Dilma Rousseff has forged a reputation as a deft political operator, leading some commentators to nickname her the ‘Iron Lady’ in the mould of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher.
But when it was announced she would become Brazil’s first female president, this twice-divorced economist, who once battled back from cancer, displayed a rare glimpse of emotion.
Born in December 1947 in Belo Horizonte, Rousseff is the daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant, a lawyer, and her Brazilian mother, a teacher.
She became involved in left-wing politics as a student and later joined the underground fight against the country’s then military rulers.
Those guerrilla activities saw Rousseff jailed early in 1970 where she was subjected to electric shocks and beatings.
Released two years later, her political journey continued and she joined her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Workers’ Party in 1986.
He named her as energy minister in 2002 and then his chief of staff three years later.
Rousseff was also a key adviser to Lula on his plan to accelerate Brazil’s economic growth.
She has vowed to continue the policies credited with lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and which led Barack Obama to call Lula “the most popular politician on earth.”
Rousseff’s in-tray is already filled with a number of key issues to tackle.
She will have to figure out how to stop the strength of Brazil’s currency, the real, from blunting competitiveness.
On the foreign policy front, Rousseff must weigh whether to step up her predecessor’s campaign for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Rousseff also inherits another Lula legacy: Brazil’s growing budget deficit, which stood at 19 percent of GDP last year.
All this while tackling complex social issues such as improving education, stamping out crime and making Brazilian cities more liveable.
- 1United Arab Emrates leads way with planned mission to Mars
- 2Afghanistan wedding party ends in massacre
- 3Growing tension over new Turkish military offensive in Syria and Iraq
- 4Kurdish women fighting ISIL on the frontline
- 5Fires: thousands in emergency shelters as huge blazes take hold in France and Spain
- 1Protests erupt in Turkey and Iraq over Ankara’s operations against IS and Kurdish militants
- 2Clashes erupt at al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem
- 3Turkey defends strikes on PKK and ISIL in Iraq and Syria
- 4Anger over ‘slaughter of 250 pilot whales’ in the Faroe Islands
- 5Turkish strikes on PKK in Iraq put peace process at risk
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Russia unveils ‘straight’ flag, internet responds
- 3Seven reasons why Yanis Varoufakis is now a political legend
- 4Greek crisis: ‘Agreement reached’ after marathon talks
- 5[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 6Is Saudi Arabia outlawing rainbows for being gay?
- 7Pluto: New Horizons space probe provides closest-ever pictures
- 8Nasa announces the discovery of an earth-like planet
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 11Latest News Bulletin
- 12BREAKING: Formal nuclear deal reached with Iran, says diplomat
- 13Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 14French actor Gérard Depardieu ‘a threat to Ukraine national security’
- 15‘Imposed’ bailout deal must be implemented, says Greek PM
- 16International news | euronews, latest international news
- 17At least 10 dead in explosion in Turkish town close to border with Syria
- 18Greece clinches deal with eurogroup after marathon talks
- 19Berlusconi linked with a shock return to government – in Russia!
- 20Israel angry as Iran and West talk up nuclear deal
Latest world news
Afghanistan wedding party ends in massacre
Fires: thousands in emergency shelters as huge blazes take hold in France and Spain
Kurdish militia in Syria reportedly captures strategic town from ISIL
Red-hot bargain: ‘Blood for discount’ tickets at Transylvania festival
The Balkans: Another route for migrants seeking a new life in Europe
Wires > News
- 02:49 CET Boy Scouts lift blanket ban on gay adult leaders, employees
- 00:45 CET Libyan city Benghazi plunges into darkness as fighting hits power…
- 23:44 CET Turkey, U.S. aim for zone cleared of Islamic State in northern…
- 23:38 CET U.S. softens view of Malaysia, Cuba in human trafficking report
- 22:04 CET Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of making threats to neighbours
- 21:19 CET South Sudan should face extra pressure if it misses August peace…
- 21:17 CET Ireland to hand adopted people birth records for first time
- 20:39 CET Brazil’s biggest party sticks with unpopular Rousseff – for now