In 1998, Mrs. Bachelet was chosen by the Socialist Party’s Central Committee to join its Political Committee, where she remained until March 11, 2000. She was named Minister of Health in President Ricardo Lagos’ administration in 2000 and moved to head the Defence Ministry in 2002. She was the first woman both in Chile and in Latin America to hold such a position. In October 2004, Mrs. Bachelet stepped down to stand as presidential candidate. She was elected in January 15, 2006, thereby becoming the first woman in Chilean history to hold the highest office in the country. Her term ended on 11 March 2010 – the Chilean Constitution does not allow a candidate to run for a second term. After that, she was appointed Director of UN Women, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.