Esko Aho

Prime Minister of Finland (1991-1995) & Club de Madrid Member

Esko Aho is a former Prime Minister of Finland. He served from 1991 to 1995. Under his leadership, Finland joined the European Union. 

Mr. Aho was a Member of the Finnish Parliament for 20 years (1983-2003) and he chaired the Centre Party from 1990 to 2002. After his political career, between 2004-2008, Esko Aho served as President of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. After Sitra, between 2009-2012, he worked for Nokia Corporation as Executive Vice President. From 2013 to 2019, Esko Aho served as Executive Chairman of the Board at East Office of Finnish Industries. Furthermore, he served as elected member of the Executive Board at the International Chamber of Commerce from 2013 to 2019.  He also acted as Chairman of the Board at ICC Executive Board Policy and Commissions Committee for four years.

Esko Aho is Chairman of the Board of Cinia Oy and Adven Group. Since 2016, he is a member of the Supervisory Board of Sberbank; and since February 2019 he is a member of the JP Morgan Advisory Council for Europe, Middle East and Africa.  At present, Mr. Aho is Senior Advisor at East Office. Esko Aho’s other domestic and international activities are coordinated through his private consulting company, Verbatum Oy. Throughout his career, Esko Aho has also been active in the world of academia. He has been a Resident Fellow and later Senior Fellow at Harvard University.  Esko Aho is Executive in Residence at Aalto University, where he works at the Department of Management Studies at the School of Business. He is a visiting lecturer at PSIA, Paris School of International Affairs. He is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). Additionally, he is a member of the International Advisory Board of the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Esko Aho holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Vaasa, Finland, and the University of Alberta, Canada. 

Henry Alt-Haaker

Senior Vice President of “Strategic Partnerships and Robert Bosch Academy” of the Robert Bosch Stiftung

In his role as senior vice president Henry Alt-Haaker heads the “Strategic Partnerships and Robert Bosch Academy” department since January 2020. It includes the Foundation’s programs addressing political decision makers, its think tank partnerships and the Robert Bosch Academy. As such, the department contributes to the Foundation’s activities in all its thematic areas. Henry joined the Foundation in August 2013 as program officer and later served as a senior project manager.

Before joining the foundation, Henry Alt-Haaker headed the parliamentary office of German Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger as chief clerk, served as a political officer at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin and worked for the international NGO Humanity in Action on human and minority rights. His expertise includes migration and integration, German politics as well as European and transatlantic affairs. He is an alumnus of several German foundations, including the German National Academic Foundation. After having studied German literature and philosophy at Humboldt University in Berlin, Sorbonne University in Paris and Washington University in St. Louis, he obtained a Master in Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Niels Annen

Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office

Since 14 March 2018 Niels Annen has been Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office. Prior to his current position he served several years as spokesperson on foreign affairs of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag. Niels Annen was a member of the SPD’s executive committee from 2003 to 2019.

His main foci of interest are Transatlantic relations and the Middle East as well as China and Latin America. From 2014 to 2018 Mr. Annen also chaired the Bundestag’s Parliamentarian Friendship Group for Relations with the States of South Asia. As an advocate for a stronger German role in international diplomacy, he supports multilateral engagement as a tool for resolving today’s conflicts and crises, and protecting human rights.

Niels Annen was a senior resident fellow with the German Marshall Fund in Washington, D.C. (2010 to 2011), and a researcher at the International Policy Analysis unit of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (2011 to 2013). From 2001 to 2004 he was chairman of the Federal Executive Board of the Young Socialists. Niels Annen holds a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand & Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Born in Hamilton to Ross and Laurell, a police officer and school cook, Jacinda grew up between Morrinsville and Murupara. After graduating from Morrinsville College, she attended Waikato University.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, and grew up rurally. She attended Morrinsville College before graduating from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Politics and Public Relations.

Post-university, she worked as an advisor in the office of then-Prime Minister Helen Clark, in London for the Government Cabinet Office and as an Assistant Director in the Department for Business and Enterprise, and on a review of Policing in England and Wales.

The Prime Minister joined the New Zealand Labour Party at age 18 and entered New Zealand’s Parliament in 2008. Over her eleven years as a representative she has been a strong advocate for children, women, and the right of every New Zealander to have meaningful work.

She became the MP for the Auckland electorate Mt Albert in early 2017, and the Leader of the Labour Party in August 2017. As well as Prime Minister, she holds the roles of Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, an issue particularly close to her heart.

Michelle Bachelet

President of Chile (2006-2010; 2014-2018) and Club de Madrid Member

Michelle Bachelet is a former President of Chile. She served for two non consecutive terms between 2006-2010 and 2014-2018. She was the first Chilean woman to ever hold the office, and the first President of Chile to be democratically reelected since 1932.

