Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir

Össur Skarphéðinsson Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Social Democratic Alliance

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir
Islands utrikesminister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir vid Nordiska Radets session i Oslo. 2007-10-31. Foto- Magnus
Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir on 31 October 2007
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
24 May 2007 – 1 February 2009
Prime MinisterGeir Haarde
Preceded byValgerður Sverrisdóttir
Succeeded byÖssur Skarphéðinsson
Mayor of Reykjavik
In office
13 June 1994 – 1 February 2003
Preceded byÁrni Sigfússon
Succeeded byÞórólfur Árnason
Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Assumed office
19 July 2017
Preceded byMichael Georg Link
Personal details
Born (1954-12-31) 31 December 1954 (age 65)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Political partySocial Democratic Alliance (since 2000)
Women's List (until 2000)
Spouse(s)Hjörleifur Sveinbjörnsson
ChildrenTwo sons (b. 1983, 1985)
Alma materUniversity of Iceland
University of Copenhagen

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir (pronounced [ˈiɲcɪpjœrk ˈsoulrun ˈcistlaˌtouʰtɪr̥]; born 31 December 1954) is an Icelandic politician from the Social Democratic Alliance, formerly Minister for Foreign Affairs 2007–2009 and leader of the Alliance 2005–2009. She served as representative of UN Women to Turkey and designated regional director for Europe and Central Asia.[1] Since July 2017 she serves as Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.


Gísladóttir received her bachelor's degree in history and literature from the University of Iceland in 1979. Then she went to Denmark to study as a guest student of the post -graduate studies in history at the University of Copenhagen (1979-1981). In 1981 she came back to Iceland where she graduated as a cand.mag. in history from University of Iceland in 1983.

Gísladóttir speaks English, French and Danish.

Political career

Gísladóttir started her political career in the Women's List (Samtök um kvennalista), a party she had co-founded in 1982 and later represented in Reykjavík's City Council from 1982 to 1988. She also represented the party in Parliament from 1991 to 1994.

Gísladóttir became Mayor of Reykjavík in 1994 when she led a coalition of four political parties called Reykjavíkurlistinn, winning the elections. She was the city's Mayor until 2003.

In 2004 Gísladóttir took a brief leave from politics and instead attended the European Institute, London School of Economics (LSE) as a visiting scholar.

In 2005 Gísladóttir became the leader of the Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin), then the second largest political party in the Althing (Iceland's parliament), after a sharply contested election between her and the previous party leader Össur Skarphéðinsson. She has served in this position until 2009.

On 24 May 2007, Gísladóttir was appointed foreign minister and served in the office until 1 February 2009.

Later career

On 19 July 2017, Gísladóttir began her mandate as the Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, where she had succeeded Michael Georg Link.[2]

In June 2020, the governments of Tajikistan and Turkey blocked the renewal of Gisladóttir's mandate.[3]

Personal life

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir was born in Reykjavík on 31 December 1954.

She is married to Hjörleifur Sveinbjörnsson, lecturer and translator of Chinese language. They have two sons.


  1. ^ "UN Women: Turkey can be regional model for women's rights". 9 March 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir | OSCE". Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  3. ^ Alexandra Brzozowski (20 July 2020), OSCE facing leadership crisis Euractiv.