Ursula von der Leyen is a German politician with the right-centred Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
In 2005 she was appointed minister of family affairs, senior citizens, women and youth in Angela Merkel’s first cabinet and in 2009 she became minister of labour and social affairs. The same year she was elected to the parliament in 2009 and became the CDU’s deputy chairwoman in 2010. One of her first measures in the cabinet was to implement parental leave and expand child-care facilities. In 2013, she became the first woman to serve as Germany’s minister of defence and strongly supports a policy towards deeper European integration on security and defence matters.
After she had studied economics in Göttingen, Münster and at LSE in London, she changed her subject to medicine and enrolled in Hanover, where she graduated with a doctor of medicine. She also holds a master’s degree in public health. Ursula von der Leyen is married and mother of seven children.