In 1982, Bachelet graduated from the Medical School of the University of Chile, and then specialized in pediatrics and public health at the Roberto del Rio Hospital in Santiago. Later, she studied military strategy in the National Academy of Strategic and Political Studies. As a student, Bachelet actively supported Salvador Allende’s Partido Socialista de Chile (PSCh) until Augusto Pinochet’s coup d’état in September of 1973 forced her to flee the country. After some time in Australia and East Germany, she returned to Chile in 1979 to finish her medical studies, where she advocated for the restoration of democracy. Following Patricio Aylwin’s presidential victory that marked Chile’s return to democracy in 1990, Bachelet started her professional career as an epidemiologist. In 2000, Bachelet was named Minister of Health by then President and current WLA-CdM Member, Ricardo Lagos; and two years later, she moved to head the Defence Ministry, becoming the first Chilean woman to lead this branch. Following a steady rise in her polling numbers during 2004, in January 2005 she accepted her party’s nomination for President. A year later, after a run-off election against the center-right candidate, she was elected President in January 15, 2006 with the 53.5 % of the votes. Her first term was characterized by the expansion of Chile’s Social Protection System for children, the elderly and the disabled; greater investment for education and health; labour law reforms; and gender equality as a polity of the State. Between presidential terms, Bachelet was appointed the first-ever Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, by current WLA-CdM Honorary Member, Ban Ki-moon. Thanks to a solid popularity, Bachelet ran for the Presidency again in 2014, obtaining 62.1 % of votes in the run-off against the continuity candidate, and was sworn in March 11, 2014 at the National Congress. In this second period, she introduced free university education; new environmental policies; same sex marriage; and created the Ministry for Women and Gender Equality.

Since leaving the Presidency in March 2018, Michelle Bachelet continues to be a leading voice for human rights, gender equality, woman’s issues, and democracy. In September 1st 2018, following approval by the UN General Assembly, she was appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights by Secretary-General and WLA-CdM Member on leave, António Guterres.

Jan Peter Balkenende

Prime Minister of the Netherlands (2002-2010) and Club de Madrid Member

Professor Jan Peter Balkenende (born in 1956) was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 2002 to 2010 as representative of the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA). 

Balkenende studied economic and social history (MA) as well as Dutch law (LLM) at VU University Amsterdam. He obtained a Ph.D. in law with a thesis entitled ‘Government Regulation and Civil Society Organisations.’ He subsequently worked at the Netherlands’ Universities Council, the Research Institute of the political party CDA and as professor at VU University. He was a member of the Amstelveen municipal council (1982-1998) and of the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament (1998-2002). He published a number of books and articles on a range of subjects, including innovation, development cooperation, European integration, social security, government finance, poverty, economic growth and responsibilities of the business sector. From 2002 to 2010, Balkenende was Prime Minister of the Netherlands. During his tenure, distinctive national reforms were achieved, examples of which are to be found in fields of social security, pre-pension facilities and public health. He played as well a very active role internationally, both within Europe (presidency of the European Council in the second half of 2004), as in the G20 (although the Netherlands is not a formal member) and in the UN (with a special emphasis on issues like sustainable development, Millennium Development Goals and the WTO). After his term in the office, Balkenende became Professor of Governance, Institutions and Internationalisation at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2010. During the period of 2011-2016, Balkenende worked as Partner to EY, where he focused on corporate responsibility, international affairs and advisory activities for public-private issues.

Since 2016, Balkenende is External Senior and since 2017 he is a member of the Supervisory Board of ING Advisor. In his current capacity, Balkenende is as well the chairman of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition, the Major Alliance and the Noaber Foundation. Professor Balkenende, who has received ten Grand Crosses and five honorary doctorates from universities in Hungary, Japan, South Korea and the United States, continues to be an active voice in the global agenda, particularly since he became Member of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid in October 2019.

Alicia Bárcena

Executive Secretary of ECLAC

Alicia Bárcena took over as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on July 1st , 2008. Previously, she served as Under-

Secretary-General for Management at United Nations Headquarters in New York, and held positions as Deputy Chef de Cabinet and Chef de Cabinet to Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations.

At ECLAC, she served as Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief of the Environment and Human Settlements Division. She was Coordinator of the Sustainable Development Program for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Coordinator of the Environmental Citizenship Project of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

The University of Oslo, Norway; the University of Havana, Cuba; and the Universidad Autonoma de México (UNAM) awarded her an honorary doctorate. In 2014 she received the 2013 medal in International Relations from the University of Anáhuac.

Thorsten Benner

Co-founder and Director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin

Thorsten Benner is co-founder and director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin. His areas of interest include international organizations (focusing on the United Nations), peace and securitydata and technology politics, and the interplay of the US, Europe and non-Western powers in the making of global (dis)order. Prior to co-founding GPPi in 2003, he worked with the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, the UN Development Programme in New York, and the Global Public Policy Project in Washington, DC.

His commentary has appeared in DIE ZEITInternational New York TimesFinancial TimesForeign Affairs, Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others. His publications include The New World of UN Peace Operations: Learning to Build Peace? (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Critical Choices. The United Nations, Networks, and the Future of Global Governance (Ottawa, 2000).

Thorsten is an adjunct faculty member at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, where he has been involved since its founding in 2003. From 2011 to 2015, he worked with the founding team of the School of Public Policy at Central European University. He is a member of the Global Board of Directors of More in Common and a member of the advisory board of Zahnräder Netzwerk, a platform for Muslim social entrepreneurs.

He studied political science, history, and sociology at the University of Siegen (Germany), the University of York (UK), and the University of California at Berkeley. From 2001 to 2003, he was a McCloy Scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he received a master’s degree in public administration. He received scholarships from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the German National Academic Foundation.

Gordon Brown

Prime Minister United Kingdom (2007-2010) & Club de Madrid Member

Gordon Brown is a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He served from 2007-2010 and is widely credited with preventing a second Great Depression through his stewardship of the 2009 London G20 summit. During his time in office, he also became heavily involved in international negotiations to reach an agreement to replace the Kyoto Treaty and he worked with his Irish counterpart to negotiate the devolution of policing and justice powers in Northern Ireland.

