Tsai Ing-wen

Born:August 31, 1956 (age 67)
Career:President of the Republic of China, 2016-present
Education:LL.B., National Taiwan University
LL.M., Cornell University
Ph.D., London School of Economics

Tsai Ing-wen is the current president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), elected on Saturday, January 16, 2016. She is the first female president of Taiwan and the first of Hakka and Aboriginal descent.

Tsai grew up Fenggang, in southern Taiwan and moved to Taipei as a teenager. She earned a Bachelor of Laws at National Taiwan University, a Master of Laws from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

Upon returning to Taiwan after graduation, she taught law at School of Law at Soochow University and National Chengchi University. She was also appointed to the Fair Trade Commission and the Copyright Commission, served as consultant for the Mainland Affairs Council and the National Security Council, and led the drafting team on the Statute Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau. After Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Chen Shui-bian took office in 2000, Tsai served as Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council during Chen's first term. In 2004, she joined the DPP and was elected as a legislator-at-large, and then served briefly as vice premier. Following the DPP defeat in the 2008 presidential election, Tsai was elected DPP chairperson. She ran unsuccessfully for New Taipei City mayor in 2010. In 2011, she became the first female presidential candidate of a major party in the history of the Republic of China, but was defeated by the incumbent candidate. She resigned as chairperson after losing her presidential election bid, but was elected chairperson again in 2014, setting the stage for her 2016 presidential bid.

Tsai has made her priority addressing the weak economy in Taiwan, and promoting a distinct identity from mainland China. She has supported same-sex marriage and promoted LGBT rights.


Office of the President (n.d.). “President Tsai” Office of the President Republic of China (Taiwan). Retrieved December 2, 2022. https://english.president.gov.tw/Page/40

Pletcher, K. (2016, May 24). “Tsai Ing-wen” Britannica. Retrieved December 2, 2022. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tsai-Ing-wen