Angela Dorothea Merkel born 17 July 1954) is a German research scientist and politician who has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005, and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000. She is the first woman to hold either office.
Having initially trained as a physical chemist, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989, briefly serving as the deputy spokesperson for the East German Government. Following reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag for Stralsund-Nordvorpommern-Rügen in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a position she has held since. She was later appointed as the Federal Minister for Women and Youth in 1991 under Chancellor Helmut Kohl, being promoted to become Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1994. After the CDU/CSU coalition was defeated in 1998, she was elected Secretary-General of the CDU, before being elected the party's first ever female Leader in 2000.