The President of the United Federation of Planets (informally, the Federation President or the President of the Federation) is the elected head of state and head of government of the United Federation of Planets. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost")
The Federation President is the chief executive officer of the Federation. He or she is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the government, setting and coordinating foreign policy, and dealing with resource distribution issues. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; DS9: "Homefront") The Federation President is also the commander-in-chief of all Starfleet forces. (DS9: "Paradise Lost") The President receives foreign ambassadors (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) and has the authority to control Starfleet deployments and to declare martial law on Federation Member worlds. (DS9: "Homefront") In addition, the President may preside over special courts-martial in which the Federation Council serves as the judging body. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
While in the mirror universe, after seeing that mirror Worf was the Regent of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, Rom was so taken aback he exclaimed "Who's the President of the Federation, Gul Dukat!?" (DS9: "The Emperor's New Cloak")
Human President, c. 2286
That year he presided over the Council's deliberations concerning the actions of Federation Starfleet Admiral James T. Kirk, who had hijacked the USS Enterprise and caused an interstellar incident with the Klingon Empire at the Genesis Planet. Ultimately, the Council decided to charge Kirk with nine violations of Starfleet regulations.
When the Whale Probe approached Earth, transmitting its destructive message into the planet's atmosphere, the President decided to broadcast a planetary distress signal to warn all ships to stay away from Earth.
Following the Whale Probe incident (in which Kirk and his crew saved the planet), the President and the Council agreed to drop all but one of the charges against the Enterprise crew, the remaining charge simply resulting in Kirk being demoted to Captain - as he wanted all along - in gratitude for their service to Earth and the Federation. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Efrosian President, c. 2293
In 2293, the President, who was an Efrosian, opened negotiations with Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, following the destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis. The President was to meet Gorkon on Earth for a peace conference, but Gorkon was assassinated en route by a pair of rogue Starfleet non-commissioned officers. USS Enterprise-A captain Kirk and Doctor Leonard McCoy were arrested by the Klingons under the rules of interstellar law and charged with Gorkon's assassination; when the Klingon Ambassador to the Federation defended his government's actions and demanded that Kirk and McCoy stand trial, the President conceded, "This president is not above the law."
A short time later, Starfleet Colonel West proposed a military offensive (code-named Operation Retrieve) aimed at invading Klingon space and rescuing the "hostages", Kirk and McCoy. Although West was confident that the prisoners could be retrieved, the President rejected his plan because of the probability that such an act would cause a full-scale war.
At the Khitomer Conference, the President was targeted for assassination by the Starfleet and Klingon conspirators, but the plot was foiled by the crew of the Enterprise with assistance by the crew of the USS Excelsior. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
This President was played by Kurtwood Smith.
Jaresh-Inyo, c. 2372
In 2372, the post was held by Jaresh-Inyo, a Grazerite. His presidency was marked by a number of troubling foreign and domestic policy developments, including the dissolution of the Khitomer Accords and an undeclared war with the Klingon Empire in 2372, increasing tensions with the Dominion, and the rise of the Maquis.
In 2372, fears of Changeling infiltration of the Federation government reached a high point when Dominion agents were discovered to have detonated a bomb at a diplomatic conference between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire in Antwerp. Starfleet Admiral and Chief of Starfleet Operations Leyton and Captain Benjamin Sisko advocated increased security on Earth following the bombing, and when the planetary power grid was disabled, Inyo declared martial law on the capital planet. Later, it was discovered that the grid had been disabled by Leyton's own agents, and that Leyton was leading an attempted military coup d'etat against the Federation civilian government. Leyton's coup was thwarted by Sisko, but as a result of the scandal, Jaresh-Inyo's political career ended. (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost")
|Presidents of the United Federation of Planets|
|Jonathan Archer (2184-2192) • Unnamed Human (c. 2286) • Unnamed Efrosian (c. 2293) • Jaresh-Inyo (c. 2372)|
The method of electing the President of the United Federation of Planets has never been discussed in a canonical Star Trek production. The Last Unicorn Sourcebook for the Federation suggests that the President is elected by members of the Federation Council, similar to a parliamentary government.
According to a newspaper clipping created as background material for Star Trek Generations and entitled "It's Federation Day!", the first President of the United Federation of Planets was former United Earth ambassador Thomas Vanderbilt, appointed upon the founding of the Federation in 2161. Ambassador Sarahd was appointed as his Vice President. This information, however, was not seen on-screen.
