Katrín Jakobsdóttir is an Icelandic politician who has been serving as the prime minister of Iceland since 2017 and a member of the Althing for the Reykjavík North constituency since 2007.
A graduate of the University of Iceland, she became deputy chairperson of the Left-Green Movement in 2003, and has been their chairperson since 2013. Katrín was Iceland's minister of education, science, and culture, and of Nordic co-operation from 2 February 2009 to 23 May 2013. She is Iceland's second female prime minister, after Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. On 19 February 2020, she was named Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.
Katrín became deputy chairwoman of the Left-Green Movement in 2003, and has been their chairperson since 2013.
She has been a member of the Althing for the Reykjavík North constituency since 2007.
Katrín was Iceland's minister of education, science, and culture, and of Nordic co-operation from 2 February 2009 to 23 May 2013.
Prime Minister (2017–present)
Before becoming Prime Minister, Katrín was chairperson of the Left-Green Movement. In the wake of the 2017 Icelandic parliamentary election, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson tasked her with forming a governing coalition to consist of the Left-Green Movement, the Progressive Party, the Social Democratic Alliance, and the Pirate Party. Coalition talks between the four parties formally began on 3 November 2017, but were unsuccessful because of Progressive Party concerns that her coalition would have too thin a majority. As a result, Katrín sought to lead a three-party coalition with the Independence Party and Progressive Party. After coalition talks were completed, President Guðni formally granted her a mandate to lead the government, which was installed on 30 November. She is the second woman to serve as Prime Minister of Iceland.
According to political scientists, Katrín's government "combines conventional economic and social emphases (e. g., support for the regions and primary industries) with opposition to European integration". Despite being a coalition government of the left-socialist Left-Greens, the centre (Progressive Party), and the right-wing (Independence Party), the coalition was stable throughout 2018.
As head of government, Katrín made taxes more progressive, invested in social housing, extended parental leave, and reduced gender pay inequality. She has had to make concessions to her right-wing partners to maintain her coalition, such as giving up the creation of a national park in the center of the country.
In September 2021, almost four years after her inauguration, Katrín remains highly popular, and leaves an image of integrity and sincerity. Her good management of the COVID-19 pandemic has been praised, with the country having one of the best health records in Europe, with 33 deaths.
The 2021 parliamentary elections were a failure for the Prime Minister's party, Left-Green Movement, which lost three of its 11 seats in Parliament. However, the coalition government retained its majority, and negotiations began between the parties to renew their agreement. Polls conducted in the days following the election indicated that a large majority of Icelanders wanted Katrín Jakobsdóttir to remain in government.