President: John Dramani Mahama
Vice-President John Dramani Mahama became interim head of state following the death of President John Atta Mills in July 2012.
Mr Mahama won his first full term in office in an extremely tight election a few months later in December, defeating Nana Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party with only 50.7% of the vote to Mr Addo's 47.7%.
The NPP said he had won fraudulently, but its legal challenge to the result was rejected by the supreme court in August 2013.
Several foreign observer teams, including those of the African Union and regional body Ecowas, declared the election free and fair.
His first year as elected president was overshadowed by poor economic news, with sharp rises in inflation and the government deficit.
Mr Mahama is a respected historian, writer and communications specialist. Regarded as a champion of the underprivileged, he has a keen interest in environmental issues, particularly the problem of plastic pollution in Africa. His book, entitled "My First Coup d'Etat" was published in July 2012.
He studied in Ghana and Moscow. Between 1991 and 1995 he worked as an information officer at the Japanese embassy in Accra.
He joined the non-governmental organization PLAN International in 1995.
He was elected as a member of parliament in 1996, and served communications minister between 1998 and 2001.
In opposition from 2005 to 2011, Mr Mahama served as parliamentary spokesman for foreign affairs.
Mr Mahama was born at Bole-Bamboi in the Northern Region in 1958. He is married and has seven children.