Date and place of birth: July 23, 1941, Palermo
Current position: President of the Republic
Previous positions: Constitutional Court judge. Served as Massimo D'Alema's deputy from 1998-2000 and was Minister of Defense in 1999
Education: University of Palermo, Law
What you should know: A Sicilian judge, he knows the ins and outs of Italian politics while usually keeping a low profile. Sergio Mattarella has been involved with Catholic political parties since his youth. He was elected to office in 1983 as a Christian Democrat, and was one of the founders of a splinter group called the Partito Popolare Italiano after the Christian Democrat party collapsed in the bribery scandals of 1992-1994. He was the author of a 1994 electoral reform, the “Mattarellum,” that bears his name. Mattarella replaced as Italy’s President Giorgio Napoletano, who served as president for nine years that included a debt crisis and deep recession.