Angela Merkel, Chancellor
Angela Merkel has been serving as the first female German Chancellor of Germany for fourteen years, and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) between 2000 and 2018. She grew up in Brandenburg, East Germany, and studied physics in Leipzig, where she also earned her PhD in Physical Chemistry. After being elected into the Bundestag for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern after the German reunification in 1990, Merkel served as the Federal Minister for Women in Youth in 1991, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature and Nuclear Safety in 1994, and also as the Secretary-General of the CDU in 1998. In 2005, Merkel was appointed Chancellor, and has served as Chancellor ever since. In October 2018 however, Merkel announced that she was neihter going to run for Chancellor again in the elections of 2021, nor for the leader of the CDU.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President
Frank-Walter Steinmeier is currently the 12th President of Germany. He started his political career as a party member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), after finishing his law degree, and served as Chief of Staff of the Chancellery from 1999 to 2005 under chancellor Gerhard Schröder. In 2005, after Merkel was elected as chancellor, Steinmeier became Foreign Minister, and also Vice Chancellor in 2007. In March 2017, he took over as the President of Germany after his predecessor Joachim Gauck announced in 2016 that he would not run for a second tenure.
Olaf Scholz has been serving as Federal Minister of Finance and as Vice Chancellor under Angela Merkel since 2018. Before that, he served as Hamburg’s Mayor from 2011 to 2018, and also as an acting leader of the Social Democratic Party between 13 February and 22 April 2018, before Andrea Nahles became leader.
Heiko Maas, member of the Social Democrats, has been Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs since 14 March 2018. Before that, he was serving as federal minister of justice and consumer protection from 2013 to 2018. Maas is a lawyer and was active in state politics in his home state Saarland before he was appointed to the federal cabinet.
Franziska Giffey is also a member of the Social Democrats, and was appointed Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in 2018. Giffey was Mayor of Neukölln in Berlin from 2015 to 2018, before becoming minister.
Jens Spahn, member of the Christian Democratic Union, is Germany’s Federal Minister of Health. Spahn is the youngest member of the cabinet, and gained attention with his position on social and health issues such as the mornig after pill and organ donation.
Annegret Kamp-Karrenbauer, also known as AKK, has been the Leader of the Christian Democratic Union since December 2019, succeeding Angela Merkel. Since July 2019, she is also serving as Minister of Defence. Before that, she served as minister president of Saarland, as well as secretary general of the CDU.
Horst Seehofer is a member of the CDU’s sister party CSU (Christian Social Union), and is serving as Minister for the Interior, Building, and Community since 2018. He served as Leader of the CSU for 9 years between 2008 and 2019, and as Minister President of Bavaria from 2008 to 2018, as well as the President of the Bundesrat between 2011 and 2012.
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