Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was elected President of the Republic of Croatia on January 11, 2015 and severed until February 19, 2020. She also served as the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders from 2019 to 2020.
She was born on April 29, 1968 in Rijeka where she attended elementary school and went on to high school in Los Alamos in the United States.
In 1993, she graduated with a degree in English and Spanish at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Zagreb and continued her education in the Portuguese language. In the following years she completed the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and in 2000 acquired the academic title of Master of International Relations at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb. From 2002 to 2003, she studied at George Washington University in the United States as a Fulbright scholarship for pre-doctoral research on international relations and security policy. At that time, she was awarded the President's medal for scientific, social and political work. She also received Lukšić scholarships for management training in high-level government structures at Kennedy School of Government Harvard University in the United States in 2009.
Her Excellency, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, started her career in 1992 at the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of Croatia. In 1993, she went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. She was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in various positions. In 1995, she became the head of the Department for North America and in 1997 and went to the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Canada to serve as an Adviser, and then to the Minister of Advisory and Deputy Head of Mission.
From 2001 to 2003 she served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in November 2003 she was elected to the Croatian Parliament in the 7th constituency. That same year, she was awarded the post of Minister of European Integration of the Republic of Croatia and later the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia, and she was in charge until 2008. The main objective of her mandate was to lead Croatia on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration, which was led by the State Delegation for Croatia's accession negotiations with the European Union.
In 2008, President Grabar-Kitarović became the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United States. She was appointed NATO Secretary General's Assistant to Public Diplomacy in 2011 and remained in office until 2014, as the first woman in NATO's history to serve as Assistant Secretary-General and the highest ranking woman in NATO.
She speaks fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese and serves Italian, French and German.
Image via the Office of the President of Croatia