Olafur Grimsson

Chairman, Arctic Circle


Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (born 14 May 1943) is an Icelandic politician who was the fifth President of Iceland from 1996 to 2016. He was first elected in 1996, and was elected unopposed for a second term in 2000. Ólafur was re-elected for a third term in 2004 (with opposition), for a fourth term in 2008 (unopposed), and for a record fifth and final term in 2012 (with opposition). Ólafur announced in his New Year's message on 1 January 2016, that he would be stepping down from the presidency at the end of his fifth term on 1 August 2016, after twenty years in office. However, he announced in a press conference on 18 April 2016 that he would be running for re-election, in light of the political instability caused by the release of the Panama Papers two weeks earlier. After Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and Davíð Oddsson announced their candidacies, he again changed his mind and on 9 May declared he would not run. Since the end of his presidency, Ólafur has been serving as Chairman of the Arctic Circle, a non-profit organization, and as Chairman of the International Renewable Energy Agency's Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation.