Helle Thorning-Schmidt (hĕl´ə tôr´nĕng-shmĕt´) 1966–, Danish political leader, grad. Univ. of Copenhagen (1994). A Social Democrat, she was a member of the European parliament from 1999 to 2004. In 2005 she was elected to the Danish parliament and subsequently became party leader; she remained in the post after the party's 2007 loss. In 2011 the Social Democratic-led center-left alliance narrowly won control of parliament, and she became prime minister (and the first woman to hold the office). She resigned as prime minister and party leader after the center-left alliance lost the 2015 elections.