Mrs. Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir was appointed as UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, and Representative to Turkey in January 2014.
Born in 1954 in Iceland, prior to her appointment as the Regional Director, Mrs. Gísladóttir worked as UN Women Country Director in Afghanistan (2011-2014), was the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland (2007 – 2009) and a Member of Parliament where she served for two separate terms between 1991 – 1994 and 2005-2009.
She was one of the founding members of the Women's Alliance in Iceland in 1982, a successful and historical political movement that promoted the cause of women and changed their status radically. She was also the editor of VERA, a feminist magazine, published by the Women's Alliance between dates 1988-1990. She was first elected to the Parliament in 1991 – 1994 from the Women's Alliance and again in 2005 – 2009 representing the Social Democratic Alliance. She was elected as Chairperson and Leader of the Social Democratic Alliance, the second largest political party in Iceland, in a party-wide vote in 2005 and re-elected in 2007. She was a member of the City Council of Reykjavik for 18 years (1982-1988 and 1994-2003), including Mayor for 9 years. She is an Honorary and International member of the International Women's Commission for a Just and Sustainable Israeli - Palestinian Peace (IWC) that worked under the auspice of UNIFEM (2008-2011). Mrs. Gísladóttir holds a degree in history and literature from the University of Iceland (1979) and had post-graduate studies and research in history at the University of Copenhagen (1979-1981). She is married to Hjörleifur Sveinbjörnsson, a university lecturer in Chinese and Chinese literature and translator of literature into Icelandic. They have two sons born in 1983 and 1985.