Helle Thorning-Schmidt (born 14 December 1966) is a Danish politician who was Prime Minister of Denmark from 2011 to 2015, and the Leader of the Social Democrats from 2005 to 2015. She is the first woman to hold either post. Following defeat in 2015, she announced that she would step down as both Danish Prime Minister and Social Democratic party leader. On 28 June 2015, it was announced that Thorning-Schmidt would become her party's member of the Presidium of the Folketing and she currently serves as the Presidium's 1st Vice-President. On 4 September 2015, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced that the Danish government has nominated Thorning-Schmidt as Denmark’s official candidate to the position as new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Thorning-Schmidt served as a Member of the European Parliament for Denmark from 1999 to 2004 before being elected to the Danish Parliament in 2005. She was elected to replace Mogens Lykketoft as Leader of the Social Democrats after the 2005 parliamentary election, leading her party through the 2007 parliamentary election, which was won by the centre-right alliance, and the 2011 parliamentary election, after which she was appointed Prime Minister by Queen Margrethe II. Thorning-Schmidt holds degrees in political science from the University of Copenhagen and a graduate degree from the College of Europe...
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