Eliza Reid was born in Ottawa and moved to Iceland in 2003. When her husband Guðni Th. Jóhannesson took office as president of Iceland on August 1, 2016, Eliza became the country’s First Lady. She is co-founder of the acclaimed Iceland Writers Retreat and a published author. Her first book, Secrets of the Sprakkar: Iceland’s Extraordinary Women and How They Are Changing the World, was published to critical acclaim in 2022 and has been translated to several languages.
Eliza has degrees from the University of Toronto and Oxford University. In her capacity as First Lady of Iceland, she has been outspoken in promoting gender equality, entrepreneurship and innovation, tourism and sustainability, and the country’s writers and rich literary heritage. Eliza works actively with Business Iceland on projects to promote Icelandic exports and the country as a destination. In 2017 she was named a United Nations Special Ambassador for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since 2021 Eliza has been a Keychange Ambassador for gender parity in the music industry.