Finnbogadóttir, Vigdís vĭg´dēs fĭn˝bōgədô´tĭr [key], 1930–, Icelandic teacher and politician, president of Iceland (1980–96). She first became a public figure as the director of the Reykjavik theatre company (1972–80), and as the presenter of a television series on French language and literature. She was a member (1976–78) and then chair (1978–80) of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Affairs in Nordic Countries. She was elected president of Iceland in 1980 with support from a center-right coalition, becoming the first woman to be a popularly elected head of state. Although the Icelandic presidency is a largely ceremonial office, Finnbogadóttir enhanced the international stature of the post and of Iceland. Reelected in 1984, 1988, and 1992, she retired in 1996.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian History: Biographies