Her first love, as well as the subject of her studies, was literature. But it was politics that won her over. The Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, speaks exclusively to Vogue Greece about her country’s successful handling of the pandemic, the need to protect the environment, as well as the special skills of female leaders.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir was elected Prime Minister in Iceland in November of 2017. She was the second woman in the history of the country to undertake its leadership. A 41-year-old woman, avid supporter of environmental movements – she is, after all, the chairperson of the Left-Green Movement in Iceland – former Minister of Education, who was voted as the most trusted politician in 2016 with a stunning difference. The people probably were up to something… Three years later, with COVID-19 wreaking havoc around the world, Iceland was one of the countries that took prevention measures in time and faced the pandemic with minimum casualties. Today, the spread of the virus is so contained that they speak of complete elimination.
This was the excuse for the Prime Minister to catch my eye and for me to start googling her name pretty often. No matter how you look at it, the fact that a young leader protected her people and fought off a pandemic in the best possible way, is a cause for respect and admiration. I was even more impressed when I discovered that a brave woman with empathy and a loud voice to be heard was behind the control, seriousness and effectiveness that Katrín Jakobsdóttir displays. From her strategic position as Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, she fights for equality and for promoting the virtues of female leaders, while always being on a green mission against climate change. My favorite trivia is that she has studied Philology, has completed a MA in Literature and a dissertation on the work a famous author from her country, who specializes in crime novels. As well as that before she got into politics, she had participated in a music video of a pop & rock band. “We must all play various roles in a small society like that of Iceland”, she had said.
This woman strikes me as a person that has not followed a “prime-ministerial template” in order to get to the top, she just happened to possess virtues and qualities and – even harder – to put them to good use. The fact that amidst a pandemic and her prime-ministerial obligations she immediately responded that she would gladly answer my – just four – questions for Vogue Greece, ascertains my opinion of her. Four questions could in no way be enough, but let’s content ourselves with the fact that we welcome the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, in our June issue pages, and are very proud of it.