Iceland has been widely commended for its effective response to the pandemic – it was rated one of the top 14 safest countries in the world for COVID-19 and continues to have some of the lowest deaths per capita. Iceland Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir speaks with Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius about what other countries can learn from the small island nation’s crisis management and how it is preparing to handle the resurgence of the virus in Europe and possible second wave across the globe.


Iceland Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir was discussing the impact of the coronavirus on the tourism industry and how the nation is approaching testing when she was interrupted by a strong earthquake. According to Jakobsdóttir and a newspaper called the Express, first estimates say the earthquake was a 5.7 in magnitude. (Washington Post Live)
Iceland Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir shares the steps the nation took in the beginning of the pandemic and what they’re doing now to handle what she called a "third wave" of the coronavirus. "We are using the same methods as this spring, hoping to be able to go down again and take control of the virus." (Washington Post Live)
Iceland Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir credits the nation’s effective response to the coronavirus pandemic, in part, to its citizens having trust in one another. "I'm not saying that people necessarily trust their politicians, but they trust each other...We have confidence in one another, and that's why we see [that the] Icelandic public as a whole is really taking on collective responsibility in facing the pandemic." (Washington Post Live)

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland

Katrín Jakobsdóttir is the current Prime Minister of Iceland, elected November 2017 during the last election. She is Iceland’s second female head of government. She also serves as the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.She was born in 1976 and graduated from the University of Iceland in 1999 with a bachelor degree with a major in Icelandic and minor in French. She received her M.A. in Icelandic Literature from the same university in 2004 for a dissertation on the work of popular Icelandic crime writer Arnaldur Indriðason.​She became deputy Chairperson of the Left-Green Movement in 2003 and has been the Chairwoman of the party since 2013.Jakobsdóttir has been a Member of Parliament since 2007, serving as the Minister of Education, Science and Culture from 2009 to 2013, as well as the Minister for Nordic Cooperation from 2009 to 2013.