Brown served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history. He also served as a Member of Parliament (1983-2015) and Leader of the Labour Party (2007-2010). Since 2015, he is UN Special Envoy for Global Education, a role in which he works closely with key partners to help galvanise support for the new International Financing Facility for Education that proposes a ground-breaking way to finance education for every child. He is also Chair of the High-Level Steering Group for the Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies, Chair of the Inquiry on Protecting Children in Conflict, and Chair of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. He also serves as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Catalyst Trust for Universal Education and is an Advisor to the Board of the Graça Machel Trust. In addition to his global education work, Gordon Brown is a Senior Panel Member at the Kofi Annan Foundation initiative on Electoral Integrity and is a Patron of the Burma Campaign UK. Brown is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Patron of the Parliamentary Outreach Trust.

Gordon Brown was born in Scotland and grew up in the industrial town of Kirkcaldy. He started at Edinburgh University aged 16, becoming the youngest fresher there since the war. He gained a First Class honours degree in History and became the youngest ever Rector of Edinburgh University in 1972. Brown has a PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh and spent his early career working as a lecturer. He is the author of several books including Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation, My Scotland, Our Britain, and My Life, Our Times.

Sara Burke

Senior Policy Analyst

Sara Burke is the senior expert in charge of global economic policy issues at FES New York. Since 2008 her work has focused on economic policy frameworks and the multilateral institutions, highlighting the role trade unions and other groups in civil society can incentivize compliance to international standards and agreements. She has published a papers on economic and social rights.

Felipe Calderón Hinojosa

President of Mexico (2006-2012) and Club de Madrid Member

Felipe Calderón is a former President of Mexico. After a tense electoral campaign and a very tight result, he served for a 6-year term from 2006 to 2012. His presidency was characterized by the nationwide fight against organized crime, his Administration’s positive response to the 2008 international economic and financial crisis, and the consolidation of Mexico as an exporting power.

Calderón gained his Bachelor´s degree in Law from the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City. He went on to obtain a Master´s in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and, in 2000, he graduated from the Master of Public Administration program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University. Calderón entered politics in his early twenties, serving as the president of the National Action Party (PAN) youth branch.  He then went on to serve as the national chairman for the party from 1996 to 1999, and as Federal Congressman in the Chamber of Deputies between 2000 and 2003. Under the presidency of Vicente Fox (PAN), Felipe Calderón was appointed as the director of the state-owned development bank, Banobras, and later, as Secretary of Energy. After his successful 2006 presidential run, Mexico positioned itself as a global leader in fighting climate change; the economy registered stability and economic growth despite the impact of the 2009 international crisis; and he boosted competitiveness by promoting free trade, competition, private investment and technical education, as well as increasing investment in infrastructure and Mexican export rates to unprecedented levels.

Calderon was named the 2011 “Champion of the Earth” for environmental leadership by the United Nations and the 2012 “Statesman of the Year” by the World Economic Forum, among other distinctions. He also holds several honorary titles given to him from countries ranging from Brazil to the United Kingdom. Such titles include the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Bath, received from Queen Elizabeth II; the Knighthood of the Order of the Elephant, granted by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark; and the Grand Cross with Collar from the Order of Isabel the Catholic, bestowed on him by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Currently, Calderón is president of the Sustainable Human Development Foundation; member of the Board of Directors of the World Resources Institute; Chairman of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, responsible for the 2014 “Better Climate, Better Growth: The New Climate Economy” report; and an Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Kim Campbell

Prime Minister of Canada (1993) and Club de Madrid Member

Kim Campbell is a former Prime Minister of Canada. She served in 1993, becoming the first woman to hold the office. Previously, she had served as Minister for Indian Affairs, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of National Defense, and Minister of Veterans’ Affairs.

After becoming leader of the Progressive Conservatives and Prime Minister, she implemented radical changes to the structure of the government. Under her tenure, the federal cabinet’s size was cut from over 35 cabinet ministers and ministers of State to 23. This included the redesign of 8 ministries and the abolition or merging of 15 others. Additionally, Mrs. Campbell consolidated more services for the Canadian people by creating three new ministries: Health, Canadian Heritage, and Public Security. Throughout her career, Mrs. Campbell was deeply engaged in international issues including law reform and criminal justice, international trade (her signature appears on the NAFTA side deals) and security (both as Minister of Defense and Prime Minister; as Justice Minister she served on the War Cabinet during the First Gulf War).

