  Serbia Acting President 5 April 2012 31 May 2012 0 years, 56 days
Joyce Banda Joyce Banda Department for International Development photo.jpg  Malawi President 7 April 2012 31 May 2014 2 years, 54 days
Denise Bronzetti No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 2012 1 April 2013 0 years, 182 days
Park Geun-hye Park Geun-hye.jpg  South Korea President 25 February 2013 Incumbent 1 year, 206 days
Antonella Mularoni Antonella Mularoni.jpg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2013 1 October 2013 0 years, 183 days
Anna Maria Muccioli No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 2013 1 April 2014 0 years, 182 days
Catherine Samba-Panza No image.svg  Central African Republic Acting President 23 January 2014 Incumbent 0 years, 239 days
Michelle Bachelet Michele Bachelet (2009).jpg  Chile President 11 March 2014 Incumbent 0 years, 192 days
Valeria Ciavatta No image.svg  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2014 Incumbent 0 years, 171 days
Marie Louise Coleiro Preca  Malta President 4 April 2014 Incumbent 0 years, 168 days

List of female representatives of heads of state[edit]

  Denotes incumbent representative of head of state
  • Italics denotes acting representative of head of state
Name Image Country Office Mandate start Mandate end Term length
Dame Elmira Minita Gordon No image.svg  Belize Governor-General 21 September 1981 17 November 1993 12 years, 57 days
Jeanne Sauvé  Canada Governor General 14 May 1984 29 January 1990 5 years, 260 days
Dame Nita Barrow No image.svg  Barbados Governor-General 6 June 1990 19 December 1995 5 years, 196 days
Dame Catherine Tizard Catherine Tizard.jpg  New Zealand Governor-General 13 December 1990 21 March 1996 5 years, 99 days
Dame Pearlette Louisy No image.svg  Saint Lucia Governor-General 17 September 1997 Incumbent 17 years, 2 days
Adrienne Clarkson Adrienne Clarkson by Andrew Rusk.jpg  Canada Governor General 7 October 1999 27 September 2005 5 years, 324 days
Dame Sian Elias No image.svg  New Zealand Administrator of the Government (acting Governor-General) 22 March 2001 4 April 2001 0 years, 13 days
Dame Silvia Cartwright No image.svg  New Zealand Governor-General 4 April 2001 4 August 2006 5 years, 122 days
Dame Ivy Dumont No image.svg  The Bahamas Governor-General 11 November 2001 30 November 2005 4 years, 19 days
Monica Dacon No image.svg  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines acting Governor-General 3 June 2002 2 September 2002 0 years, 91 days
Michaëlle Jean Michaëlle Jean 1 11072007.jpg  Canada Governor General 27 September 2005 1 October 2010 5 years, 4 days
Dame Sian Elias No image.svg  New Zealand Administrator of the Government (acting Governor-General) 4 April 2006 23 August 2006 0 years, 141 days
Emmanuelle Mignon No image.svg  Andorra Representative of the French Co-Prince 6 June 2007 24 September 2008 1 year, 110 days
Dame Louise Lake-Tack No image.svg  Antigua and Barbuda Governor-General 17 July 2007 13 August 2014 7 years, 64 days
Dame Quentin Bryce Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce.jpg  Australia Governor-General 5 September 2008 28 March 2014 5 years, 204 days
Dame Sian Elias No image.svg  New Zealand Administrator of the Government (acting Governor-General) 23 August 2011 31 August 2011 0 years, 8 days
Sylvie Hubac No image.svg  Andorra Representative of the French Co-Prince 15 May 2012 Incumbent 2 years, 127 days
Sandra Mason No image.svg  Barbados acting Governor-General 30 May 2012 1 June 2012 0 years, 2 days
Dame Cécile La Grenade No image.svg  Grenada Governor-General 7 May 2013 Incumbent 1 year, 135 days
Dame Marguerite Pindling No image.svg  The Bahamas Governor-General 8 July 2014 Incumbent 0 years, 73 days

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ including female representatives of heads of state, such as Governors-General and French Representatives of Andorra

External links[edit]