Olena Zelenska

Ukrainian screenwriter and First Lady of Ukraine

Olena Volodymyrivna Zelenska (Ukrainian: Олена Володимирівна Зеленська; born 6 February 1978) is a Ukrainian screenwriter serving as the first lady of Ukraine since 2019 as the wife of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.[3]

Olena Zelenska
Олена Зеленська
Official portrait, July 2022
First Lady of Ukraine
Assumed role
20 May 2019[1]
PresidentVolodymyr Zelenskyy
Preceded byMaryna Poroshenko
Personal details
Olena Volodymyrivna Kyiashko

(1978-02-06) 6 February 1978 (age 46)
Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
EducationKryvyi Rih National University
AwardsBBC 100 Women (2022)[2]

Biography change

Early life and education change

Olena Kyiashko was born on 6 February 1978 in Kryvyi Rih, Soviet Ukraine.[4][5] She studied at Kryvyi Rih National University, where she met her future husband, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.[5][6] In 2000, she graduated from Kryvyi Rih Technical University and received a specialist diploma. She also graduated from a music school with a piano class.[7]

Marriage and family change

In 2003, she and her husband got married.[8][9] They have two children named Oleksandra and Kyrylo.[8]

First Lady of Ukraine (2019–present) change

Olena Zelenska at the Fifth Ukrainian Women's Congress in 2021
Olena Zelenska at the Kyiv Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen

On August 23, 2021, the First Kyiv Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen took place in Kyiv at the initiative of Zelenska.[10] Eleven first ladies from different countries joined the event. The main topic of discussion was the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

Olena Zelenska, the U.S. President Joe Biden and the U.S. First Lady Jill Biden, the U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and the U.S. Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff
Olena Zelenska during a speech to the U.S. Congress
USAID administrator Samantha Power and Olena Zelenska at the USAID HQ in 2022

On 19 July 2022, Zelenska started her visit to the United States.[12] On the first day of the visit, Zelenska met with the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Samantha Power.

On the second day of the visit, she held a meeting with U.S. First Lady Jill Biden at the White House.[13] Zelenska was also met U.S .President Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.[14]

Zelenska also addressed the U.S. Congress on the second day of her visit. She became first presidential wife of another country to address the U.S. Congress.[15][16]

Olena Zelenska Foundation change

On 22 September 2022, Olena Zelenska presented her foundation at a charity evening in New York City during the 77th UN General Assembly.[17]

The Foundation has three key directions: medicine, education and humanitarian aid.

Awards and honors change

She was honored as one of the BBC 100 Women in December 2022.[18]

In November 2023, Zelenska was named one of the 25 most influential women in the world.[19][20]

References change

  1. "'Beautiful Melania': Elena Zelenskaya became the first lady of Ukraine and published the first photos on Instagram. PHOTO, VIDEO". ForumDaily Woman. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  2. "BBC 100 Women 2022: Who is on the list this year?". BBC News. Retrieved 2022-12-10.
  3. "Main facts about Ukraine's next first lady Olena Zelenska". KyivPost. 24 April 2019. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  4. "СПІКЕРИ – Олена Зеленська – Перша леді України". Ukrainian Women's Congress. 9 December 2019. Archived from the original on 1 September 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Walker, Shaun (18 June 2022). "Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska on being Russia's target No 2: 'When you see their crimes, maybe they really are capable of anything'". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  6. "Volodymyr Zelensky".
  7. Rose, Hilary (15 March 2022). "Olena Zelenska, Ukraine's shy first lady, steps up". The Times. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "ru:Зеленский Владимир" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2 January 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  9. Cite error: The named reference TheTimes2 was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  10. "In Kyiv, the first ladies from different countries launched an international platform for solving humanitarian problems around the world". Office of the President of Ukraine. 23 August 2021. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  11. "Kyiv Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen starts". Ukrinform. 23 August 2021. Archived from the original on 17 September 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  12. ""Для мене це був іспит, я його склала": Олена Зеленська про історичний візит до США". 24tv.ua. Channel 24. 21 July 2022.
  13. Amy B Wang (20 July 2022). "Ukraine's first lady asks Congress for more arms to counter Russia". The Washington Post.
  14. Viktoria Hordiyenko (20 July 2022). "Перша леді України зустрілася з президентом США Байденом і його дружиною у Вашингтоні (фото, відео)". unian.ua. UNIAN.
  15. "Ukraine war has made my son want to be a soldier – Zelenska". bbc.com. BBC News. 20 July 2022.
  16. Dan Bilefsky, Stephanie Lai, Jim Tankersley (20 July 2022). "Ukraine's first lady tells the U.S. Congress that 'Russia is destroying our people.'". The New York Times.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. Francisco Salazar (September 27, 2022). "Metropolitan Opera Hosts Olena Zelenska's Foundation Event". operawire.com.
  18. "BBC 100 Women 2022: Who is on the list this year?". BBC News. Retrieved 2022-12-10.
  19. "First Lady of Ukraine is included in the list of the 25 most influential women in the world according to the Financial Times". president.gov.ua. 2023-11-30.
  20. "The FT's 25 most influential women of 2023". ft.com. Financial Times. 2023-11-30.