After her tenure as Prime Minister, Mrs. Campbell was a fellow at the Institute of Politics (1994) and the Joan Shorenstein Center for the Study of Press and Politics (1994-1995), at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The following year, she was appointed the Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles (1996-2000), and then returned to Harvard to teach at the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School, between 2001 and 2004. In 2016, Mrs. Campbell was named Chairperson of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments, a role that she reprised in the fall of 2017. Mrs. Campbell’s most notable achievement in recent is the design and launch of a ground-breaking leadership program for undergraduates at the University of Alberta called the Peter Lougheed Leadership College. She served as its Founding Principal from the spring of 2014 through June of 2018.  She is a member of the International Women’s Forum, a global organization of women of significant and diverse achievement, serving as its president (2003-2005) and receiving induction into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2008. Campbell is a member and chair emerita of the Council of Women World Leaders (1999-2003), a group consisting of women who hold or have held the office of President or Prime Minister. As well, Mrs. Campbell is a founding member of the World Leadership Alliance-Club of Madrid. She is a trustee of the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence(ICSR) at King’s College.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso

President of Brazil (1995-2003) and Club de Madrid Member

Born on June 18th, in 1931, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ardoso is a well-known professor and intellectual. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Universidade de São Paulo in 1952, from where he also earned a Master’s  and a Doctorate in Sociology. Cardoso, often nicknamed “FHC”, was elected with the support of a heterodox alliance of his own Social Democratic Party, the PSDB, and two right-wing parties, Brazil’s largest party, the centrist Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB), joined Cardoso’s governing coalition after the election, as did the right-wing PPB. FHC was the first Brazilian President to address the inequality and the enormous gap between rich and poor. He started the following programs: Bolsa Escola, the Auxílio Gás, the Bolsa Alimentação, and the Cartão Alimentação. Cardoso’s administration deepened the privatization program launched by president Fernando Collor de Mello. His popularity in his first four years, gained with the success of Plano Real, decreased during his last four years as the currency crisis was followed by lower economic growth and employment rates. After stepping down from office, he assumed a position as a senior leader of his party and leading public voice in the opposition to the incumbent Workers’ Party. He is a member of the Club of Madrid and was its president from 2003 to 2006. He has been a member of the Fondation Chirac‘s honour committee,[38] ever since the Foundation was launched in 2008 by former French president Jacques Chirac to promote world peace. Cardoso is a founding member of Washington D.C.-based think tank The Inter-American Dialogue as well as former chair of the organization’s board. He is also a former director of World Resources Institute.

Laura Chinchilla

President of Costa Rica (2010-2014) and Club de Madrid Vice President

Laura Chinchilla was appointed Minister of Public Security of Costa Rica (1996–1998) while she also served as President of the National Immigration Board and the National Drug Council.  Between 2002-2006 she was elected member of the National Congress. In 2006 she was elected Vice President of Costa Rica, while assuming office in the Ministry of Justice. 

She was elected President of Costa Rica on Feb 7th 2010, being the first woman in the country to hold such office. She highlighted the promotion of citizen security, the reformation of the criminal procedure codes, laws against drug trafficking and organized crimes, and preventing violence. One of her most outstanding achievements was the steady decline in crime rates in Costa Rica. She also prompted measures on the promotion of women rights, protection of children and environmental sustainability. While in office, she earned two international awards: ‘’Excellence in National Management of the Ocean’’ (2011), and the ‘Award of the Shark Guardian of the year’’ (2013).

Mrs. Chinchilla has also worked as a consultant in Latin America and Africa with various international organizations. Relevant tasks include diagnostics on the justice sector for the Agency for International Development (USAID), coordination of studies and projects on judicial reform for the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) and assessments and advice on police reform to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). As former President, she is active on global agenda being part of various forums such as the WLA Club de Madrid, the Inter American Dialogue, Concordia Summit, the Latin American Presidential Commission, and has being teaching in Georgetown University, Tecnológico de Monterrey in México, and Universidade de Sao Paolo in Brazil.

She has headed several Organization of American State’s Observation Electoral Missions: México 2015, United States 2016, Paraguay 2018 and Brazil 2018. 

Joaquim Chissano

President of Mozambique (1986-2005) & Club de Madrid Member

Joaquim Chissano was born in Malehice (province of Gaza, Mozambique) the 22nd October, 1939.

Mr. Chissano started studying Medicine at the University of Poitiers, France, in 1961. In 1963, he decided to quit his studies and move to Tanzania to dedicate himself to the movement for the national liberation with the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which he helped to establish in 1962.

Soon after arriving in Tanzania, he was named Personal Assistant to President Eduardo Mondlane and Chairman of the Department of Education. In 1964, he was appointed as Chairman of the Department of Security and Defense. He worked as a teacher in FRELIMO’s Secondary School and the Institute of Mozambique.

He played a fundamental role in the negotiations of the Lusaka Accord, signed in 1974 with the Portuguese Government on the independence of Mozambique. In September of the same year, with only 35 years of age, he was named Prime Minister of the transitional government that led to the proclamation of independence in June 1975. After independence, he was named Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Along with Samora Machel he participated in the negotiations of the N’Kotami Accord, signed with South Africa in 1984. After Samora Machel´s death in 1986 Mr. Chissano was elected president of the Republic (1986-2005).

He led positive socio-economic reforms, culminating with the adoption of the 1990 Constitution that led Mozambique to the multi-party system and an open market. In 1994, he won the first multi-party elections and was re-elected in 1999. He left the position in 2005, after having served as Chairperson of the African Union (2003-2004).

Following from his career in national politics, he was appointed as Special Envoy of the United Nations’ Secretary General to Northern Uganda and South Sudan to mediate in the conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). He was awarded with the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership and is the Chair of the Joaquim Chissano Foundation.

He joined the Club de Madrid the 8th March 2005, ratified by an Extraordinary General Assembly.

Helen Clark

Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008) and Club de Madrid Member

Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand for three successive terms from 1999–2008.  She was the first woman to become Prime Minister following a General Election in New Zealand and the second woman to serve as Prime Minister.

Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister and as a Member of Parliament over 27 years, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international affairs, economic, social, environmental, and cultural spheres. She advocated strongly for a comprehensive programme on sustainability for New Zealand and for tackling the challenges of climate change. She was an active leader of her country’s foreign relations, engaging in a wide range of international issues.

In April 2009, Helen Clark became Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. She was the first woman to lead the organisation, and served two terms there. At the same time, she was Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of all UN funds, programmes, agencies, and departments working on development issues. As Administrator, she led UNDP to be ranked the most transparent global development organisation. She completed her tenure in April 2017.

Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland, from which she earlier graduated with her BA and MA (Hons) degrees.

Helen continues to speak widely and be a strong voice on sustainable development, climate action, gender equality and women’s leadership, peace and justice, and action on non-communicable diseases and on HIV. She serves on a number of advisory boards and commissions, including in the capacity of Chair of the Advisory Board of UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report. In June 2019, she assumed the Chairpersonship of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Seán Cleary

Chairman of Strategic Concepts Ltd, Executive Vice Chair of the Future World Foundation and Club de Madrid Advisor

Seán Cleary is Chairman of Strategic Concepts (Pty) Ltd; Executive Vice-Chair of the FutureWorld Foundation, Managing Director of the Centre for Advanced Governance, and a Director of Companies. 

He is on the Faculty of the Parmenides Foundation; chairs the Advisory Board of the Global Economic Symposium; is a Board Member of the Salzburg Global Seminar, and chair of its Programme Committee; and a Strategic Adviser to the World Economic Forum.

He studied social sciences and law and has an MBA from Henley. He served on the staff of the Commander Maritime Defence, before diplomatic service in Iran, the USA and Namibia, where he initiated negotiations between all political parties, the release of political prisoners and the adoption of a Bill of Rights before independence.

He served on the Facilitating and Preparatory Committees of the South African Peace Accord, chairing the Working Group on the Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Organizations; on the Executive of the NEPAD Business Steering Group; and as Senior Adviser to the Arab Business Council. Between 2003 and 2016, he served on the Boards of LEAD International, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Carbon War Room, Rocky Mountain Institute; and Operation Hope.

He is a recipient of academic and public service awards and has been published in South African, British, German and U.S. journals. He is the co-author, with Thierry Malleret, of two books on risk, Resilience to Risk (Human and Rousseau, 2006), and Global Risks (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), and has contributed chapters to several others, including Learning from Catastrophes (Wharton, 2009).

Hillary Rodham Clinton

US Secretary of State (2009-2013)

Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and presidential candidate.

Hillary Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 26, 1947. After graduating from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, she began her life-long work on behalf of children and families by joining the Children’s Defense Fund.In 1974, she moved to Arkansas, where she married Bill Clinton and became a successful attorney while also raising their daughter, Chelsea.

As First Lady of the United States, from 1993 to 2001, Hillary Clinton championed health care for all Americans and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and create the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate, and the first woman elected to statewide office in New York. As Senator, she worked across party lines to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care. After September 11, 2001, she helped to rebuild New York and provide health care for first responders.

In 2007, she began her historic campaign for president, winning 18 million votes and becoming the first woman to ever win a presidential primary or caucus state.

In her four years as America’s chief diplomat and the President’s principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton led the effort to restore America’s leadership in the world. She negotiated a cease-fire in Gaza that defended Israel’s security and headed off another war in the Middle East, mobilized an international coalition to impose crippling sanctions against Iran, and championed human rights around the world, as she has her entire career.

In 2016, Clinton made history again by becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. As the Democratic candidate for president, she campaigned on a vision of America that is “stronger together” and an agenda to make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, earning the support of nearly 66 million Americans.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the author of eight best-selling books, including her campaign memoir, What Happened, and The Book of Gutsy Women, with Chelsea Clinton.

She and President Clinton reside in New York, have one daughter, Chelsea, and are the proud grandparents of Charlotte, Aidan, and Jasper.

Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly

Vice President and Director of Global Economy and Development Program at The Brookings Institution

Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly is vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings after previously serving as director of the Africa Growth Initiative. He joined Brookings from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System where he was chief economist and head of the emerging market and developing economies group. In that capacity, he oversaw the institution’s work on emerging markets and developing economies, provided intellectual leadership on economic and financial issues facing these economies, and often represented the Federal Reserve in international meetings and working groups on relevant topics. Coulibaly joined the Federal Reserve System in 2004 as a junior economist. He was promoted to senior economist in 2007, to principal economist in 2009, and to chief in 2013. He has also taught economics and international finance at Georgetown University, the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia, and the University of Michigan.

Coulibaly has published widely on various topics in macroeconomics, development, international finance, monetary economics, and trade. Brahima Coulibaly’s more notable works include “International Financial Spillovers to Emerging Market Economies: How Important Are Economic Fundamentals?” in the Journal of International Finance (forthcoming); “Trade Credit and International Trade During the Global Financial Crisis” in the International Review of Economics and Finance (2013); “South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Two-Step: Social Demand versus Macro Stability,” in the American Economic Review (2009); and “Effects of Financial Autarky and Integration: The Case of the South Africa Embargo” in the Journal of International Money and Finance (2009).

He holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s in economics, both from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Elizabeth Cousens

President & Chief Executive Officer at UN Foundation

Elizabeth Cousens became the UN Foundation’s third President and Chief Executive Officer in 2020, leading the Foundation’s next generation of work to support the United Nations.

