Stephen Harper, born April 30, 1959, was sworn in as Canada's 22nd Prime Minister on February 6, 2006. He led two successive minority governments before winning a majority on May 2, 2011.
Harper was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993 as a Reform Party of Canada MP for Calgary West. He stepped down in 1997 to become vice-president (later president) of the National Citizens Coalition. In 2002, Harper won the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, became leader of the Official Opposition and returned to the House as MP for Calgary Southwest. In 2004, he was elected the first leader of the Conservative Party of Canada following the merger of the Progressive Conservative and Reform Parties.