Angela Merkel Biography
Angela Dorothea Merkel is a German politician who has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005, the first woman to hold this office. She is also the Leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a post she has been holding since 2000. A former research scientist, she holds a doctorate in physical chemistry and has worked as a researcher and published several papers. She became interested in politics during the late 1980s and joined the new party Democratic Awakening which was formed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She briefly served as the deputy spokesperson of the new pre-unification caretaker government under Lothar de Maizière. Following German reunification in 1990, she won a seat in the Bundestag (Germany's lower house) for Stralsund-Nordvorpommern-Rügen from the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Her political career thrived over the years and she went on to serve as the Minister for Women and Youth before becoming the Minister of Environment and Nuclear Safety after a few years. Articulate, intelligent and hardworking, it did not take her long to establish herself as a prominent political figure in the country. Eventually appointed the Secretary-General of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, she went on to successfully challenge the Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in the 2005 national elections and assumed the office of Chancellor of Germany in November 2005.
Horst Kasner, Herlind Kasner
Irene Kasner, Marcus Kasner
Spouses: Joachim Sauer, Ulrich Merkel
She was born Angela Dorothea Kasner on 17 July 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany, to Horst Kasner and his wife Herlind. Her father was a Protestant theologian and her mother was a teacher who was once a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. From a young age Angela was interested in both religion and politics. She proved to be a good student in school and excelled in Russian and mathematics. After completing her schooling she entered the University of Leipzig, where she studied physics from 1973 to 1978. In 1978, she joined the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Adlershof. She eventually earned a doctorate for her thesis on quantum chemistry in 1986 and remained associated with the academy as a researcher until 1990. Meanwhile she had also ventured into politics in the late 1980s and joined the new party Democratic Awakening created in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989. The Democratic Awakening merged with the East German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1990.
1978 - Leipzig University, 1986 - German Academy of Sciences at Berlin
In October 1990, the former East German states were reunified with the rest of Germany. Two months later, Merkel stood for election at the first post-reunification parliamentary elections and was elected to the Bundestag for the constituency of Stralsund – Nordvorpommern – Rügen. Soon after her election, she was appointed as the Minister for Women and Youth under Chancellor Helmut Kohl who became her mentor. Kohl gave her a more significant role in the cabinet in 1994 when she was promoted to Minister for the Environment and Nuclear Safety. She received greater political visibility in her new role which helped in accelerating her career. In 1998, her mentor Kohl was defeated in the elections and stepped down accordingly. Weeks later, Merkel was appointed Secretary-General of the CDU and became the first woman to attain that post in party history. She achieved even greater success in 2000 when she was elected to replace CDU Leader, Wolfgang Schäuble, becoming the first female leader of a German party. Her election came as a surprise to many as CDU was normally viewed as a male-dominated, socially conservative party. As the CDU leader she enjoyed considerable popularity and advocated the implementation of significant reforms in Germany’s economic and social system. She supported German labor law changes as she felt that existing laws limited the nation’s competitiveness. She proved to be an efficient leader and earned the loyal support of the citizens. In 2005 she challenged the Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of the Social Democrats (SPD) in the national elections. In her campaigns she stated that the main aim of her government would be to reduce unemployment. In the elections she narrowly defeated the incumbent Chancellor who refused to concede power. However, the CDU agreed to form a coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD), and Merkel was declared the Chancellor of Germany, the first female to assume this position. Angela Merkel assumed office as the Chancellor on 22 November 2005. She focused upon strengthening Germany’s foreign relations and signed the agreement for the Transatlantic Economic Council on 30 April 2007 at the White House. She also signed a declaration with India which greatly boosted Indo-German relations. She was elected to a second term in 2009. She further strengthened Germany’s ties with India and the two countries held their first intergovernmental consultations in New Delhi in 2011. She has also led seven trade delegations to China since assuming office in 2005. A much-respected politician by now, she easily won a third term as the Chancellor and the third Cabinet of Angela Merkel was sworn in on 17 December 2013. In August 2015, she reportedly indicated that she would run for a fourth term in 2017.
As the Chancellor, one of her priorities was the strengthening of transatlantic economic relations which culminated in her signing the agreement for the Transatlantic Economic Council in 2007 which aims at removing barriers to trade in a further integrated transatlantic free-trade area. Merkel played an important role in strengthening the foreign relations between Germany and India when she made a “Joint Declaration” in 2006 with the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, to focus on future co-operation between the two countries in the fields of energy, science and technology, and defense.
2020 -International Prize for Significant Contribution to the Development of Professional, Scientific and Social Activities, Transformation of the World Around and Humanity (Dubai, OAE)
2013 - Indira Gandhi Prize 2011 - Presidential Medal of Freedom 2011 - Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding 2010 - Leo-Baeck-Medal 2010 - Glamour Award The Chosen Ones 2008 - Grand Cross 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 2008 - Charlemagne Prize
2006 - Vision for Europe Award