Katerina Sakellaropoulou
Κατερίνα Σακελλαροπούλου
Sakellaropoulou in 2020
President of Greece
Assumed office
13 March 2020
Prime MinisterKyriakos Mitsotakis
Ioannis Sarmas
Preceded byProkopis Pavlopoulos
President of the Council of State
In office
17 October 2018 – 11 February 2020
Vice PresidentAthanasios Rantos
Preceded byNikolaos Sakellariou
Succeeded byAthanasios Rantos
Vice President of the Council of State
In office
22 October 2015 – 17 October 2018
PresidentNikolaos Sakellariou
Preceded byNikolaos Sakellariou
Succeeded byAthanasios Rantos
Personal details
Aikaterini Sakellaropoulou

(1956-05-30) 30 May 1956 (age 67)
Thessaloniki, Kingdom of Greece
Political partyIndependent[a][1]
Domestic partnerPavlos Kotsonis
Residence(s)Presidential Mansion, Athens
EducationUniversity of Athens
University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas

Katerina Sakellaropoulou (Greek: Κατερίνα Σακελλαροπούλου, Katerína Sakellaropoúlou [kateˈrina sakelaroˈpulu]; born 30 May 1956) is a Greek judge who has been the president of Greece since 13 March 2020.[2] She was elected by the Hellenic Parliament to succeed Prokopis Pavlopoulos on 22 January 2020. Prior to her election as president, Sakellaropoulou served as president of the Council of State, the highest administrative court of Greece. She is the country's first female president.[3]

Early life

Sakellaropoulou was born in Thessaloniki. Her parents are Nikolaos Sakellaropoulos, a former vice president of the Greek Supreme Court, and Aliki Paraskeva.[4] Her family comes from Stavroupoli, a town in Xanthi prefecture. She studied law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and completed her postgraduate studies in public law at Paris II University. In the mid-1980s, she was admitted to the Council of State and she was promoted to councellor in 2000.[5]

In October 2015 she was appointed vice-president of the Council of State, and in October 2018 she became the first female president of the court, following a unanimous vote.[6] Her election came after the Syriza government, which was in power at the time, considered her progressive record on issues such as the environment and human rights.[7]

She has been a member of the Association of Judiciary Functionaries of the Council of State. During her tenure at the association, she has served as its secretary-general (1985–1986), vice-president (2006–2008), and president (1993–1995, 2000–2001).[5]

She publishes regularly in academic journals. She has also contributed to the book Financial crisis and environmental protection in the case law of the Council of State (Greek: Οικονομική κρίση και προστασία του περιβάλλοντος στη νομολογία του Συμβουλίου της Επικρατείας), Papazisis Publications, 2017.[8]

President of Greece

Main article: 2020 Greek presidential election

On 15 January 2020, the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, nominated her for the post of president of the Hellenic Republic.[9][10] Though she was chosen as a non-partisan candidate, she was an unexpected choice as her progressive politics conflicted with Mitsotakis' centre-right politics.[7][11] She was elected to the post on 22 January 2020 with 261 MPs voting in favour in the 300-seat Parliament.[3]

Sakellaropoulou took office before the Hellenic Parliament on 13 March of that year in a session with few legislators present, as the country was beginning to be severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the first restrictive measures had been ordered.[12] Upon being sworn in, she became the first woman to serve as Greece's president.[11]

When parliament was unable to form a government in 2023, Sakellaropoulou appointed Ioannis Sarmas as the head of a caretaker government.[13]

Political beliefs

Sakellaropoulou is a progressive. She has prioritised issues of environmentalism and minority rights.[7] She has described the Russian invasion of Ukraine as "a direct and dramatic conflict of values, between freedom and authoritarianism".[14]

Personal life

Sakellaropoulou lives with her partner, Pavlos Kotsonis, a lawyer.[15] She has one child from a previous marriage.[7]

She is an Aris Thessaloniki supporter.[16]


Foreign honours


  1. ^ Close to the PASOK party.


  1. ^ "Αικατερίνη Σακελλαροπούλου: Πώς υποδέχθηκαν τα κόμματα την πρόταση Μητσοτάκη για ΠτΔ". Iefimerida (in Greek). 16 January 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  2. ^ "President – Presidency of the Hellenic Republic". Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας εξελέγη η Αικατερίνη Σακελλαροπούλου, του Γιώργου Σ. Μπουρδάρα | Kathimerini". kathimerini.gr (in Greek). 22 January 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  4. ^ "President – Presidency of the Hellenic Republic". Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Ποια είναι η πρώτη γυναίκα πρόεδρος του ΣτΕ, Αικατερίνη Σακελλαροπούλου". news.gr. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Όλα τα ονόματα των προέδρων και αντιπροέδρων των Ανωτάτων Δικαστηρίων". iefimerida.gr (in Greek). 22 October 2015. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  7. ^ a b c d Smith, Helena (2020-01-16). "Progressive judge to become Greece's first female president". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-10-05.
  8. ^ "Αικατερίνη Σακελλαροπούλου". biblionet.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Greek PM taps top female judge as country's president". Reuters. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Greek PM Taps Top Female Judge as Country's President". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  11. ^ a b Labropoulou, Elinda (2020-01-22). "Katerina Sakellaropoulou becomes Greece's first woman president". CNN. Retrieved 2023-10-05.
  12. ^ Greece’s first female president is sworn in
  13. ^ Liakos, Chris (2023-05-24). "Greek president appoints judge as caretaker PM ahead of new elections". CNN. Retrieved 2023-10-05.
  14. ^ "Greek president must reconcile high expectations and falling quality of life". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2023-10-05.
  15. ^ "Το προφίλ της Σακελλαροπούλου: Λάτρης της φύσης, των ταξιδιών και των γατών". star.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Νέα Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας: Η σχέση της Κατερίνας Σακελλαροπούλου με τη Θεσσαλονίκη". metrosport.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana" (in Italian).
  18. ^ "Συνάντηση με τον Βασιλιά και την Βασίλισσα των Βέλγων – Προεδρία της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας" (in Greek).
  19. ^ "Δηλώσεις των Προέδρων της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας και της Σλοβακίας Κατερίνας Σακελλαροπούλου και Zuzana Čaputová κατά τη συνάντησή τους στο Προεδρικό Μέγαρο – Προεδρία της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας" (in Greek).
  20. ^ Pournara, Margarita (2 November 2022). "A presidential welcome for Dutch royals". Kathimerini. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  21. ^ "Bulgaria's President: The Sooner we Join Schengen, the Sooner we will Strengthen our Border Security with Turkey". Novinite. 8 December 2022. The Bulgarian head of state awarded Katerina Sakellaropoulou with the "Stara Planina" order with a ribbon for her merits for the development of bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Greece.
  22. ^ Grigovits, Eleni (2023-07-05). "Κατερίνα Σακελλαροπούλου: Συνάντηση με τον πρόεδρο της Μάλτας με φόντο το μεταναστευτικό". Proto Thema (in Greek).
Legal offices Preceded byNikolaos Sakellariou Vice President of the Council of State 2015–2018 Succeeded byAthanasios Rantos President of the Council of State 2018–2020 Political offices Preceded byProkopis Pavlopoulos President of Greece 2020–present Incumbent Order of precedence First Order of precedence of GreecePresident Succeeded byKyriakos Mitsotakisas Prime Minister