Angela Merkel: Chancellor, Germany, 2005-Present
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany. Merkel, elected to the German Parliament from Mecklenburg-Vorpommerng has been the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000, and Chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary party group from 2002 to 2005. Before getting involved in politics, Merkel studied at the University of Leipzig and eventualy earned a doctorate in physics and worked as a chemist at a scientific academy in East Berlin. In 1989, Angela Merkel joined the Demokratischer Aufbruch (or Democratic Awakening) political movement, which later evolved into a political party. Soon after, Merkel was made the press spokesperson for the Demokratischer Aufbruch, and then deputy government spokesperson under the German Democratic Republic government. After the first all-Germany Bundestag elections, Angela Merkel was elected for the constituency of Stralsund-Rugen-Grimmen. During her time in Chancellor Helmut Kohl's cabinet, Merkel focused on family and women-centered policies. In 1998, Angela Merkel was elected to be Secretary-General of her political party, the CDU. Merkel is the first former citizen of the German Democratic Republic (or East Germany) to lead the reunited Germany and the first woman to lead Germany since it became a modern nation-state in 1871. She is also, the youngest person to be German chancellor since the Second World War. Angela Merkel is considered by Forbes Magazine to be one of the most powerful woman in the world. In 2008, she was awarded the Karlspreis (Charlemagne prize) for promoting European Unity.
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