Elke Büdenbender

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Elke Büdenbender
Spouse of the President of Germany
Assumed role
19 March 2017
PresidentFrank-Walter Steinmeier
Preceded byDaniela Schadt
Personal details
Elke Büdenbender

(1962-01-14) 14 January 1962 (age 61)
Weidenau, West Germany
(m. 1995)
ChildrenMerit Steinmeier

Elke Büdenbender (born 14 January 1962) is a German jurist, and, since 1995, the wife of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current President of Germany.

Early life[edit]

Büdenbender attended intermediate secondary school in Siegen, after which she trained as an industrial clerk at a company in the machine building industry in Siegen. In 1982 she attended Siegerland College in Siegen and then worked as a clerk at a logistics company. In 1985, she began her degree in law at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, where she passed her first state law examination in 1991.[1]


From 1987, Büdenbender worked as a student assistant and later as a research assistant to Professor Brun-Otto Bryde at the Chair of Public Law. She completed her practical legal training at Hanover Regional Court in 1994, when she passed her second state law examination.

Thereafter, Büdenbender worked as a judge at Hanover Administrative Court. She has been a judge at Berlin Administrative Court since 2000. She is currently on long-term leave[1] in order to devote her time to being the first lady.[2]

Other activities[edit]

  • German-Israeli Future Forum, Member of the Board of Trustees[3]

Personal life[edit]

In 1995 Büdenbender married Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was elected as the twelfth President of the Federal Republic of Germany on 12 February 2017. They have one daughter.[1] On 24 August 2010, she received a kidney transplant that was donated by her husband.[4]


Foreign Honours[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "www.bundespraesident.de: Der Bundespräsident / Elke Büdenbender". www.bundespraesident.de. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  2. ^ Sauerbrey, Anna (2017-04-06). "Germany's First Lady Problem". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  3. ^ Board of Trustees German-Israeli Future Forum.
  4. ^ Transplantation - Steinmeiers Nierenspende ist geglückt
  5. ^ Sito web del Quirinale: dettaglio decorato.
  6. ^ "Par Triju Zvaigžņu ordeņa piešķiršanu - Latvijas Vēstnesis".
  7. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
Unofficial roles
Preceded by Spouse of the President of Germany