Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership

WOMEN CHIEFS OF 
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS 
1930-1999

This is a listing of female chiefs of governments both of federal states and provincial with various degrees of autonomy

Also see Women Local Leaders



1938-39 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Mariya Alekseyevna Mironova, Kamchatka oblast in Russia (USSR)
She lived (1900-19..)

1947-48 Acting Reigning Mayor Louise Schroeder, Berlin (Germany)
Chief of the government even though Berlin was not yet a full state in the West German Federation. She was  Mayor of Western Berlin 1946-47 and 1948-50. Former Member of the Constitutional Asssembly 1918 and the Reichstag 1920-33. She lived (1887-1957).

1952-59 Chairperson of the District Government Lydia Poser, Gear (German Democratic Republic)
Worked with the German Communist Party since 1929 and was imprisoned 1933-36, Mayor of Jena 1946-48, Member of the Presidium of the Landtag of Thüringen 1946-48. She lived (1909-84).

1957-62 Chairperson of the Council of Ministers Rosa Abdul-Basyrovna El'darova, Daghestan (Russia/USSR)
Chairperson of the Executive Committee and President of the Supreme Soviet 1962-69.

1959-62 Chairperson of the Council of Ministers Tamara Soltnovna Khetagurova, North-Ossetina (Russia/USSR)
1949-54 Vice-Minister of Finance, 1958-59 Minister of Finance and Vice-Premier, 1962-74 Chairperson of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. (b. 1913)

1960-67 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Domna Pavlovna Komarova, District of Briansk (Russia/USSR)
In Charge of Agriculture 1962-64.

1961-70 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Anna Dmitriyevna Nutetegryne,  Chukotka Okrug Autonomous District (Russia in USSR)
Followed on the post by Linda Tynel. (b. 1930- )

1963-67 Chief Minister Sucheta Kripalani, Uttar Pradesh (India)
Involved in the Quit India Movement, Member of the Constitutient Assembly in 1947 and member of Lok Sabha 1952-62 and served as a Minister of State for Small Scale Industries. Assembly Member and Minister in Uttar Pradesh in 1962. lived (1908-74).

1963-76 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Aleksandra Ivanovna Demidova, Kaluga Oblast (Russia in USSR)
Followed on the post by Linda Tynel. She lived (1930-circa 2003)

1964-69 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Yekaterina Yegorovna Tomilina, Komi-Permyak autonomous okrug in Russia (USSR)
She lived (1923-92).

1967-69 Premier Minister Savka Dabčević-Kúčar  of Croatia (Yugoslavia)
1969-70 Leader of Communist Party in Croatia
Dsmissed as Communist Party leader by Marshall Tito because he considered her views too liberal, 1970-71 Co-Leader of the Croatian Spring- movement, from 1990 Chairperson of the Democratic Party and 1992 Presidential Candidate.(b. 1923-) 

1969-82 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Antonina Georgiyevna Grigoryeva, Khanty-Mansi Okrug (Russia in USSR)
Followed on the post by Valentina Telenkova. She lived (1918-98).

1969- Chairperson of the Executive Committee Dina Yosyfivna Protsenko, Kherson (Ukraine, USSR)
Also member of the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine, and lived (1926-2006).

1970-82 President of the General Council Evelyne Baylet, Tarn-et-Garonne (France)
1959-78 Mayor of Valence d'Agen, 1972-85 Vice-President of the Regional Council of the Midi-Pyrénées (b. 1913-)

1970-80 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Lina Grigoryevna Tynel, Chukotka Okrug Autonomous District (Russia in USSR)
Followed Ana Nutetegryne and was followed by Nadezhda Otke on the post. (b. 1932- )

1971-77 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Tatyana Semyonovna Yeryomina, Taymyr (Dolgano-Nenets) autonomous okrug in Russia (USSR)
She lived (1931-2005)

1971-89 Chairperson of the District Government Irma Uschkamp, Cottbus (DDR)
Kown as Vorzitzende des Rates des Bezirkes in German. (b. 1929-)

1972-73 and 1974-76 Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy, Orissa (India)
1966-69 Union Minister of State of Information, 1969-70 Minister of State to the Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi), 1970-71 Minister of State without Portfolio, 1971-72 Minister of State of Information. She lived (1931-2006).

