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President Kirchner: Another Peron?

President Kirchner, who has been in office since December 2007, was re-elected in 2011 and may have her sights on a third term – which would require an amendment to the constitution.  She was the first elected female president of

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Gillard Under Pressure: Unfairly So?

Julia Gillard was born in Barry, South Wales in 1961 but renounced her UK citizenship on entering the Australian parliament in 1988. Her family had moved to Australia when Julia was five years old. She was the first PM since

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Costa Rica’s Chinchilla: A Social Conservative

One of two VPs in the previous administration, Laura Chinchilla was the first female president of Costa Rica when she assumed that office in May 2010.  Since coming to power she has had to deal with the Nicaraguan border crisis

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Minister Okonjo-Weala: Right Place at the Right Time

When Dr. Okonjo-Iweala departed the World Bank in 2011 to become Nigeria’s finance minister, she was managing director and second in charge. It was no surprise that in the following year her name appeared on a short-list for the WB

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Powerful Leadership from Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi, aged 66 and widow of former PM Rajiv, is India’s most powerful leader and the longest serving president of the Congress Party. Elected in 1998, Gandhi was the first foreign born president of Congress since Indian Independence. She is

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Michelle Obama: A Debt of Gratitude

The 2012 speech by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in support of her husband was undeniably brilliant and a political tour de force. She connected with the aspirations of millions of worried voters by recalling the personal stories

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Chancellor Merkel: Saviour of Europe?

Angela Merkel entered politics in 1989 with fall of the Berlin Wall. When she narrowly defeated Gerhard Shroder in the 2005 election, she became the first former citizen of the GDR to lead reunited Germany and the first woman to

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Dilma Rousseff: Big Shoes Too

Dilma Rousseff became the first female president of Brazil in October 2010.  As successor to the popular and charismatic Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, she had big shoes to fill. It can now be safely said that although their styles

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The Queen of Jordan: More Than an Ornament

Born in 1970 in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, Rania, wife of King Abdullah II has been his Queen since 1999. Her concerns at home include environmental matters, health, education, youth and human rights.  She looks to ‘Righting the wrongs of

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PM Shinawatra: Power through the Democratic Process

PM Yingluck Shinawatra easily survived a vote of no confidence in the Thai House of Representatives on November 28th this year. Polls also show her as having the confidence of the electorate as she ponders her first eighteen months in

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