Rehn, Elisabeth (1935–)

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Rehn, Elisabeth (1935–)

Finnish administrator and politician. Born April 16, 1935, in Helsinki, Finland; BSc (Economics), Helsinki, 1957; DSc (Economics), Helsinki, 1994; DSc (Politics), Turku, 1998; m. Ove Rehn, 1955; children: Veronica, Joakiam, Charlotta, and Johan.

Worked as an office manager for Renecta Ltd. (1960–79) and Rehn Trading Ltd. (1978–79); also taught vocational guidance and was a member of the Kauniainen City Council (1973–79); as a member of Swedish People's Party (SFP), was elected to Finnish Parliament (1979) and would remain there until 1995; served as leader of SFP parliamentary group (1987–90); appointed defense minister (1990), the 1st woman in Europe to hold a defense portfolio, and the 2nd woman in the world to do so; came in 2nd in Finland's presidential election of Jan-Feb 1994; was a member of the European Parliament (1995–96), and spent 4 years working in the Balkans: 1st as Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, then as UN undersecretary general, Special Representative of Secretary-General in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Jan 16, 1998–July 15, 1999).