Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff

Dilma Rousseff was born on December 14, 1947, in Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. She studied economics at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and graduated in 1977. In 1967, she joined the Worker’s Politics, an organization founded in 1961 as a faction of the Brazilian Socialist Party. She was arrested and imprisoned from January 1970 until the end of 1973 for alleged militant activities against the military regime. Throughout her career, Ms. Rousseff has been active in local and state politics. In the mid-1980s, she worked as an adviser for the Democratic Labour Party. Throughout the 1990s, she worked in the state government of Rio Grande do Sul, primarily as Secretary of Mines, Energy and Communications. In 2001, Ms. Rousseff joined the Workers’ Party and in 2003, following the election of President Lula da Silva, she was appointed Minister of Mines and Energy. In 2005, she became President Lula da Silva’s Chief of Staff. Ms. Rousseff was elected as the first woman President of Brazil on October 31, 2010, and assumed office on January 1, 2011, for a four-year term.