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Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is a Croatian politician and diplomat serving as the 4th and current President of Croatia since 2015. She is the first woman to be elected to the office since the first multi-party elections in 1990. At 46 years of age, she also became the youngest person to assume the presidency.

Before her election as President of Croatia, Grabar-Kitarović held a number of governmental and diplomatic positions. She was Minister of European Affairs from 2003 to 2005, the first female Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration from 2005 to 2008 in both the first and second cabinets of Ivo Sanader, Croatian Ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011 and Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO from 2011 to 2014.

She was a member of the conservative Croatian Democratic Union party from 1993 to 2015 and was also one of three Croatian members of the Trilateral Commission. In 2017, Forbes magazine listed Grabar-Kitarović as the world's 39th most powerful woman.

As a high school student, she entered a student exchange program and at 17 moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico, subsequently graduating from Los Alamos High School in 1986.

In 1992, she became an advisor to the international cooperation department of the Ministry of Science and Technology. In 1993 she joined the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). In the same year she was transferred to the Foreign Ministry as advisor. She became the head of the North American department of the Foreign Ministry in 1995 and held that post until 1997. That year she began to work at the Croatian embassy in Canada as a diplomatic councilor until October 1998, and then as a minister-councilor.

Upon her return to Yugoslavia, she enrolled at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish languages and literature. From 1995 to 1996, she attended the Diploma Course at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. In 2000 she obtained a master's degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Zagreb.

In 2002–2003 she attended George Washington University as a Fulbright scholar. She also received a Luksic Fellowship for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and was a visiting scholar at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

On 8 March 2008, she became the Croatian Ambassador to the United States, where she replaced Neven Jurica. She served as Ambassador until 4 July 2011.

In 2011 Grabar-Kitarović submitted her resignation as ambassador and on 4 June 2011 became Assistant Secretary General of NATO for Public Diplomacy.

In December 2015, Grabar-Kitarović began her doctoral studies in international relations at the Zagreb Faculty of Political Science.

According to poll conducted in May 2016 for Nova TV, 47% of people do not approve her work, while 45% do. In March 2016, her work was approved by 52% of people. Nevertheless, she is still the most popular politician with 57%.

 


 
 
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