Photo credit: Kristin Bogadottir

Eliza Reid is co-founder of the acclaimed Iceland Writers Retreat, former editor of Icelandair’s in-flight magazine, and former staff writer at Iceland Review magazine. Eliza grew up near Ottawa, Canada and moved to Iceland in 2003. Eliza’s husband, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, took office as President of Iceland on August 1, 2016, and she became the country’s first lady. In that capacity, she has been active in promoting gender equality, entrepreneurship and innovation, tourism & sustainability, and the country’s writers and rich literary heritage.

Eliza served on the jury of the 2018 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and in 2017 she was named a United Nations Special Ambassador for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals. Eliza has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines, including a lauded op-ed in the New York Times on the strange role of the first lady. She has also delivered a TEDx talk on the same topic.

Eliza has degrees from Trinity College at the University of Toronto and from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. Eliza & Guðni have four young children together and she has an adult stepdaughter.

Eliza is represented by Samantha Haywood.

Book deal news!

World English ex. Canada and Canada English rights to the first lady of Iceland Eliza Reid’s SECRETS OF THE SPRAKKAR: How the Extraordinary Women of Iceland are Bringing Gender Equality Within Reach has been sold to Anna Michels of Sourcebooks and Justin Stoller and Nita Pronovost of Simon & Schuster Canada [by Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Agency] for Spring 2022 publication. For readers of Melinda Gates’s The Moment of Lift and Michelle Obama’s Becoming, the book is a portrait of what it’s like to live, work, and raise a family in Iceland, a nation that has topped the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index for the past eleven years. Part reportage and part memoir, SECRETS OF THE SPRAKKAR (Sprakkar is an ancient Icelandic word that means “extraordinary women”) explores gender equality as it weaves Reid’s experience as first lady, immigrant, entrepreneur, and mother of four with riveting and often surprising stories from women around Iceland – including a fishing captain, sex counsellor, mayor, and comedian – to illustrate what has led to this level of parity while also identifying the challenges that remain to see this dream become a reality.