Angela Dorothea Merkel born on 17 July 1954, is a German politician and a former research scientist who has been the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000 and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She is the first woman to hold either office. Angela Merkel has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union and was ranked as the world’s second most powerful person by Forbes magazine in 2013, the highest ranking ever achieved by a woman; she is now ranked fifth. On 26 March 2014, she became the longest-serving incumbent head of government in the European Union. Merkel has been named several times in the Time 100 and she is currently the Senior G7 leader. In May 2015, she was named the most powerful woman in the world for the seventh time, also by Forbes.
Having earned a doctorate as a physical chemist, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989, briefly serving as the deputy spokesperson for the first democratically elected East German Government in 1990. She was later appointed as the Federal Minister for Women and Youth in 1991and became the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety in 1994, serving until 1998. In 2007, Merkel was President of the European Council and chaired the G8, the second woman (after Margaret Thatcher) to do so. She played a central role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration.