Vigdis Finnbogadottir

President of Iceland

Elected as President of Iceland in 1980, and re-elected in 1984 and 1988, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, heads the magnificent land in the north.

The President was born on April 15, 1930 in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Her father was a civil engineer and professor at the University of Iceland. Her mother served as the chairman of the Icelandic Nurses Association for 36 years. Vigdis Finnbogadottir has known the value of education and service all her life.

Vigdis Finnbogadottir taught French at an experimental college where she was responsible for planning and developing the French teaching department.

During this period of her life, Vigdis joined the Icelandic Tourist Bureau and worked as a tourist guide during the summer. It was her job to receive foreign journalists, guide them around Iceland and help gather the information and material they requested. She was also instrumental in the development of the guide training program and headed it for several years. In her sabbatical year she returned to France to study the cultural relations between Iceland and France during the 19th century.

Vigdis Finnbogadottir served as director of the Reykjavik Theatre Company from 1972 to 1980. Under her guidance the Company flourished and she was especially active in opening channels for Iceland playwrights. She taught French drama at the University of Iceland and has been employed by Iceland State Television, giving French lessons and introducing theatre in a popular cultural series. She was a member of Grima, the first experimental theatre group in Iceland, served as chairman of Alliance Francaise and has given lectures abroad on Icelandic culture. Since 1976, she has been a member of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Affairs of the Nordic Council, serving as its chairman since 1978.

Vigdis Finnbogadottir has studied and prepared her life for leadership and service since her youth. She the dynamic and popular leader of the people of Iceland.

On January 26, 1990, Women's International Center proudly presented the International Leadership Living Legacy Award to President Finnbogadottir. Sally B. Thornton, Special Projects Director for the Center, presented the Award at a special luncheon hosted by the President in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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