Chairman Arctic Circle, President of Iceland 1996-2016
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, is the fifth President of Iceland, having served since 1996; he was unopposed in 2000, re-elected for a third term in 2004, re-elected unopposed for a fourth term in 2008 and re-elected for a record fifth term in 2012.
As part of the left-wing People's Alliance, Ólafur was a Member of Althing for Reykjavík from 1978 to 1983; during this time he was Chairman of the People's Alliance parliamentary group from 1980 to 1983. Subsequently, he was Chairman of the People's Alliance executive committee from 1983 to 1987; additionally, from 1983 to 1985 he was editor of a newspaper, Þjóðviljinn. From 1987 to 1995, he was Leader of the People's Alliance; during this time, he served as Minister of Finance from 1988 to 1991 and as a Member of Althing for Reykjanes from 1991 to 1996.
He is the first president to use the authorisation given in the 26th article of the Icelandic constitution to put a law from Alþingi into a referendum. He did that on 2 June 2004 to a law about the mass media.