Abraham Lincoln is the only president to appear as a Star Trek character (so far). But Star Trek has introduced us to several presidents of the United Federation of Planets.
This Presidents’ Day weekend spare some ruffles and flourishes for these Chief Executives of the Star Trek future!
President Jonathan Archer
We never saw him assume the office during Star Trek: Enterprise. But an on-screen graphic in “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part 2” establishes Archer was elected Federation President in 2184.
The folks at the official Star Trek website even put together a campaign ad for him!
Archer’s courage, diplomatic aplomb, and passion for discovery likely won him a landslide victory.
The Federation President in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
It’s unclear why this president, rather than Starfleet brass, presides over Admiral Kirk and his crew’s court-martial.
Perhaps he simply has a keen sense of history. He realizes demoting Kirk to Captain and putting him back in the center seat where Kirk belongs will be remembered for years to come.
Plus, he possesses the rhetorical skill to express gratitude to the Enterprise crew on behalf of the whole Earth.
What president wouldn’t want to be part of that moment?
The Federation President in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
We never found out this president’s name or species onscreen (the Memory Beta wiki reports he was named Ra-ghoratreii in J.M. Dillard’s novelization, and that Keith R.A. DeCandido’s Articles of the Federation identifies him as an Efrosian).
But we know he’s a deeply thoughtful and principled individual, committed to the Federation’s allies, diplomacy, and the rule of law.
Plus, he can rock a pair of shades!
Jaresh-Inyo (“Homefront” and “Paradise Lost,” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Confronted with the threat of Changeling activity on Earth, Jaresh-Inyo (identified in the script as a Grazerite, a herbivorous race) is slow to respond.
According to Admiral Leyton, “Jaresh-Inyo would be a fine president in peacetime, but we have a war on our hands… All he cares about is not upsetting people.”
Of course, Admiral Leyton turns out to be plotting a coup d’etat, so we’d do well not to accept his judgment of Jaresh-Inyou as definitive!
But this reluctant president does make us ponder how best to balance high ideals and harsh realities.
If you could change Star Trek canon and make any established character President of the Federation, who would you choose, and why? Tell us in the comments below!