Ursula von der Leyen
Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen (listen ; née Albrecht, 8 October 1958) is a German politician serving as Minister of Defence since 2013. A member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), she is the first woman in German history to hold the office. Von der Leyen previously served as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs from 2009 to 2013 and Minister of Senior Citizens, Women and Youth from 2005 to 2009.
Born and raised in Brussels, she is a physician by profession. She is the only minister who has served continuously in Angela Merkel's cabinet since she took office in 2005. Over the years she has often been described as a potential successor to Merkel as German Chancellor. Since 2018, she has however been described as the favourite to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as Secretary General of NATO. If she indeed succeeds as Secretary General of NATO, she would become the first woman to hold the office.