1973-79 Chief Minister Shashikala Gurudatt Kakodkar, Goa, Daman and Diu (India)
Minister of state in 1973, she became leder of the government after the death of her father, Dayanand B. Bandodkar. 1973-80, Minister of Education in Goa in 1990, and from 2001 leader of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. She lived (1935-2016).

1974-81 Minister in Charge Rika De Backer-Van Ocken, Flemish Community (Belgium)
1974-79 Minister of Dutch Culture and Flemish Affairs, 1980-82 Minister of the Dutch Community and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee in Charge of Flanders and 1981-82 Secretary of State of Tourism, Culture and Housing  She lived (1923-2002).

1977 Interim Leader of the Territorial Council (Government)  Hilda Watson, Yukon (Canada)
As Interim Leader of Progressive Conservatives, which held the majority in the Assembly, she was head of the government. She lived (1922-97)

1975-78 Chairperson of the Revolutionary Committee Xing Yanzi, Tianjin (China)
Vice-Chairperson of the Revolutionary Committee of the Dazhongzhuang People's Commune, 1975-77 also Secretary of the Tianjin Communist Party (Mentioned as Chief of the Government of Hebei in 1978). She disappeared in 1985. (b. 1940-)

1980-81 Chief Minister Syeda Anwara Taimur , Assam (India)
Congress Politician, 1972-1983 and 1991 Member, Assam Legislative Assembly,  1975 Minister of Education, Government of Assam, 1988 Nominated to Rajya Sabha 1991 Minister of Agriculture, Haj and Wakf Property, Government of Assam, 2004 Elected to Rajya Sabha. (b. 1936-).

1980-83 President of the Government Anna Nenna d'Antonio, Regione d'Abruzzo (Italy)
Regional Councillor for Industry 1972-77 and for Social Affairs and Environment 1977-80. 

1980 Minister in Charge Cecile Goor-Eyben, Bruxelles Community(Belgium)
Vice-President of the Senate 1979-80, 1980 Minister of the Brussel Region (Chief Minister), 1980-85 Secretary of State for Brussels
(b. 1923-)

1980-90 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Nadezhda Pavlovna Otke, Chukotka Okrug Autonomous District (Russia in USSR)
Followed Linda Tynel as the third woman at the post since 1961. (b. 1941- )

1982-87 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Valentina Pavlovna Telenkova, Khanty-Mansi Okrug (Russia in USSR)
Followed Antonia Grigoryeva on the post. (b. 1939-)

1984 and 1993-95 President of the Government María Antonia Martínez García, The Autonomous Region of Murcia (Spain)

Former Councillor of Economy and Housing, Relations of the Autonomies, Vice-President of the Gvernment and 1991-93 1. Vice-President of the Regional Assembly of Murcia. Since 1995 she has been national Senator and Deputy Parliamentary Spokesperson of PSOE. (b. 1953-).

1985-87 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Zoya Pavlovna Pukhova, Ivanovo Oblast (Russia in USSR)
(b. 1936-)

1985-87 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Valentina Ivanova Uspenskaya, Koryak Autonomous Okrug (Russia in USSR)
Followed on the post by Valentina Bronevich.


1987-89 Chairperson of the Executive Council  Kaqusha Jashari (Kosova/Yugoslavia)
1989 Chief Secretary of the Communist Party
Forced to resign after the first Kosovan riots in the republic. In 2000 she was member of the Kosovo Transitional Council (Legislative) and Chairperson of Social Democratic Party of Kosovo (PSDK) which she had chaired since 1991.

  1987-91 Premier Enny Moaitz, Morobe Province (Papua New Guinea)

Member of the Interim Provincial Government for Youth, Women and Home Affairs 1978-80, and in the period from 1980-91 as an elected member of the legislature, she held the portfolios of Youth, Women and Home Affairs, Finance and Forestry. Candidate for the national elections 1992 and 1997. (b. 1945-)


1987-90 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Valentina Tadeyevna Bronevich, Ivanovo Oblast (Russia in USSR)
Governor 1996-2001. (b. 1956-)

1988 Chief Minister V.V. Janaki Ramachandra, Tamil Nadu (India)
Her husband, Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran was a famous film actor before he founded AIADMK in 1972 and was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu 1977-80 and 1981-87, when he died. She succeeded him as Chief Minister and Party Leader, but only for (7/1-30/1-88), until she was ousted by rival Factions, led by her husband's former mistress, J. Jayalalitha Jayaram, who first became Chief Minister from 1991. Janaki lived (circa 1923-96)

1988-91 Chairperson of the Executive Committee Galina Alekseyevna Troshkina, Khakass Autonomous Oblast in Russia (USSR)
Khakass S.S.R. was declared in 1991 as a split from Krasnoyarsk kray.(b. 1943)

1989-91 Chairperson of the Interim Commission Josephine Abaijah,  The National Capital District (Papua New Guinea)
Leader of the Papuan Freedom Party since 1972. 1997-2000 Governor of Milne Bay Province and from 2000 Member of the National Committee on Bouganville. (b. 1942)

1989 Chairperson of the Council of Ministers Elmira Makail-Kyzy Kafarova, Azerbaijan (USSR)
First Secretary of the Communist Party of Baku 1980, 1980-83 Minister of Education,  1983-87 Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1987-89 Deputy Premier Minister, 1989-90 Chairperson of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and Head of State of Azerbaijan, 1990-92 President of the Supreme Soviet of the independent Azerbaijan. She lived (1934-93)

1989 and 1991-95  Chief Minister Rosemary Follett, Australian Capital Territory (Australia)
1989-91 Leader of the Opposition (Labour). In 1996 she resigned from the Legislative Assembly to become Discrimination Commissioner of ATC.

1989-90 and 1994-95 President of the Government  Hedi Lang, Kanton Zürich (Switzerland)
In 1970 Heidi Lang-Agheri became member of the local council of Wetzkiker as the first woman anywhere in Switzerland. She was President of the Nationalrat 1981-82 and Councillor of Interior of Zürich 1983-91 again as the first woman. 1991-95 she was Councillor of Economy. In 1988-89 and 1993-94 she was Vice-President of the Government. She lived (1931-2004).



1990-93 Premier Joan Kirner, Victoria (Australia)

1985-88 Minister of Conservation, Forests and Lands, 1988-90 Deputy Premier, 1988-93 Minister of Ethnic Relations and 1993 Leader of the Opposition (Labour) in Victoria. She lived (1938-2015).


1990-93 Premier Dr. Carmen Lawrence, Western Australia (Australia)

Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Legislature 1986-88, Minister of Education 1988-90 in Western Australia. 1990-94 she was Leader of Labour in the State and 1993-94 Leader of the Opposition. 1994-96 Federal  Minister of Health and Human Service, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women (Cabinet Minister). President of the Australian Labour Party 2004-05. (b. 1937-)


1990 and 1995 Frau Landammann Cornelia Füeg-Hitz, Kanton Solothurn (Switzerland)

Councillor of Housing, Building and Traffic 1988-91 (and 1995-97), Councillor of Justice 1991-95.


1991 Premier and President of the Executive Council Rita M. Johnston, British Columbia (Canada)

1986-91 Deputy Premier and Minister of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Culture, 1991-92 Federal Leader of Social Credit Party.


