Polish mayors
Research by Jacek Bruchal

ON THIS PAGE: Polish local government ||| Mayors of largest Polish cities ||| Polish cities with women mayors |||

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PRIZE 2018

Nominate exceptional women mayors for the World Mayor Prize

The 2018 World Mayor Project is dedicated to women in local government. It features the achievements of women mayors from across the world and will honour the best of them.

Please nominate your candidate now

Women have fought prejudice and struggled for equal rights and opportunities for hundreds of years. They did it with courage and resolve. In the 20th and early 21st centuries, women have achieved success in many spheres previously reserved to or monopolised by men, but their contributions are still often undervalued and their potential not recognised enough. Only some 20 per cent of the world’s mayors are women.

The 2018 World Mayor Project aims to encourage more women to consider a career in local government and stand for political office.

Please nominate
exceptional women
mayors for the 2018
World Mayor Prize
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Polish local government
July 2017: Since 1999, Poland has been divided into provinces, counties and districts. The 19 provinces (voivodeships) represent the highest-level of local government. They are mostly named after historical or geographical regions. Provincial powers are shared between a governor, a regional parliament and a marshal. The governor (volvode) is appointed by the Prime Minister and acts as the regional representative of the central government. The assembly (sejmic), which is elected every four years, legislates in areas such as development and budget and elects the marshall (marszaek) and other members of the executive office. The provincial executive office (zarzad województwa) under the marchal manages provincial property, implements regional policy and supervises the management of European Union (EU) funding. The populations of the provinces vary from 4.6 million (Silesian) to Opole with just over one million people.

Provinces are sub-divided into counties (powiaty), which can be rural or urban. Both types have elected councils. The number of counties per province varies from 12 (Opole province) to 42 (Masovian province). Poland has currently 379 counties, of which 314 are rural and 65 urban counties. Counties have some decision-making powers in areas such as local healthcare, secondary education, public transport, high-road maintenance and vehicle registration.

Rural districts and urban municipalities are Poland’s third level of local government. Counties are usually divided into several types of districts (gminy): urban, mixed urban-rural and entirely rural. In all three types of districts, voters directly elect local councillors and mayors. Mayors in cities with more than 400,000 people are called city presidents. Rural and urban districts are tasked with the management of utilities, public open spaces, sewage and waste disposal, health care, housing and education as well as social services and culture.

