Former LSE student Ursula von der Leyen has been elected as the European Commission’s first female President.
The Brussels-born German politician, who studied Economics at LSE in 1978, will replace Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in November this year.
After her time at LSE, von der Leyen studied medicine with a specialisation in gynaecology in Hanover and became a Doctor of Medicine. She later became involved with politics and joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
In 2003, she was elected to Lower Saxony’s state parliament and was later appointed federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
After the federal election in 2009, she was appointed Minister for Labour and Social Affairs and in 2013 she became Germany’s first female Defence Minister, a position she has held ever since.
In 2018, von der Leyen visited LSE and spoke at an event where she discussed European common security and defence policy.
Commenting, LSE Director Minouche Shafik said: “Huge congratulations from LSE to alumna Ursula von der Leyen in this fantastic appointment as the first female President of the European Commission. We wish her every success in this new position.”