Elly Schlein
Sergione Infuso—Getty Images for Milano Pride

Elly Schlein is not only the youngest person to lead Italy’s center-left Democratic Party, but its first female and out LGBTQ+ leader too. She took the opposition party’s helm in February in a victory that took most everyone by surprise. Now she’s widely seen as the progressive answer to Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s nationalist Prime Minister. But restoring trust in Italy’s fragmented left will pose a challenge. “It’s going to take time,” she says, “but we’re working on it.”

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Write to Yasmeen Serhan at yasmeen.serhan@time.com.

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