1991-95 Government Leader Nellie Cournoyea, North West Territories (Canada)

Member of the Legislative Assembly 1979-95 and held various ministerial post before becoming the first aboriginal Government Leader. From 1996 Director General-President of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. (b. 1940-)


1991-96, 2001, 2002-2006, 2011-14 and 2015- Chief Minister  J. Jayalalitha Jayaram, Tamil Nadu (India)

Selvi J. Jayalahithaa (another transcription of her name) was  Co-Leader of All Indian Dravidian Progressive Federation, AIADMK 1995-98 and has been party leader since 1998. 1998-2001 Parliamentary leader in Lokh Sabha. In 2001 her party won the state elections and she was reappointed as Chief Minister, but had to resign in September because of her conviction for corruption. In December she was acquitted, and in February 2002 she won a by-election and again became leader of the government. Lost the elctions in 2006. In 2014 she was again removed from office because of a conviction for corruption. (b. 1948-).


1991-2010 President of the General Council Anne d'Ornano, Calvados (France)

Mayor of Deanville 1977-2001. Her late husband, Count Michel d'Ornano, was a former minister and mayor of Deanville 1962-77. (b. 1936-)


1992-93 and 1997-98 Schultheiss Brigitte Mürner-Gilli, Kanton Luzern (Switzerland)

1986-87 President of the Grand Council, 1987-99 Councillor of Education.


1992-94 President of the Government Fiorella Ghilardotti, Regione de Lombardia (Italy)

Later elected member of the European Parliament.


1992-98 President of the Regional Council Marie-Christine Blandin, Nord-Pas-De-Calais (France)

Leader of the Green Group in the Regional Council since 1998. Deputy National Secretary of Les Verts, Senator from 2001. (b. 1952-)


1992-98 President of the General Council Janine Bardou, Lozčre (France)

Senator 1994-2001 until she resigned because of ill health. (b. 1927-).


1993-2005 Minister President Heide Simonis, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)
Minister of Finance 1988-93 and Assisting Minister-Präsidentin in 1993. The Vice-Premier was a woman 2000-05 and during some periods the cabinet had more female members than male. She was 3. Vice-President of the Bundesrat 2003-04 . In 2005 she formed a new coalition but a member of her own Social Democrats did not vote for her in Parliament. It also meant that she did not become the first female President of the Bundesrat and Deputy Head of State in November 2005, when the post belonged to the state, according to the rotating principle. (b. 1944-).

1993-94 Chief Minister Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Western Province (Sri Lanka)
Federal Prime Minister in 1994 and President 1994-2005. The Western Province includes the capital Colombo.

1993-96 Premier Catherine Callbeck, Prince Edwards Island (Canada)

1974-1978 Minister of Health and Social Services and  Minister Responsible for the Disabled of PEI. In 1978 she returned to the family business. Again Member of the Assembly 1988-93. Two days after she was elected leader of the Liberal Party, she became Premier and President of the Executive Council on January 25 1993, and in March she again became MLA. Since 1997 National Senator. (b. 1939-)


1993-94 Landammann Margrit Weber-Röllin, Kanton Schwyz (Switzerland)

Councillor of Education 1988-96.


1993-2002 President of the Government Marta Vincenzi, Provincia Genova (Italy)

1990-93 Councillor of School Affairs in the City Government of Government. In the provincial government there wetr 4 women and 4 male members. Afterwards Member of the European Parliament. (1947-)


1994-99 Premier Laurette Onkelinx, French Community (Belgium)

 Vice-Chairperson of the Parliament Group of Parti Socialiste 1989-92, Vice-President of House of Representatives 1990-91, Federal Minister of Social Solidarity, Health and Environment 1992-93 and since 1. Federal Vice-Premier 1999-2007 and several ministerial posts since 1999. (b. 1944-)


1994-99 Premier Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casbury, The Free State (South Africa)

1999-2009 Minister in the central government. She lived (1937-2009).


1995-2000 Chief Minister Kate Carnell, Australian Capital Territory  (Australia)

1991-95 Leader of the Liberals and Leader of the Opposition. Also Treasurer and holder of other portfolios. Continued in the government in 2000.


