Atifete Jahjaga

Born:April 20, 1975 (age 49)
Career:President of Kosovo, 2011-2016
Education:Law degree, University of Prishtina

Atifete Jahjaga served as the president of Kosovo from 2011 to 2016. She was the first female president of the Republic of Kosovo, the first non-partisan candidate, and the youngest female head of state to be elected to the top office.

Jahjaga, a Kosovo Albanian, was born April 20, 1975, in Đakovica (now called Gjakova), then a part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. She graduated from the University of Prishtina at the Faculty of Law in 2000. In 2007, she completed a graduate certificate program in police management and criminal law at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

After the Kosovo War (1998-1999), Jahjaga completed Kosovo's Police Academy and became an officer. After a series of promotions, she served as deputy director of the Kosovo Police, holding the rank of major general, the most senior among women officers in southeastern Europe.

On April 6, 2011, Jahjaga was announced as a consensus candidate for president, and on April 7, she was elected. In her inaugural address, she stated that her goal as president was to put Kosovo on a safe path toward membership into the European Union and the United Nations. While in office, she sought to strengthen the democratic institutions of the country and secure greater international recognition for Kosovo.

In 2018, Jahjaga founded the Jahjaga Foundation, a non-governmental organization with the goal of the democratic development of Kosovo and the Balkans.