Kuupik Kleist

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Kuupik Vandersee Kleist
Kuupik Kleist (cropped).jpg
4th Prime Minister of Greenland
In office
12 June 2009 – 5 April 2013
MonarchMargrethe II
Preceded byHans Enoksen
Succeeded byAleqa Hammond
Chairman of the OCT
for Greenland
In office
23 January 2012 – 25 September 2012
DeputyJens B. Frederiksen
Leader of the Inuit Ataqatigiit
In office
10 June 2007 – 31 March 2014
DeputyAqqaluaq B. Egede
Preceded byJosef Motzfeldt
Succeeded bySara Olsvig
Member of the Greenlandic Parliament
Assumed office
8 February 2002
Member of the Danish Parliament
In office
20 November 2001 – 13 November 2007
Member of the Greenlandic Parliament
In office
Minister of Public Works and Transport
In office
Prime MinisterLars Emil Johansen
Personal details
Jakob Edvard Kuupik Kleist

(1958-03-31) 31 March 1958 (age 61)
Qullissat, Greenland
Political partyInuit Ataqatigiit (IA)
Spouse(s)Aviaaja Vandersee Kleist (2012–present)
Alma materUniversity of Roskilde

Jakob Edvard Kuupik Kleist (born 31 March 1958) is a Greenlandic politician who served as the fifth Prime Minister of Greenland between 2009 and 2013. A member of the Inuit Ataqatigiit party, he was the first Prime Minister not affiliated with Siumut.

Early life and career[edit]

Kleist was born on 31 March 1958 to a Danish telegraphist and a Greenlandic mother in Qullissat, and was raised by his aunt and uncle.[1][2] He attended primary school in Qullissat from 1966 until 1972 when the mining town was abandoned and then he attended lower secondary school in Sisimiut until 1975. When he was 17, he was sent to Denmark, alone and with no prior knowledge of Danish.[2] He attended the Birkerød State School in Denmark from 1975 to 1978.[citation needed] Kleist graduated from Roskilde University in 1983 with a master's degree in social work (socionom).[citation needed] He taught journalism in Nuuk from 1988 to 1991.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

In 1996, Kleist was appointed the Director of the Foreign Office of the Greenland Home Rule Government (Direktør for hjemmestyrets udenrigskontor). He was a Member of the Danish Parliament from 20 November 2001 to 13 November 2007, representing the Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party. IA will be the first party to govern the autonomous Danish territory under an expanded home rule agreement known as "self-rule" (selvstyre). While the self-rule agreement has been referred to a step towards eventual full independence from Denmark, Kleist's administration is expected to put "any push for independence [...] on the backburner", given his pledge to focus on social issues such as alcoholism, domestic violence and a high suicide rate.[3]

Kleist had risen to power on an agenda that included cleaning up following government scandals.[4]

Prime Minister[edit]

Since 2007, he has been the leader of IA, a leftist political party which works towards Greenland's eventual full autonomy from Denmark. The party received the most votes in the 2009 election. In June 2009 the Greenlandic parliament therefore elected Kleist the fifth Prime Minister of Greenland. Kleist also had a very successful election himself and won 5,461 personal votes compared to just 1,413 votes for incumbent Prime Minister Hans Enoksen.[5][6]

In late August 2009 Kleist met with Admiral Tim Sloth Jørgensen and General Walter Natynczyk, the chiefs of defense staff for Denmark and Canada, respectively.[7] Admiral Jørgensen and General Natynczyk were conducting a tour of Danish and Canadian military bases in the Arctic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Necessary Voice of Greenland - Information.dk. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b Thomas Borchert: "Troubled Greenland looks inward amid greater autonomy" Archived 10 December 2012 at Archive.today - Deutsche Presse Agentur. 18 June 2009
  3. ^ Self-rule introduced in Greenland - BBC News. Published 21 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  4. ^ Greenland Votes to Get Tough on Investors; New Ruling Party Campaigned to Backtrack on Country's Recent Opening to Investment From Foreign Mining Ventures 13 March 2013 WSJ
  5. ^ Landsstyreformand Enoksen træder tilbage - DR Forside (in Danish) - DR.dk. Published 3 June 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  6. ^ IA vandt stort i Grønland - DR Forside (in Danish) - DR.dk. Published 3 June 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  7. ^ "The Danish Chief of Defence, Admiral Jørgensen, pays a visit to Nunavut and Greenland to plan for future defence of the region". Canadian American Strategic Review. 20 August 2009. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009.