1995, 1997, 2002-03 and 2007- Chief Minister Mayawati, Uttar Pradesh (India)

The first low-chaste or Dalit Chief Minister in India and the youngest in Uttar Pradesh by her first appointment. She was Union Vice-President of Bahujan Samaja Party 1995-2002 and from 2002 Party Leader. (b. 1956-)


1995-96 President of the Government Dori Schaer-Born, Bern (Switzerland)


Councillor of Building, Traffic and Energy 1992-2002.


1995-96 President of the Government Alessandra Guerra, Regione de Friuli-Venezia Gulia (Autonomous Region) (Italy)

Regional Councillor for Lega Nord and from 2001 Vice-President and Councillor for Education, Culture and European Affairs. 2003 she was candidate in direct elections for the post of President of the Regional Government (b. 1963-).


1996-2005 Landeshauptfrau Waltraud Klasnic, Steiermark (Austria)

She was III. President of the Landtag 1983-88, Councillor of Economics, Tourism and Traffic 1988-96 and Deputy Premier 1993-96. Vice-Chairperson of the ÖVP 1995-99 and since 1996 Provincial Chair of the People's Party. Lost the 2005-elections. (b. 1945-).


1996-97 Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Punjab (India)
Leader of the Punjab Congress Party and from 2004 Deputy Chief Minister of the Province. (b. 1945-).

1996, 2000 and 2005 President of the Council of State Dr. Ruth Lüthi, Canton Fribourg/Kanton Freiburg (Switzerland)


Councillor of Social Affairs and Health from 1991 and 1999 and 2004 Vice-President of the Council of State.


1996-97 Acting Chief Minister Patience Addow, The Eastern Region 
1997-99 and 1999-2001 Chief Minister of The Eastern Region  (Ghana)

Minister in Charge of the Eastern Region (Chief Minister) in the central government 


1997-99 Chief  Minister Esther Lily Nkasah,  The Western Region (Ghana)

Minister in Charge of the Western (Chief Minister) in the central government. Her mother, Gladys Asmah (1936-) was Minister 2001-09. (b. 1953-) 


1997-98 Landammann Dr. Stéphane Mörikofer-Zwez of Kanton Aargau (Switzerland)

1993-99 Councillor of Health, 1996-97 Landstatthalter (Deputy Chief of Government), 1997-98 Landammann (Chief of Government), 1999-2001 Councillor of Finance and
2000-01 Landstatthalter (b. 1943-).


1997-98 and 2002-03 President of the Government Elisabeth Zölch-Balmer, Kanton Bern (Switzerland)

Councillor of People's Economy 1994-2006. 


1997-98 and 2000-ca.03 President of the Government/Landammann Marianne Kleiner-Schläpfer, Kanton Appenzell-Ausserrhoden (Switzerland) 

Director of Finance 1994-2003.


1997 and 2001 President of the Government Anita Rion, Republique et Canton du Jura (Switzerland)
Minister of Education 1997-2002.

1997-99, 1999 and 2000-05 Chief Minister Rabri Devi, Bihar (India)

She is illiterate and knows little about politics and appears to be a mere figurehead for her husband, former Chief Minister, Laloo Prasad Yadaw, who was under investigation on charges of corruption and later convicted. She is also leader of the Rashtiya Janata Dal. From 2000 she has been the leader of a coalition government with 39 cabinet ministers and 41 ministers of state - the largest in the country. She is illiterate. (b. 1956-).


1998 Chief Minister Sushma Swaraj, Delhi (India)

In 1977-78 Minister of Social Welfare etc. 1987-88 Minister of Education, Food and Civil Supply of Haryana, 1991-98 Member of the Panel of Vice-Chairmen of the Rajya Sabha, circa 1995-98 General Secretary and Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, 1996 1998 and since 2000 Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting. In 1998 she resigned from the Union Cabinet to become Chief Minister of Delhi, but after a few months she lost the election and was succeeded by Sheila Dixit. (b. 1952-)


