Gro Harlem Brundtland (born April 20, 1939) is a Norwegian politician and physician, and an international leader in sustainable development and public health.
She was born in Bærum, and was educated Medical doctor (cand. med.) at University of Oslo in 1963, and Master of Public Health at the Harvard University in 1965). She was Norwegian Minister for Environmental Affairs 1974-79, and became Norway's first female Prime Minister February - October 1981; her cabinet was renowned internationally for having 8 female ministers out of 18.
Gro Harlem Brundtland was Chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), widely referred to as the Brundtland Commission, developing the broad political concept of sustainable development in the course of extensive public hearings that were distinguished by their inclusiveness and published its report Our Common Future in April 1987. The Brundtland Commission provided the momentum for the 1992 Earth Summit / UNCED, that was headed by Maurice Strong, who had been a prominent member of the Brundtland Commission - and for Agenda 21.
Brundtland became Norwegian Prime Minister for two subsequent terms - from May 9, 1986 until October 16, 1989 and from November 3, 1990 until October 25, 1996, when she was succeeded by Thorbjørn Jagland. Resigned as leader of the Labour Party in 1992.
Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland was elected Director-General of the World Health Organization in May 1998. In this capacity, Dr. Brundtland adopted a far-reaching approach to public health, establishing a Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (http://www.cmhealth.org) - chaired by Jeffrey Sachs - and addressing violence as a major public health issue. Brundtland was recognized in 2003 by Scientific American as their Policy Leader of the Year for coordinating a rapid worldwide response to stem outbreaks of SARS. Gro Harlem Brundtland was succeeded, on July 21, 2003, by Jong-Wook Lee.