Elizabeth has been at the forefront of global policymaking and innovation for over 20 years. She is a diplomat and thought leader who has worked on the frontlines of peace processes, played an influential role in UN policy innovations from peacebuilding to the Sustainable Development Goals, and helped build public-private partnerships to solve global challenges at scale.

Before joining the Foundation, Elizabeth served for several years at the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York. She was Principal Policy Advisor and Counselor to the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations and later served as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council and Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly where she led U.S. negotiations on the SDGs; served on the boards of UN agencies, funds, and programmes; and was U.S. representative to the UN Peacebuilding Commission.

Elizabeth has lived around the world, serving with UN missions in Nepal and the Middle East, and working as an analyst in conflict zones, including Bosnia and Haiti. She was previously Director of Strategy for the HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue which promotes and conducts mediation of armed conflict; Vice President of the International Peace Institute, where she led initiatives on global crisis management and UN reform; and Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum, a research group that provides country and regional expertise to the UN on conflict and crisis situations.

Prior to becoming President and CEO, Elizabeth served as Deputy CEO where she oversaw the Foundation’s policy, advocacy, and communications work.

Elizabeth has a D.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, as well as a B.A. in history and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Puget Sound. She has written widely on conflict management, peace processes, state-building, and the United Nations.

She and her husband have one child.

Melinda Crane

Chief Political Correspondent at DW TV

Melinda Cranehas given speeches and moderated events and discussions for a wide range of international organizations and firms. She is a frequent guest and commentator on German television and radio and regularly analyzes US policy for the news broadcaster n-tv. An experienced TV anchor, she is chief political correspondent at DW TV and also hosts the DW talk show “Quadriga”. In 2014 she was awarded the Steuben-Schurz Media Award for her service to transatlantic understanding.

Dr. Crane studied history and political science at Brown University and law at Harvard. She wrote her dissertation on the political economy of development assistance at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

As International Affairs Consultant to the discussion show “Sabine Christiansen” she produced interviews with Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and George Bush, among others.

Her journalistic experience includes work for the “New York Times Magazine”, ”The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine,” “The Boston Globe,” the “Christian Science Monitor” and German newspapers and magazines.

Patricia Espinosa

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Ms. Espinosa is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ambassador of Mexico to Germany since 2012 and from 2001 to 2002, Ms. Espinosa was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico from 2006 to 2012, bringing over 30 years of experience at highest levels in international relations. As Chair of the Third Committee of the UNGA (1996), she played a key role in the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action. Ambassador of Mexico to Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UN in Vienna (2002-2006), Chief of Staff to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991) and responsible for economic issues at the Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva (1982-1988).

Eric Garcetti

Mayor of Los Angeles

Eric Garcetti is a Jewish American politician and the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles.

Garcetti is the child of a mother descended from Russian Jews who immigrated to the U.S. and a father whose predecessors were Italian Catholics who moved to Mexico to escape 19th century turmoil and fled north to the U.S. during Mexico’s revolution. As an Italian Mexican Jew, Garcetti’s identity showcases the divetrsity of America.

Born in Los Angeles and in 1971 to mother Sukey Roth and former LA County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, Eric was raised in Encino, California. He went to elementary school at the University of California Los Angeles’ Lab School and completed the rest of his primary education at the Harvard-Westlake School. In 1992 he graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a degree in political science and urban planning. In college, Garcetti was active in student government, the literary society, and actor in and writer of student musicals.

Garcetti continued to study international affairs at Columbia and earned a Masters degree from the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and the London School of Economics.

Garcetti began his professional career as an academic, teaching at the university level and writing scholarly articles and book chapters about ethnic conflict and nationalism.

In 2001, Garcetti was elected to the LA City Council and was reelected in 2005 and 2009.

On the national political scene, he endorsed Barack Obama in the spring of 2007 and co-chaired his presidential campaign in Southern California. Garcetti was a superdelegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and serves on the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee.

In 2013, Garcetti was elected mayor of Los Angeles, a city known for many diaspora communities including the largest Korean demographic outside of Seoul, the most Iranians outside of Tehran, the most Guatemalans outside of Guatemala, and the most Samoans outside of Samoa. The city is also the second-largest concentration of Jews in the United States following New York City.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

WHO Director-General

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017. He is the first WHO Director-General to have been elected from multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and is the first person from the WHO African Region to serve as WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer. Immediately after taking office on 1 July 2017 Dr Tedros outlined five key priorities for the Organization: universal health coverage; health emergencies; women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health; health impacts of climate and environmental change; and a transformed WHO.

Dr Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012–2016. In this role he led efforts to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Dr Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005–2012, where he led a comprehensive reform of the country’s health system. The transformation he led as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health improved access to health care for millions of people. Under his leadership Ethiopia invested in critical health infrastructure, expanded its health workforce, and developed innovative health financing mechanisms.

Born in the city of Asmara, Eritrea, Dr Tedros holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham and a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London. Dr Tedros is globally recognised as a health scholar, researcher, and diplomat with first-hand experience in research, operations, and leadership in emergency responses to epidemics.

He received the Decoration of the Order of Serbian Flag in 2016, and was awarded the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of public health in 2011.

