Gerhard Schröder is the first of a new generation of vibrant German leaders. He took on the newly reunited Germany and boldly ushered the world’s third largest economy into the 21st century. A charismatic and powerful national figure, Gerhard Schröder was elected Chancellor in 1998.
In his seven years in office, he did more to modernise Germany’s economy than had been accomplished in decades. Elected to a second term in 2002, he increased his country’s influence on a global level by taking strong stands on global issues and sending German troops to hotspots around the world. Hailed by one German newspaper as the most charismatic German politician since Willy Brandt, Gerhard Schröder was young and optimistic, a breath of fresh air in the stodgy German Bundestag. He remains vastly popular as a principal player in the global energy sector, and is the Independent Director and Member of the Board of Directors of the Anglo-Russian oil company TNK-BP, chairman of the shareholders’ committee for the European-Russian pipeline company Nord Stream AG, a member of the European Advisory Council of the Rothschild Group since 2006, and an Advisor to Swiss publishing company Ringier.
Born into poverty in Northwestern Germany in 1944, Chancellor Schröder’s widowed mother laboured on farms to support her two sons. Shunned as a child for his poor, meager appearance, Chancellor Schröder attended law school at night while working days at an ironmonger’s shop. From these humble roots was born a formidable politician, known for his charm and his ability to connect with the German people.