Can You Name These World Leaders?

By: Tasha Moore
Image: Wiki Commons by G20 Argentina/Alex Guibord/ Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr

About This Quiz

Now is your chance to learn more about the world leaders you read so much about. Take this word leaders quiz and see how many heads of state you can identify without scratching your head. There are a few facts given with each question to narrow down the choices if you should stumble along this brief scholastic journey of world politics.

All around the world, there are regular people performing astonishing tasks. Our world leaders are among the few who get to showcase their unique talents on the world stage. Look past the news headlines and peer a bit into their lives, and you will discover commonalities shared by all. Many leaders come from humble beginnings, many started out their professional careers doing menial tasks, and some suffered harder lives than most but managed to transcend dire circumstances.

Perhaps you can consider these leaders as true sources of inspiration when pondering your own life goals. Athlete, lawyer, engineer, poet, bank clerk, musician and spy are all professions certain world leaders once pursued before achieving high office in their respective cuts of the globe. Scroll on to fortify your current events knowledge.

In the late 1970s, Shinzo Abe studied political science in the United States at the University of Southern California. His grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was prime minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960.

Donald John Trump was born in New York City and attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance and Commerce in the late 1960s. After graduating, Trump worked for his father's real estate business.

Theresa May was born Theresa Mary Brasier on October 1, 1956 in Eastbourne, England. She replaced former prime minister David Cameron in July 2016.

In addition to serving as president of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin also served as Russia's prime minister in 1999 and president from 2008 to 2012. Putin was an intelligence officer for the Russian KGB for 15 years before serving in political office as a top head of state.

Emmanuel Macron was elected to the high office of president in France in 2017. He is a former banker and the youngest chief leader of France since Napoleon Bonaparte.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier served as German vice-chancellor from 2007 to 2009. His father was a factory worker.

Kim Jong-un succeeded his father, Kim Jong Il, as North Korea's head of state. He is affiliated with the Korean Worker's Party.

Sergio Mattarella was a lawyer, and he taught at the Law School of the University of Palermo before venturing into politics. Mattarella was elected as the twelfth president of Italy in 2015.

Michel Temer was born in Tiete, Brazil on September 23, 1940. He was elected as president of Brazil in August 2016 and replaced former president Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached.

On December 1, 2018, Mexico swore in Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as president. He is a leftist politician who formed his own political party, MORENA, in 2014.

Cuba's former president Raul Castro picked Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudez to succeed him. Diaz-Canel became president of Cuba in April 2018.

Justin Pierre James Trudeau was born on Christmas Day in 1971 in Ottawa, Canada. His father, Pierre Trudeau, was also prime minister of Canada from 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984.

Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa was born in Johannesburg on November 17, 1952. He served as secretary general from 1991 to 1997.

In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari was elected president of Nigeria. Buhari ran failed campaigns for president several times previously, in 2003, 2007 and again in 2011. He'd previously served as Nigeria's head of state from 1983 to 1985 following a military coup.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has ruled Saudi Arabia since 2015. He was born on December 31, 1935. One of the most noteworthy initiatives of his reign so far was allowing Saudi women to drive in 2017.

President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, was formally elected in May 2014. He replaced former president Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted following mass protests in the country.

Mauricio Macri comes from a wealthy family in Argentina. His father, Franco Macri, was born in Italy. He is the first non-Radical president to be democratically elected since 1916.

Nicolás Maduro replaced former president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, who died in March 2013. Maduro served as vice president of the country under Chavez from October 2012 to March 2013.

Guðni Th. Johannesson taught history at the University of Iceland before he was elected president. Johannesson was also a reporter. He was 48 years old when elected, making him Iceland's youngest president.

In addition to tending to her duties as prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg is co-chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals group. Solberg is leader of the Conservative Party of Norway.

Stefan Löfven was a foster child and grew up in Västernorrland County in north Sweden. Lofven was elected prime minister of Sweden in 2014. He served in the Swedish Air Force and worked as a welder before entering politics.

Xi Jinping has been president of China since 2013. He served as vice president from 2008 to 2013. He is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China. Xi Jinping is the first general secretary to be born since the end of World War II.

Ram Nath Kovind's mother died when he was a young child, and his father was a farmer. He was elected fourteenth president of India in 2017.

Scott John Morrison ascended to his prime minister role in August 2018. He is the leader of the Liberal Party in Australia. His earlier career included working as director of New Zealand's Office of Tourism and Sport.

Prayuth Chan-ocha is Thailand's 29th prime minister. He's been in office since August 24, 2014 and is affiliated with the National Council for Peace and Order political party.

Rodrigo Duterte is the sixteenth president of the Philippines, elected in 2016. In 1988, he was elected mayor of Davao City, Philippines and served in that position for over two decades.

Hassan Rouhani became president of Iran in 2013. He graduated the University of Tehran with a law degree in 1972. He was a lawyer, diplomat, and Islamic cleric before becoming president.

Joko Widodo served as governor of Jakarta, Indonesia from 2012 to 2014. He was elected president in 2014. He's the first president of the country to not come from a military or politically elite background.

President Tokayev's predecessor, Nursultan Nazarbayev, was known to have a peculiar sense of humor during his long term in office. In 1998, he forced his government officials to endure freezing temperatures by moving the nation's capital from sunny Almaty to wintry Akmola.

Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko studied law and international affairs at Taras Shevchenko National University in Kiev. As a member of parliament, he represented the city of Vinnytsya in western Ukraine.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected mayor of Istanbul, Turkey in 1994. He served as prime minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014 and was elected president of the country in 2014.

Michael D. Higgins worked as a bank clerk before attending University College Galway (now called National University of Ireland, Galway) at the age of 20. Higgins was elected president of Ireland in 2011.

Sauli Vainamo Niinistö was born on August 24, 1948 in Salo, Finland. In 1974, Niinisto earned a law degree from the University of Turku in Turku, Finland. He is the country's twelfth president.

Pedro Sánchez replaced Mariano Rajoy as prime minister of Spain in June 2018. Sanchez studied business and economics at Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. He is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.

Dr. Arif ur Rehman Alvi is a former dentist who was elected president of Pakistan in 2018. He was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1947 and first became politically activated while studying at the De'Montmorency College of Dentistry.

Martín Vizcarra is the former vice president and current president of Peru. He was born in Lima, Peru in 1963. In 1984, he graduated with a civil engineering degree from the National University of Engineering in Lima.

Jovenel Moïse moved to Port-au-Prince, Haiti with his family in July 1974. Moise was elected president of Haiti in 2017. He first ran for the office in 2015, but lost that election because of potentially fraudulent results.

António Costa was elected mayor of his hometown of Lisbon in 2007. He was re-elected in 2009, then again in 2013. He was elected the 119th prime minister of Portugal in November 2015.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was born on January 29, 1945. He studied history, political science and international affairs at universities in Paris and Dakar. He has been the president of Mali since 2013.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada was elected president of Costa Rica in 2018. He was born to a middle-class family on January 14,1980 and studied communications at the University of Costa Rica.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes