Photo of Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Former Prime Minister of Denmark

Helle is serving as the Co-Chair for Democracy and Institutions at The Recovery Summit.

Helle led a coalition government from 2011 until 2015. She was member of Parliament and the Leader of the Social Democratic Party for 10 years. She was a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004. Helle has tackled significant national and global issues, specifically with regards to children’s rights. Helle has been recognized for her commitment to helping children fulfill their potential by ensuring access to quality education and was invited by the UN General Secretary to be a Global Education Champion to promote the Global Education First Initiative. In September 2015 she was appointed to the Education Financing Commission led by Gordon Brown. Elected as Prime Minister at a time when Denmark was feeling the significant impact of the financial crisis. Her ability to galvanize leaders across multiple parties demonstrates her collaborative leadership style, which she brings to Save the Children. As CEO, Helle oversees humanitarian and development programs that directly reach 55 million children in around 120 countries every year, including in some of the most difficult and challenging contexts. Save the Children has 25,000 staff and an annual budget of over two billion USD.

She has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and a Master’s Degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges. Born in Copenhagen, her mother tongue is Danish. She is also fluent in English and has a working knowledge of French. Helle is married with two children.