Iraqi MPs have elected Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum as president, succeeding Jalal Talabani.
Massoum, 76, is a founding member of Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party.
Since 2003 Iraq's president has always been a Kurd, while the prime minister is a Shia and the parliamentary speaker drawn from the Sunni Arab bloc.
Iraq is facing a radical Sunni insurgency and is struggling to agree on a new coalition government.
The presidency is the second major government post to be filled, after Salim al-Jabouri was elected as parliament speaker last week.