Gro Brundtland

Born:April 20, 1939 (age 84)
Career:Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), 1998-2003
Prime minister of Norway, 1981, 1986-1996
Party:Norwegian Labor Party
Education:University of Oslo
Harvard University

Gro Harlem Brundtland served as Norway’s prime minister in 1981 and from 1986 to 1996. She was the first woman to hold the office and the youngest person to do so. She was director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1998 to 2003.

Brundtland was born in Oslo, Norway, on April 20, 1939. Brundtland received an M.D. from the University of Oslo and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University in 1965. She worked as a public health officer for the city of Oslo.

As a member of the national Labour Party, she served as the minister of the environment from 1974 to 1979. She was elected deputy leader of the party in 1975 and elected leader in 1981. She was first electing to the Storting (Norwegian parliament) in 1977.

When the Labour prime minister resigned in 1981, Brundtland was appointed as prime minister. She served for nine months before the Labour party lost the elections held later in the year. Brundtland assumed the role of prime minister again in 1986, serving until her resignation in 1996.

Brundtland became chair of the United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development in 1983. She served as the director general of WHO from 1998 to 2003. In 2007 she became a member of the Elders.


Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica (n.d.). “Gro Harlem Brundtland” Britannica. Retrieved September 12, 2022.