Song Xiuyan was elected governor of Qinghai Province on January 22, 2005, becoming only the second female governor in China since 1949.
Gu Xiulian, a woman who served as governor of east China's Jiangsu Province in the 1980s, has retired from the position and become the head of the All China Women's Federation.
Song was born in October 1955 in north China's Tianjin Municipality. She joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November 1978. She has been working in Qinghai for more than 30 years. She was vice governor of Qinghai before she became governor.