Answering questions as to why Jaresh-Inyo put Earth into a state of emergency, Ronald D. Moore stated:
- "We wanted to tell the story of an attempted military coup of the Federation and that meant dealing with the Fed president. However, that meant the troops "in the streets" had to be on Earth and that Earth itself had to be under martial law since the Fed is headquartered on Earth. We discussed having the Prez "federalize" the Earth defense forces or supersede the authority of an indigenous Earth Govt, but the story kept getting too complicated and we didn't want to start mentioning all these other players and organizations that we weren't going to see. So in the end, we skirted the issue of who actually governs Earth. Personally, I think there is an Earth Govt that operates like more powerful versions of States do in the US system, but this is all VERY murky water." (AOL chat, 1997)
The President of the Federation and the duties of the office are the subjects of the novel Articles of the Federation, which tells the story of a year in the life of the newly-elected Federation President in a style similar to that of the television series The West Wing. The novel also names several prior Federation Presidents, including the ones who are canonically "name unknown." It establishes that the office is held in four-year terms (without a two-term limit), similar to the modern American presidency.
The novel A Time for War, A Time for Peace establishes that an individual anonymously submits an application for candidacy to the Federation Council, which reviews each application and certifies that a candidate fills all qualifications for the office. Approved candidates then campaign in a popular election. All Federation citizens within and without UFP territory are allowed to submit their ballots, which are tabulated over the course of a week by two independent auditing firms and by the Federation government before a winner is certified. The Federation News Service commonly projects a winner in the days leading up to Election Day, and has never projected erroneously.
Canonical and non-canonical Presidents of the United Federation of Planets depicted in the television series, films, novels, and comics include:
- 2161 - ?: Thomas Vanderbilt (Human male) (Star Trek Generations newspaper clip)
- (Dates unestablished: Mid-22nd Century): Haroun al-Rashid (Human male) (Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- (Dates unestablished: Mid-22nd Century): Avaranthi sh'Rothress (Andorian shen [female]) (Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- (Dates unestablished: Late 22nd Century): T'Maran of Vulcan (Vulcan female) (Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- 2184-2192: Jonathan Archer (Human male) (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")
- (Exact dates unestablished: early 2230s, two terms): Madza Bral (Trill female) (Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- 2265-2268: Kenneth Wescott (Human male) (Errand of Fury, Book I: Seeds of Rage by Kevin Ryan; date of at least one term from Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- 2269-2272: Lorne McLaren (Human male) (Star Trek Core Games Book by Last Unicorn Games; date of at least one term from Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- 2285-2288: Hiram Roth (Human male) (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, dates of at least one term and name from Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- 2289-2300: Ra-ghoratreii (Efrosian male) (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country", dates from Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido, species name from Star Trek production office name for makeup design, character name from novelization of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country by J.M. Dillard)
- (Dates unestablished): Hikaru Sulu (Human Male) (The Return by William Shatner) (Note: The Return establishes President Sulu to have been the Federation's only three-term president, but the later novel Articles of the Federation contradicts the idea that there had been no prior three-term presidents by establishing Ra-ghoratreii to have served three terms. There is no reference to Sulu becoming Federation President in any other novels, creating the possibility that Sulu only becomes President in the so-called "Shatnerverse" continuity.)
- c. 2313 (exact terms unestablished): Gan Laikan (Human male from Alpha Centauri) (TNG eBook: Slings and Arrows: Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment)
- (Dates unestablished; during Cardassian First Contact): Thelianaresth "Thelian" th'Vorothishria (Andorian thaan [male]) (Enter the Wolves by A.C. Crispin and Howard Weinstein; expanded name from Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- c. 2351 (exact dates unestablished; during the Cardassian-Federation border wars): T'Pragh of Vulcan (Vulcan female) (Articles of the Federation and A Singular Destiny by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- 2364-2368: Amitra of Pandril (Pandrilite female) (Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- 2369-2372: Jaresh-Inyo (Grazerite male) (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost") (Species name from scripts; single term from Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)
- 2373-2379: Min Zife (Bolian male) (A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal by David Mack, also referenced in Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido and Worlds of Deep Space Nine, Volume II: Trill by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin.)
- 2379 - ?: Nanietta Bacco (Human female) (A Time for War, A Time for Peace and Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido)