World Leaders 2017
Updated: 24 January 2017
This page contains a list all world leaders, including a list of all Presidents, Prime Ministers and Monarchs for every country in the world that is a member of the UN or an observer at the UN. It includes the names of the head of state and head of government of each country.
It also includes a list of the heads of significant global and regional organisations – for example, the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank or NATO.
The data is accurate as of April 2016.
List of world leaders
This table contains a list of heads of state and heads of government. Where the two roles are combined, only one person is listed.
Where we have written an article about a person included in this list, you can click on a link to visit that article.[table “65” not found /]
What is the difference between head of state and head of government?
The head of state is almost always an individual. They are often elected but not always – for example, some heads of state are monarchs. Their main role is to act as the representative of that state – for example meeting foreign dignitaries, opening parliaments, or calling elections.
The head of government is usually a prime minister, who leads the government and the legislature. They are responsible for implementing laws and ensuring that the country’s bureaucracy runs smoothly.
Most countries separate the two roles, and appoint a different person to fulfil each function. However some countries, usually in countries with a Presidential system of government, allow one person to fulfil both roles.
Elizabeth II is the only person to be head of state of more than one country. This is because many countries that used to be a part of the British Empire have kept her as their head of state. In total, she is Queen of sixteen countries. She is also head of the Commonwealth of Nations. In countries other than the United Kingdom, she is represented by a Governor-General.
Bhumibol Adulyadejs, also known as Rama IX, is the longest serving head of state. He is also the longest serving current monarch. He has reigned as King of Thailand since 9 June 1946. This is more than five years longer than Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 5 February 1952.
The longest serving head of state who is not a monarch is Paul Biya of Cameroon. He took office on 30 June 1975.
Three countries have more than one head of state. These countries are Switzerland, where members of the federal council take it in turns to take on the role of President, San Marino, which is led by two Captains-Regent, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, which has a three-member Presidency with one member drawn from each of its three nations.
List of organisation leaders
This table contains a list of the leaders of selected international organisations.[table “21” not found /]