Gro Harlem Brundtland served three terms as Prime Minister of Norway 1981, 1986–89, and 1990–96. She was the first female and youngest Prime Minister in Norway.
Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1939. Brundtland earned her medical degree from the University of Oslo in 1963 and earned a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University in 1965. Returning to Norway after graduation, she first served as a medical officer at the Norwegian Directorate of Health (1966-68) and then became assistant medical director to Oslo's Board of Health (1968-74). At the age of seven, she was enrolled as a member of the Norwegian Labour Movement in its children's section and has been a member ever since, leading the Labour Party to election victory three times.
In 1974, Brundtland was "discovered" by Prime Minister Trygve Brattelishe and appointed Minister of the Environment, a position she held until her resignation in 1979. She served as deputy leader of Labour's parliamentary group from 1975-81 and was elected to the Storting (Norway's Parliament) for the city of Oslo in 1977. While in the Storting, Bruntland headed two important standing committees, finance and foreign affairs. She was leader of the Committee on Foreign and Constitutional Affairs for the years 1980-81, 1981-86, and 1989-90.
Dr Brundtland stepped down as Prime Minister in October 1996 amidst her successful bid to become Director-General of the World Health Organization, a position which she held from 1998-2003. Gro Harlem Brundtland then served as UN Special Envoy on Climate Change from 2007-2010. Brundtland continues to serve as the deputy chair of The Elders, an international NGO of public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates who were brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. She is also a recipient of the 1994 Charlemagne Prize, an award presented based on her distinguished service on behalf of European unification.