High court judge and human rights advocate Katerina Sakellaropoulou was elected as Greece’s first female president by parliament this week. Sakellaropoulou has led a very successful life and broke many different gender barriers to get to her current position. She was also the first woman to serve as the president of the Council of State, which is the country’s top administrative court. She was assigned to that position after a unanimous vote.
She has been a member of the Association of Judiciary Functionaries of the Council of State. During her tenure at the association, she has served as its general secretary, between 1985 and 1986, as well as vice-president, between 2006 and 2008, and president between 1993 and 1995, and then again for 2000 and 2001.
The support that she received in the parliamentary vote was overwhelming, with 261 of the 300 MPs voting in favor of her presidency, which is well above the 200 votes that are required by the constitution.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the results of the election offer “a window to the future.”
“Our country enters, with more optimism, into a new decade,” he said.
Mitsotakis nominated Sakellaropoulou for the post last month, and his decision was widely supported by Greek citizens.
A recent poll by MRB pollsters released just before the final parliamentary election showed that 55% of respondents supported Sakellaropoulou as president.
In addition to being the first woman to be elected as president of Greece, Sakellaropoulou is also one of the only presidents in history to not be affiliated with a specific political party. Sakellaropoulou has been well-known throughout most of her career for her progressive positions on human rights and environmental issues.
In addition to her political life, she regularly publishes in academic journals and has also contributed to the book “Financial crisis and environmental protection on the case law of the Council of State.”