Mayors of Poland's largest cities

City, size
and internet
Profile and politics*
Popl: 358,000
The largest city of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province
Rafal Bruski (Mr) Elected 2010
Re-elected 2014
Next election 2018
Born 1962;
Studied at Gdynia Maritime University (Faculty of Navigation), University of Economy in Poznan, 1994-2005 worked Revenue Inspection Office) in Bydgoszcz
Party: PO
Popl: 461,000
Poland principal seaport
Capital of Pomeranian Province
Pawel Adamowicz
Elected 1998
Re-elected 2002, 2006 (first round 61%), 2010, 2014
Next election 2018
Born 1965, lawyer, politician, local governor, studied at the University of Gdansk (Faculty of Law and Administration), 1990-1998 Member of the City Council of Gdansk. Since 26/10/1998 Mayor of Gdansk.
Party: PO
Popl: 302,000
(Capital of the Silesian Province)
Marcin Krupa (Mr) Elected 2014
Next election 2018
Born 1976, PHD Silesian University of Technology (Faculty of Transport). Academic teacher, 2006-2010 councillor, 2010-2014 vice-president of Katowice
Party: Independent
Popl: 762,000
(Capital of the Krakow Province)
Jacek Majchrowski (Mr) Elected 2002
Re-elected in 2006, 2010, 2012
Next election 2018
Born 1947;
Studied at Jagiellonian University of Krakow
Lawyer and historian, and professor at Jagiellonian University
Party: Independent
Popl: 697,000
(Capital of the Lodz Province)
Hanna Zdanowska
Elected 2010
Re-elected in 2014 (first round 54,08%)
Next election 2018
Born 1959
Studied at theTechnical University of Lodz (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture). 2006 councilor, 2007 vice-president of Lodz, 2007 Member of the Polish Parliament.
Party: PO
Popl: 342,000
The largest city of the eastern Poland
Capital of the Lublin Province
Krzysztof Zuk
Elected 2010
Re-elected 2014 first round (60,13%)
Next election 2018
Born 1957;
Economist, assistant professor and local governor, PHD in economics from the University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska, 2006 vice-president of Lublin;
2007-2009 work for National government Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of the Treasury, 2009 again vice-president of Lublin
Popl: 546,000
Capital of the Wielkopolskie Province
Jacek Jaskowiak (Mr) Elected 2014
Next election 2018
Born 1964
Businessman, economist and lawyer. Studied at the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan,
Scholarship University of Bielefeld.
Party: PO
Popl: 185,000
(Capital of the Podkarpackie Province)
Tadeusz Ferenc (Mr) Elected 2002
Re-elected in 2006 (77%), 2010 (53%), 2014 (66%)
Next election 2018
Born 1940
Studied economics at Cracow University of Economics (Faculty of Economics)
1972 – 2001 worked in various city businesses. All his live connected with Rzeszow.
Party: SLD
Popl: 407,000
Capital of the West Pomeranian Province
Piotr Krzystek (Mr) Elected 2006
Re-elected 2010, 2014
Next election 2018
Born 1973
Studied at the University of Szczecin (Faculty of Law and Administration). Since 1998 he has been working for the local government In Szczecin. 2002-2004 vice-president of Szczecin.
Party: Independent
Warszawa (Warsaw)
Popl: 1,754,000
(Capital of Poland, Capital the Mazowieckie Province)
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz (Ms) Elected 2006 She is the first woman to hold this position.
Re-elected 2010 (53,67%), 2014
Next election 2018
Born 1952;
University of Warsaw (Faculty of Law and Administration) Lawyer, Professor of Jurisprudence, 1992-2000 Chairman of the National Bank of Poland, She resigned to take the position of the Deputy Chairman of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (2001-2004), 2005 Member of the Polish Parliament.
Party: PO
Popl: 634,000
(Capital of the Lower Silesian Province)
Rafal Dutkiewicz (Mr) Elected 2002
Re-elected in 2006 (first round 84,53%), 2010 (first round 72%), 2014
Next election 2018
Born 1959; Businessman, studied Wroc?aw University of Technology, Catholic University of Lublin, University of Freiburg
During the martial law period, he operated in the underground structures of "Solidarity" in Wroclaw. In the 80s he worked for Catholic University of Lublin and University of Wroclaw.
In the 90s he founded the Polish department of Signium International.
Party: Independent

Poland’s women mayors
July 2017: While the mayors (presidents) of Poland’s largest and third-largest cities are women, overall, only 12 of the country’s 107 municipalities have female leaders. A number of them, including Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the Mayor of Warsaw, are in their third term of office. Two mayors are members of Poland’s ruling, right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), four mayors belong to the centrist, pro-European Civic Platform (PO), while two are supported by the Democratic Left Alliance, a social-democratic, pro-European party.

Recent research by City Mayors has revealed that of the world’s 300 largest cities only 25 are governed by women and, in 2016, the local government NGO, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) estimated that only five per cent of the world’s urban communities have female leaders.

Women mayors in Poland

City (Population)
In office since
Political party*
(Popl: 1,754,000)
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Civic Platform (PO)
(Popl: 697,000)
Hanna Zdanowska
Civic Platform (PO)
(Popl: 177,000)
Malgorzata Manka-Szulik
Ruda Slaska
(Popl: 139,000)
Grazyna Dziedzic
(Popl: 90,000)
Aneta Hetman
Civic Platform (PO)
Ostrow Wielkopolski
(Popl: 73,000)
Beata Klimek
(Popl: 67,000)
Agata Fisz
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)
(Popl: 59,000)
Beata Moskal-Slaniewska
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)
(Popl: 58,000)
Mariola Czechowska
Law and Justice (PIS)
(Popl: 58,000)
Sabina Nowosielska
Civic Platform (PO)
Piekary Slaskie
(Popl: 56,000)
Slawa Uminska-Duraj
(Popl: 47,000)
Anna Milczanowska
Law and Justice (PIS)

*Main political parties in Poland:
PO (Platforma Obywatelska): Centrist, pro-European party
PIS (Prawo I Sprawiedliwosc): Right-wing, nationalist party
SLD (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej): Centre-left, social-democratic party