Austrian businessman and former politician who served as Chancellor of Austria from 17 May 2016 to 18 December 2017 and chairman of the Social Democratic Party from 25 June 2016 to 25 September 2018.
A business journalist by profession, the member of Austria's Social Democratic Party served as spokesman of the SPÖ's parliamentary group leader in the mid-1990s, before he became a senior manager in Austria's leading electricity company Verbund AG. In 2010, Kern was appointed CEO of the state-owned Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), chairing the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) from 2014 onwards. Following the resignation of Werner Faymann amidst the presidential election, the governing Social Democrats nominated Kern for the office of chancellor.
Kern was sworn in as Chancellor of Austria on 17 May 2016, vowing to continue the "Grand coalition" with the People's Party (ÖVP), but promising a "New Deal" that would bring about more jobs by cutting red tape while ensuring ordinary workers receive a share of economic prosperity. Kern criticized the Austrian political elite as being power-obsessed and devoid of a meaningful political agenda about the country's future.