PANELLIST

Ursula von der Leyen

Minister of Defence of Federal Republic of Germany


Dr. Ursula von der Leyen is the first woman in German history to hold the office of the Federal Minister of Defence. In 1977, she started her university studies in the field of economics. However, after three years, she decided to study medicine instead and in 1987 she graduated in Hannover. Von der Leyen subsequently embarked on a medical and later academic career. In 1990 she joined the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) and became active in local politics in the Hannover area.
In 2005 she entered the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel as the Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. After the 2009 federal election, she retook her original office, but soon became the new Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. She has served as the Federal Minister of Defence since 2013.
A strong part of Dr. von der Leyen’s political agenda has been the struggle against online child pornography and a stronger government backing of both maternity and paternity leaves.
 

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