1998-2013 Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, Delhi (India)
Sheila Dikshit was Minister of State of Parliamentary Affairs and Minister of State of the Prime Minister’s Office 1986-89 and also the President of the State Congress (I) and Governor of Kerala in 2014. (b. 1938-)

1998-99 and 2004-05 President of the Council of State Martine Brunswig Graf, The  Republique et Canon de Génčve/Genf (Switzerland)

Councillor of Public Education and Military Affairs 1993-2003, 1997-98 and 2003-04 Vice-President of the Council of State,
Acting Councillor of Finances 2002-03, Councillor of Finances and Military Affairs 2003-05. (b. 1950-)


1998-99 President of the Government Veronica Schaller, Kanton Basel Stadt (Switzerland) 

Councillor of Health 1992-2000 and 2000-01 in charge of Education in the Canton of the City of Basel.


1998-99, 2002-02 and 2005-06 President of the Government Elsebeth Schneider-Kenel, Kanton Basel  Landschaft (Switzerland)


Councillor of Building and Environment from 1996 and Vice-President of the Government 1997-98, 2001-02 and 2004-05 in the Canton of the Landscape of Basel. (b. 1946-).


1998-99 and 2000-01 President of the Government Marina Masoni, Repubblica e Cantone del Ticino (Switzerland)
Director of Finance and Economy from 1995, and Vice-President of the Council of State 1997-98, 1999-2000 and
2004-05 Vice-President of the Council of State

1998-99 Landammann Rita Roos-Niedermann, St. Gallen (Switzerland)
Director of Economy from 1996 and 1999-2000 Landamann-Stellvertreterin. In 1999 she was candidate for the post of National Councillor (Minister in the National Government)

1999-2004 Premier Isabella Winkie Direko, The Free State (South Africa)
Former School Principal and National President of the National Council of African Women. She lived (1929-2012).


1999-2009 Leader of the Government Sarah Wescot-Williams, Sint Maarten (Nederlandse Antillen)

Commissioner of General Affairs and Education 1995-2009 and from 1999 also Deputy of Education, Social and Cultural Development, Finance, Juridical Affairs, Emergency Services, Information, Communication and Protocol, Strategic Policy, Planning and Development. She is also Leader of the St. Maarten Party. Prime Minister of the newly established entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands 2010-14 and Parliament President in 2014. (b. 1956-).


1999-2000 Chief of the Government Rosario Robles Berlanga de Moguel, The Federal District (Mexico)


In 1989 she founded the Partido de la Revolución Democrática, Member of the Parliament and 1997-99 Secretary of Government of the Federal District.


1999-2000 and 2006-07 Government President Verena Diener, Kanton Zürich (Switzerland)
Councillor of Health 1991 and Councillor of Health 1995-2007. 1995-97 also Councillor of Social Affairs. In 1992-95 she was Leader of the Faction of the Green Party in the National Assembly. Vice-Government-President 2005-06. (b. 1949-).

1999 Chief Minister Jayani Tissera Dissanayake, North Central Province (Sri Lanka)

In office from April to June and stepped down in favour of her husband, Berty Premalal Dissanayake, who is also Minister in the central government. She later became Private Secretary for another Minister, Dr. Duddley Dissanayake.


1999 Chief Minister Nalini Weerawanni, Uva Province (Sri Lanka)

Nominally sworn in as chief minister to pave the way for her husband, Samaraweera Weerawanni, MP and former Deputy Minister in the Central Government.


1999-2002  President of the Government  Margherita Cogo, Regione di Trento-Alto Adige/ Trentino-Südtirol  (Autonomous Region) (Italy)

Trento-Alto Adige consists of two Provinces Trento and Bolzano/Bozen or South Tirol, with a German-speaking majority of inhabitants and German is official language together Italian.


1999-2004 President of the Regional Council Anne-Marie Comparini, Région Rhône-Albes (France)
Former Regional Councillor and Vice-President of the Council and Vice-mayor of Lyon from 1995. (b. 1948-)

Last update 30.10.16

 

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