Jenny Shipley (centre), with United States President Bill Clinton, September 15, 1999
Jennifer Mary Shipley, DCNZM (born 4 February 1952, Gore, New Zealand), was the Prime Minister of New Zealand from December 1997 to December 1999, the first woman to hold this office and the first and to date only woman to serve as leader of the National Party.
She was born and christened Jennifer Mary Robson in the southern town of Gore, New Zealand. In 1971 she gained qualification as a teacher, and taught in New Zealand primary schools until 1976. She also served in a number of educational and child-care organizations, such as the Plunket Society.