German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to delegates of her political party, the Christian Democratic Union, in February 2018.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Updated 1:48 PM ET, Wed July 10, 2019

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to delegates of her political party, the Christian Democratic Union, in February 2018.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Angela Merkel, Germany's first female Chancellor, has been in office since 2005.

She will step aside in 2021, when her fourth term expires.

"It is time today for me to start a new chapter," Merkel told reporters in October.

Merkel said she will also stand down as chairwoman of her party, the center-right Christian Democratic Union.

See more photos of Merkel, who has dominated European politics for much of this century: