Ursula Von der Leyen. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images
Ursula von der Leyen, the outgoing German defense minister and an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, won a closely contested vote in the European Parliament on Tuesday to become the first female president of the European Commission.
Why it matters: Von der Leyen ticks a number of boxes as an experienced, polished, multilingual defender of the European project. However, she’s faced sharp criticism in her current job, and some argue she’s getting a major promotion not on merit, but because she has fewer enemies on the continent than other contenders. She'll now take over for Jean-Claude Juncker at the helm of the Brussels bureaucracy.