Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Left-Green Movement Ólafur Thors Steingrímur J. Sigfússon

Katrín Jakobsdóttir
Katrín Jakobsdóttir (24539871465) (cropped).jpg
28th Prime Minister of Iceland
Assumed office
30 November 2017
PresidentGuðni Th. Jóhannesson
Preceded byBjarni Benediktsson
Chair of the Left-Green Movement
Assumed office
24 February 2013
Preceded bySteingrímur J. Sigfússon
Minister of Education, Science and Culture
In office
2 February 2009 – 23 May 2013
Prime MinisterJóhanna Sigurðardóttir
Preceded byÞorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir
Succeeded byIllugi Gunnarsson
Personal details
Born (1976-02-01) 1 February 1976 (age 44)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Political partyLeft-Green Movement
Spouse(s)Gunnar Sigvaldason
Children3 sons
Alma materUniversity of Iceland

Katrín Jakobsdóttir (pronounced [ˈkʰaːtrin ˈjaːkʰɔpsˌtouʰtɪr̥]; born 1 February 1976) is an Icelandic politician serving as the 28th and current Prime Minister of Iceland since 2017. She has been a member of the Althing for the Reykjavík North constituency since 2007. She became deputy chairperson of the Left-Green Movement in 2003 and has been their chairperson since 2013. Katrín was Iceland's Minister of Education, Science and Culture and of Nordic Co-operation from 2 February 2009 to 23 May 2013.[1] She is Iceland's second female prime minister, after Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. On 19 February 2020, she was named Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.[2]

Education and professional life

Katrín was born in Reykjavík. She graduated from the University of Iceland in 1999 with a bachelor degree with a major in Icelandic and minor in French. She received her M.A. in Icelandic Literature from the same university in 2004 for a thesis on the work of popular Icelandic crime writer Arnaldur Indriðason.[1]

She worked part-time as a language adviser at the news agency at public broadcaster RÚV from 1999 to 2003. She then freelanced for broadcast media and wrote for a variety of print media from 2004 to 2006 as well as being an instructor in lifelong learning and leisure at the Mímir School from 2004 to 2007. She did editorial work for the publishing company Edda and magazine JPV from 2005 to 2006 and was a Lecturer at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík University and Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík from 2006 to 2007.[3]

Prime Minister (2017–present)

Jakobsdóttir and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019

Before becoming Prime Minister, she was chairperson of the Left-Green Movement.[4] In the wake of the 2017 Icelandic parliamentary election, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson tasked Katrín with forming a governing coalition to consist of the Left-Green Movement, the Progressive Party, the Social Democratic Alliance, and the Pirate Party.[5] Coalition talks between the four parties formally began on 3 November 2017,[6] but were unsuccessful because of Progressive Party concerns that her coalition would have too thin a majority.[7] As a result, she sought to lead a three-party coalition with the Independence Party and Progressive Party. After coalition talks were completed, President Guðni formally granted Katrín a mandate to lead the government, which was installed on 30 November.[8][9] She is the second woman to serve as Prime Minister of Iceland.[10]

Katrín opposes Icelandic membership of NATO, but as part of the compromise between the Left-Greens and their coalition partners, the government does not intend to withdraw from NATO or hold a referendum on NATO membership.[11] She opposes Iceland joining the European Union.[12][13] The coalition government does not intend to hold a referendum on continuing Iceland's accession negotiations with the EU.[12][13]

According to political scientists, her government "combines conventional economic and social emphases (e.g. support for the regions and primary industries) with opposition to European integration." Despite being a coalition government of the left socialist Left-Greens, the centre (Progressive Party) and the right wing (Independence Party), the coalition was stable throughout 2018.[14]

Personal life

Katrín is married to Gunnar Sigvaldason and the mother of three sons (born 2005, 2007 and 2011).

She hails from a family which has produced many prominent people in Icelandic politics, academia and literature. She is the younger sister of twin brothers Ármann Jakobsson and Sverrir Jakobsson [is], who are both professors in the humanities at the University of Iceland. Katrín is the great-granddaughter of the politician and judge Skúli Thoroddsen [is] and the poet Theodóra Thoroddsen [is], and granddaughter of the engineer and MP Sigurður S. Thoroddsen [is]. The poet Dagur Sigurðarson [is] is her maternal uncle.[1]

International cooperation

Katrín has been a member of the following committees:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Secretariat of Althingi, retrieved 31 January 2009
  2. ^ "Her Excellency, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland Appointed Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders". Council of Women World Leaders. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Katrín Jakobsdóttir". Alþingi (in Icelandic). Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  4. ^ Martyn-Hemphill, Richard (30 November 2017). "An Environmentalist Is Iceland's New Prime Minister". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Katrín komin með umboðið". Morgunblaðið. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  6. ^ Sigurður Bogi Sævarsson (3 November 2017). "Málefnunum skipt í tvennt". Morgunblaðið. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Iceland's leftist parties fail to form government". Yahoo/AFP. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Iceland's Left-Green leader Jakobsdóttir becomes new PM". BBC News. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  9. ^ Jón Pétur Jónsson (28 November 2017). "Katrín fær stjórnarmyndunarumboðið". Morgunblaðið. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Johanna Sigurdardottir | prime minister of Iceland". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Iceland PM: Equality requires clear policy". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Þjóðaratkvæðagreiðsla um Evrópusambandsaðild ekki forgangsmál hjá Vinstri grænum - Vísir". visir.is. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Össur segir kjósendur VG vilja í ESB". www.mbl.is. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  14. ^ Hardarson, Ólafur Th; Kristinsson, Gunnar Helgi (2019). "Iceland: Political Developments and Data in 2018". European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook. n/a (n/a): 132–135. doi:10.1111/2047-8852.12267. ISSN 2047-8852.