Dennis Görlich

Senior Researcher, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, and Research Coordinator, Global Solutions Initiative

Dennis is Senior Researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Research Coordinator at the Global Solutions Initiative. Previously, he was Head of the Kiel Institute’s Global Challenges Centre and Managing Director of the Global Solutions Summit. During the G20 Presidency of Japan in 2019, he was T20 Co-Chair of Task Force 7: The Future of Work and Education for the Digital Age. His main research interests are global governance, the future of work, and sustainable globalization and development. Dennis holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Kiel and a Master in Economics from Maastricht University.

Angel Gurría

Secretary-General of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

As Secretary-General of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 2006, Angel Gurría has firmly established the Organisation as a pillar of the global economic governance architecture including the G7, G20 and APEC, and a reference point in the design and implementation of better policies for better lives. He has broadened OECD’s membership with the accession of Chile, Estonia, Israel, Latvia and Slovenia, and has made the Organisation more inclusive by strengthening its links with key emerging economies.  Under his watch, the OECD is leading the effort to reform the international tax system, and to improve governance frameworks in anti-corruption and other fields. He has also heralded a new growth narrative that promotes the well-being of people, including women, gender and youth, and has scaled up the OECD contribution to the global agenda, including the Paris Agreement  on Climate Change and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Born on May 8th, 1950, in Tampico, Mexico, Mr. Gurría came to the OECD following a distinguished career in public service in his country, including positions as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance and Public Credit in the 1990s. For the first time in a generation, he steered Mexico’s economy through a change of Administration without a recurrence of the financial crises that had previously dogged such changes.

Mr. Gurría holds a B.A. degree in Economics from UNAM (Mexico) and a M.A. degree in Economics from Leeds University (United Kingdom). He has received Honorary Degrees from the Universidad de Valle de México, Rey Juan Carlos University, European University of Madrid, and the Universities of Leeds, Haifa and Bratislava. A regular contributor to some of the world’s leading newspapers and journals, Mr. Gurría has received several awards and decorations from more than 30 countries.

Mr. Gurría has participated in various international not-for-profit bodies, including the Population Council, based in New York, and the Center for Global Development based in Washington. He chaired the International Task Force on Financing Water for All and continues to be deeply involved in water issues, being a member of the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Board for Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) and of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security. He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of Governors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation; based in Canada, the Advisory Board for the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF), co-hosted by Korea and Denmark, and the Advisory Board to the International Forum on Genomics, Innovation and Economic Growth, and was recently appointed as a member of the Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Sciences of Spain.

Noeleen Heyzer

Social Scientist and Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General

Noeleen Heyzer is currently a member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation. She was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2015) and the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. Under her leadership, the commission focused on regional co-operation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity, and sustainable development.  She was at the forefront of many innovations including for inclusive socio-economic policies and social protection, sustainable agriculture and urbanization, regional disaster preparedness, energy security and regional connectivity.  She played a key role in the preparation of the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership Framework and in 2009 was the first UN official invited by the Chair of ASEAN to address the East Asian Summit.

She was the first Executive Director outside of North America to lead the United Nations Development Fund for Women (1994-2007). She was widely recognized for playing a critical role in the Security Council’s adoption and implementation of the landmark Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security. Dr. Heyzer was also the UN SG’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development.

Dr. Heyzer has served on numerous boards and advisory committees of international organizations, including the UNDP Human Development Report, the Asian Development Bank’s Eminent Persons Group, Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore (NUS), member of the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy(NUS), Governing Board  member of Duke-NUS, member of the Kofi Annan Global Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age. She was a founding member of several international women’s networks and was a jury member of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Innovation Award for Women’s and Girl’s Empowerment, 2010. She was also on the High-level Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding chaired by Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Upper Hons.) and Master of Science from the University of Singapore, and a Doctorate in Social Sciences from Cambridge University, United Kingdom. She has received numerous international awards for leadership including The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal (2004) given to “a person who has promoted, in action and spirit, the values that inspired Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary-General of the United Nations and generally in his life: compassion, humanism and commitment to international solidarity and cooperation”. Uppsala, Sweden.

Fabrizio Hochschild

Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, United Nations

Fabrizio Hochschild, who has been serving as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General since 2017, will support the Secretary-General in coordinating the preparation for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020 and related celebrations, through a system-wide process of consultations and reflections on the role of the United Nations in advancing international co-operation and in supporting Member States’ ability to respond to emerging challenges and frontier issues. 

Mr. Hochschild served as Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in 2016, UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Colombia from 2013 to 2016, Director of the Field Personnel Division in the United Nations Department of Field Support, New York from 2010 to 2012; and as Chief of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva from 2005 to 2009.

He began his United Nations career in 1988 with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan and served in subsequent postings with UNHCR, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and in peacekeeping.  He was posted in Sudan, Jerusalem, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Geneva, New York, Timor-Leste, Serbia and the United Republic of Tanzania.

A graduate of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, he has published studies and articles on leadership, on the protection of civilians, on transitional justice and reconciliation among other topics.

William Hoffman

Future of Investing Platform Lead at World Economic Forum

William Hoffman is the Future of Investing Platform Lead at the World Economic Forum.  Focused on the trustworthy use of emerging technology to advance the common good, his work advances new approaches to create sustainable value, for both people and the planet, through the adoption of shared metrics.  William holds a bachelors degree from Syracuse University and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Mehdi Jomaa

Prime Minister of Tunisia (2014) & Club de Madrid Member

Born in Mahdia, Tunisia on April 12th, 1962; Mehdi Jomaa is married and a father to five children. He received his engineering degree from The National Engineering Institute of Tunis.

