world leader

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician who is the current President of the Russian Federation, holding the office since 7 May 2012.He was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000, President from 2000 to 2008, and again Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012.During his second term as Prime Minister, he was the Chairman of the ruling United Russia Party.

Born in Saint Petersburg (then known as Leningrad), Putin studied German in high school and speaks the language fluently. He then studied law at the Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975. Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years.

Donald Trump

Trump sought the Reform Party's presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. He considered running as a Republican for the 2012 election, but ultimately decided against it. In June 2015, he announced his candidacy for the 2016 election, and quickly emerged as the front-runner among 17 candidates in the Republican primaries. His final opponents suspended their campaigns in May 2016.

Trump won the general election on November 8, 2016, in a surprise victory against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. He became the oldest and wealthiest person to assume the presidency, the first without prior military or government service, and the fifth elected with less than a plurality of the national popular vote.

Angela Merkel

A former research scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989, and briefly served as a deputy spokesperson for the first democratically elected East German Government headed by Lothar de Maizière in 1990. Following German reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and has been reelected ever since.

Merkel was appointed as the Minister for Women and Youth in the federal government under Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1991, and became the Minister for the Environment in 1994. After her party lost the federal election in 1998.

Xi Jinping

President of the People's Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. As Xi holds the top offices of the party and the military, in addition to being the head of state through the office of the president, he is sometimes referred to as China's "Paramount Leader" and recognized by the party as its leadership. As General Secretary, Xi holds an ex-officio seat on the Politburo Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body.

The son of Communist veteran Xi Zhongxun, Xi Jinping rose through the ranks politically in China's coastal provinces. Xi was governor of Fujian from 1999 to 2002.

Narendra Modi

Modi was appointed chief minister of Gujarat in 2001, due to Keshubhai Patel's failing health and poor public image following the earthquake in Bhuj. Modi was elected to the legislative assembly soon after. His administration has been considered complicit in the 2002 Gujarat riots, or otherwise criticised for its handling of it, although a court found no evidence to prosecute Modi.

Modi himself was elected to parliament from Varanasi. Since taking office, Modi's administration has tried to raise foreign direct investment in the Indian economy, increased spending on infrastructure, and reduced spending on health and social welfare programmes.

Pope Francis

Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first Pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, emphasis on God's mercy, concern for the poor, populist causes and commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is credited with having a less formal approach to the papacy than his predecessors.

Francois Hollande

French politician who has been President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra since taking office in 2012. Hollande was previously the First Secretary of the French Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008, the mayor of Tulle from 2001 to 2008, and the President of the Corrèze General Council from 2008 to 2012.

Hollande was born in Rouen and raised in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He began his political career as a special advisor to newly elected President François Mitterrand, before serving as a staffer for Max Gallo, the government's spokesman. After a brief stint as a municipal councillor for Ussel, he was elected as the country's inaugural First Secretary of the Socialist Party.

Shinzo Abe

Hailing from a politically prominent family, at age 52, Abe became Japan's youngest post-war prime minister, and the first to be born after World War II, when he was elected by a special session of the National Diet in September 2006. Abe resigned on 12 September 2007, for health reasons.

beginning a string of five Prime Ministers, none of whom retained office for more than sixteen months, before Abe staged a political comeback. On 26 September 2012, Abe defeated former Minister of Defense Shigeru Ishiba for the LDP presidency. Following the LDP's landslide victory in the 2012 general election,