The usage of the term "President" to refer to the highest power in a government dates back to the 17th century. In the Commonwealth of England, the Lord President was the highest ranking official in the English Council of State, later known as the Protector's Privy Council. Today, the position of Lord President is always given to a member of the Parliament. The Lord President attends each meeting of the Privy Council and his or her primary role is to present business to the monarch on behalf of the Council.
In the context of the government of the United States of America, the term "President" draws from such positions like the Lord President- someone who presides over a meeting of government officials. In the United States Constitution of 1787, the term took on a new meaning as the position of the President of the United States was created. The first President of the United States, and the first elected President anywhere in the world, was George Washington.