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Hala Tomasdóttir is the new president of Iceland: a businesswoman who aspires to sustainable entrepreneurship and gender equality

Hala Tomasdóttir is the new president of Iceland: a businesswoman who aspires to sustainable entrepreneurship and gender equality

The president has a largely ceremonial role in Iceland and is the guarantor of the constitution and national unity. The president has the power to veto draft laws or subject them to a referendum.

Tomasdóttir, 55, will be sworn in on August 1 to become the seventh president since the founding of the Icelandic Republic in 1944 and the second woman to hold the position. She succeeds Gudni Johansson, who has been president since 2016, and announced during his New Year’s speech that he would not seek a third term in office. Tomasdottir had already made a bid for the presidency in 2016, but lost to Johansson.

Tomasdottir comes from the world of business and represents sustainable and socially responsible entrepreneurship. She says that as president, she wants to stand above parties and participate in the debate on topics such as the impact of social media on young people’s mental health, the development of Iceland as a tourist destination and the role of artificial intelligence.

The new president is also a leading advocate for diversity and gender equality in the workplace. Iceland has been at the top of the World Economic Forum’s gender equality rankings for 14 years.

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