Angela Merkel is a German politician best known as the first female chancellor of Germany and one of the architects of the European Union.
She is serving as Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000; since October 24th 2017 she and her Cabinet continue as acting government until a new government is formed. Merkel has been widely described as the de facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman in the world, and the leader of the Free World.
Angela Dorothea Kasner, better known as Angela Merkel, was born in Hamburg, West Germany, on July 17, 1954. Trained as a physicist, Merkel entered politics after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
Merkel has twice been named the world’s second most powerful person following Vladimir Putin by Forbes magazine, the highest ranking ever achieved by a woman. On 26 March 2014, Merkel became the longest-serving incumbent head of government in the European Union. In December 2015, Merkel was named as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, with the magazine’s cover declaring her to be the “Chancellor of the Free World”. In May 2016, Merkel was named the most powerful woman in the world for a record twelve time by Forbes. Following the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency in November 2016, Merkel was described by The New York Times as “the Liberal West’s Last Defender”. Since 2016 she has been described by many commentators as the “leader of the free world”. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Merkel in 2017 as “the most important leader in the free world.” She is currently the senior G7 leader.
- In 2006, Angela Merkel was awarded the Vision for Europe Award for her contribution toward greater European integration.
- On 28 November 2012, she received the Heinz Galinski Award in Berlin, Germany.
- India: Indira Gandhi Peace Prize (2013)
- She received the Karlspreis (Charlemagne Prize) in 2008 for distinguished services to European unity.
- In March 2008, she received the B’nai B’rith Europe Award of Merit.
- Merkel topped Forbes magazine’s list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
- On 31 May 2011, she received the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for the year 2009 from the Indian government. She received the award for International understanding.
- Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People ranked Merkel as the world’s second most powerful person in 2012, the highest ranking achieved by a woman since the list began in 2009; she was ranked fifth in 2013 and 2014
- Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Austria: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, Special Class
- Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of the Balkan Mountain
- Israel: Recipient of the President’s Medal
- Italy: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Lithuania: Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of Vytautas the Great
- Norway: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
- Peru: Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun of Peru
- Portugal: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Infante Henry
- Saudi Arabia: Grand Officer of the Order of Abdulaziz al Saud
- United States of America: Presidential Medal of Freedom