Mr Grimsson was re-elected president in 2012 for a record fifth term, having first been elected in 1996.
An academic political scientist by profession who studied at the University of Manchester in England, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson was elected to parliament for the left-wing People's Alliance in 1978 and served as finance minister in a coalition government in 1988-1991.
He often speaks out on controversial issues, and his relations with the conservative Independence Party - the dominant party in Icelandic politics until 2009 - has been uneasy.
Mr Grimsson was the first president to use his right to put a bill to a national referendum in 2004, prompting the government to withdraw a proposal that would have set up an official committee to police freedom of speech.
He later used the same power successfully twice - in 2010 and 2011 - to veto a government plan to repay British and Dutch investors over the collapse of the Icelandic banking system.
He has been a vocal critic of the international response to Iceland's financial crisis, and is a campaigner for greater international action on climate change.
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"Iceland Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Iceland/Government
"Iceland Government Stats, NationMaster." 1944-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Iceland/Government>.
'Iceland Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Iceland/Government> [assessed 1944-2014]
"Iceland Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1944-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Iceland/Government>.
"Iceland Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1944-2014.
"Iceland Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Iceland/Government (assessed 1944-2014)
"Iceland Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Iceland/Government (last visited 1944-2014)
"Iceland Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Iceland/Government (as of 1944-2014)