Joachim Gauck, a human-rights campaigner and former East German dissident, became president in March 2012.
The opposition Social Democrats and Greens nominated him after the resignation of President Christian Wulff in February over a housing loan scandal, and the governing centre-right coaltion parties agreed to support him.
Mr Gauck stood for the largely ceremonial presidency in 2010, losing to the government's preferred candidate Mr Wulff.
Mr Gauck, like the Christian Democrat chancellor, Angela Merkel, has a background in the Lutheran Church in East Germany - he was a pastor there, as was Mrs Merkel's father.
An active anti-Communist from an early age whose father was exiled to a Soviet forced-labour camp for several years, Mr Gauck was a leader of the opposition New Forum in the last days of the East German dictatorship.
He served in the first and last democratic East German parliament, which put him in charge of investigating the archives of the Stasi secret police.
He continued this task after the reunification of Germany, earning the admiration of all but diehard Communists for his work in exposing the crimes of the Communist era.
Mr Gauck describes himself as a "liberal left conservative", and has expressed support for the policies of both Social-Democrat and Christian-Democrat coalition governments on a non-partisan basis.
In recent years he has concentrated on campaigning against both left and right extremist threats to Germany's democratic system.
Born in Rostock in 1940, Mr Gauck has four children by his wife, from whom he is separated. His partner since 2000 is the journalist Daniela Schadt, who will take on the ceremonial duties of First Lady.
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"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government
"Germany Government Stats, NationMaster." 1971-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government>.
'Germany Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government> [assessed 1971-2014]
"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1971-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government>.
"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1971-2014.
"Germany Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government (assessed 1971-2014)
"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government (last visited 1971-2014)
"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government (as of 1971-2014)