Yingluck Shinawatra is a native of the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. She was born into a family with strong background in both business and politics.
Yingluck received a B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration from Chiang Mai University in 1988 and an M.A. in Public Administration from Kentucky State University in 1991.
Before entering politics, Yingluck was a very successful businesswoman. She started her career as a sales and marketing intern at family-owned Shinawatra Directories, a telephone directory business founded by AT&T International. Over time, she rose through the ranks to become Director of Procurement and Director of Operations. In 1994, she moved to become a general manager at Rainbow Media, a subsidiary of International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), which later became TrueVisions.
In 2002, Yingluck became the Executive Director at Advanced Info Services (AIS), which is Thailand’s leading telecommunication company. Her final post in the private sector was in the real estate industry as Chairperson of SC Asset Corporation.
In May 2011, Yingluck registered as Puea Thai’s number one party-list candidate for the 3 July 2011 election, putting her first in line for the premiership. The Puea Thai Party won the election, taking 265 of 500 seats. Yingluck subsequently became Thailand’s 28th and first female Prime Minister.
During the past 18 months, Yingluck has led the country through many challenges including the economic recovery after the floods while at the same time delivered on her promises in implementing government policies. Yingluck has also addressed many urgent social issues, in particular in promoting greater role for women through the Woman Development Fund.