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Elizabeth Lanford (1963 – 2016) was an American politician who served as the 45th President of the United States, the first woman to hold the office. Lanford was also the first female Vice President under President Lucas Jacobs from 2005 to 2013. During the War of 2016, Lanford and her cabinet were killed by the Harvesters in the Cheyenne bunker in Colorado. General Joshua T. Adams, being the highest-ranking government official, was then sworn in as Lanford's successor.

Lanford served as an anti-villain in Independence Day: Resurgence, and was portrayed by Sela Ward.



Lanford lost her entire family during the War of 1996. This tragedy made her hardened, tough, and determined to lead her nation with conviction.

War of 2016

During the upcoming 20th anniversary of the War of 1996, an unknown alien spaceship appeared near the Moon. As a member of the UN Security Council, Lanford cast in the decisive vote to destroy the spaceship on assumption that it is hostile, much to the protest of ESD Director David Levinson.

As the festivity for the July 4th celebrations proceeded in Washington, D.C., the aliens from the War of 1996 returned in full force. Lanford and her Cabinet were immediately evacuated to Cheyenne before the Harvester Mothership landed and completely devastated the American east coast.

Once Lanford and her Cabinet arrived in the Cheyenne Bunker she ordered a full retaliatory strike against the Harvester Mothership and watched as ESD pilots begin attacking the ship, and eventually went inside the craft. In the resulting battle, and subsequent deactivation of the ESD fighters and bombers, Lanford gave a presidential order to detonate the remaining cold fusion bombs, only to see the blasts contained by portable alien shields.

After the attack, the Harvester Mothership emitted a worldwide EMP blast that knocked out the satellites around Earth, crippling the ESD and any other forms of communication, allowing a Harvester strike force to attack the bunker and launching an assault upon Lanford's cabinet. Despite facing her certain death, Lanford refused to give in to fear, defiantly telling the Harvesters that "There will be no peace." Everyone there died, except for the Harvesters.




  • Independence Day: Crucible (first appearance)
  • Independence Day: Resurgence (novelization)
  • Independence Day: Resurgence

Behind the Scenes

  • Actress Sela Ward previously starred in Roland Emmerich's movie The Day After Tomorrow (2004) as Dr. Lucy Hall, the wife of the movie's protagonist.
  • Lanford's ending in the film's novelization is quite different from the film, as she is written as having been taken into the Queen's personal ship and interrogated by the Queen herself. In the film, she is killed by the Harvesters, and in the home media release's deleted scenes, the Queen kills her shortly before leaving to reach Area 51.
    • In the deleted scene, everyone but Lanford was killed by the aliens, while Lanford herself was taken to the Harvester Queen's ship. There she was interrogated by the Queen (using Tanner's body to communicate), who demanded to know where the Spherewas located. Landford revealed that it had been shot down, but refused to divulge anything further, taunting the Queen that even if she were to die, other people would take her place (as, unknown to her, Adams had). Shortly after, the Queen detected the Sphere's location and departed to track it down, but not before personally killing Lanford.
  • Actress Susan Sarandon was originally to portray Landford.