In 1989, he started his professional career at Hutchinson – TOTAL Group in France. He specialized in Aeronautic Systems and worked on several programs dealing with Defence and Aerospace industries. His areas of expertise are strategy, international business management and transformation leadership.

In March 2013, he was appointed Minister of Industry of Tunisia. He initiated several policy changes including new energy strategy with and increasing mix of renewable high-added value industrial policy, rationalisation of energy subsidies, culture change and social responsibility in Tunisian large industrial groups. 

In January 2014, and after several months of an acute political crisis, which stalled the transition process, he was elected by the National Dialogue Committee to become the Head of Government in charge of completing the transition process with the ultimate objective of organizing the country’s first general and fair elections under the new Constitution.

During his tenure of office, he restructured and enhanced the capabilities of the security apparatus for a more efficient response to terrorism, and launched the national economic dialogue to build national consensus around priority fiscal and structural reforms. In September 2014, aiming to promote FDI in Tunisia he came with the concept of “Start-up Democracy”. As head of Government, he introduced an innovative governance approach based on a trilogy of “Vision, Strategy and Leadership”.

Mehdi Jomaa is holder of Tunisian Order of the Republic and German Order of Merit and he was awarded the 2014 Amadeus “Man of the Year” from Morocco. He was selected co-chair of the initiative of the United Nations against International Terrorism in July 2016. Mehdi Jomaa co-chaired with Madeleine Albright the report of Community of Democracies: Democracy and security dialogue `Liberal Democracy and the Path to Peace and Security’ published in Septemeber, 2017.

In February 2016, he created a think tank “Tunisia Alternatives” aiming to work on various policy reforms and in March 2017, he announced the creation of a political party that he presides, Al Badil Ettounsi “The Tunisian Alternative”.

Ban Ki-Moon

Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2016) and Club de Madrid Honorary Member

In April 2018, Mr. Ban has been elected as the Chairman of Boao Forum for Asia. Since January 2018, Mr. Ban, along with former President of Austria Mr. Heinz Fischer, has been inducted as Co-Chairs of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Ban Ki-moon has also been elected as Chairman of IOC Ethics Committee in September 2017. Currently, he is the Distinguished Chair Professor and Honorary Chairman at the Institute of Global Engagement & Empowerment at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. Since February 2018, he has been elected as the President of the Assembly & Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Prior to such appointments, Mr. Ban has served two consecutive terms as the Secretary General of the United Nations (2007-2016).

Throughout his tenure at the UN, Mr. Ban strove to be a bridge builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and the most vulnerable people, and to make the Organization more transparent and effective. He has pressed successfully for action to combat climate change- an effort that culminated in the adoption and rapid entry into force of the landmark Paris Agreement in 2016. Mr. Ban has worked closely with member states of the UN to shape the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to establish UN Women, which has been advancing the Organization’s work for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Mr. Ban has also taken major efforts to strengthen UN peace operations, to protect human rights, to improve humanitarian response, to prevent violent extremism and to revitalize disarmament agenda.

At the time of his appointment at the UN, Mr. Ban has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. His 37 years with the Ministry includes postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C., and Vienna, and responsibilities for a variety of portfolios, which includes Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, Chief National Security Adviser to the President, Vice Minister, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General for American Affairs.

Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations by serving as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.

Mr. Ban received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. In 1985, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Hans Kluge

WHO Regional Director

Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge began his term as WHO Regional Director for Europe on 1 February 2020, following his nomination by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe and appointment by the WHO Executive Board.

He has 25 years of experience in medical practice and public health in numerous settings around the world. Having qualified in medicine, surgery and obstetrics from the Catholic University of Leuven in 1994, he began his career as a family doctor in Belgium.

On assignment with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Belgium from 1995, his international experience started in emergencies, working in Liberia and Somalia, coordinating a tuberculosis (TB) control programme and providing medical and public health services in conflict zones. Dr Kluge’s work for MSF in the area of TB control continued with a posting coordinating programmes in prisons in Siberia, and then as the Regional TB Advisor for former Soviet Union countries in Moscow, Russian Federation.

Dr Kluge joined WHO in 1999, as TB and TB-HIV Project Manager at the WHO Country Office in the Russian Federation. During 2004–2009 his focus expanded, as Medical Officer for TB and then becoming Team Leader for the 3 diseases unit (HIV, TB and malaria) at the WHO Country Office in Myanmar, as well as working as a consultant to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on TB.

In 2009, Dr Kluge moved to the WHO Regional Office for Europe, and the following year was appointed Director of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, and Special Representative of the Regional Director to Combat Multi/Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis. As division director, he led the development of a new WHO European Region vision on health systems for prosperity and solidarity; drove work on a regional study on universal health coverage and financial protection; prioritized a focus on service delivery including integrated and primary health care; and built strong partnerships on health system performance and reforms with the European Commission, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank, GAVI, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, civil society and donors.

Horst Koehler

Federal President of Germany (2004-2010) and Club de Madrid Member

Horst Köhler served as ninth President of the Federal Republic of Germany between 2004 and 2010. During his term of office he was pushing for domestic economic and education reforms, advocated for stronger sustainability policies and was an early proponent of better regulated financial markets. On foreign issues, Mr. Köhler called for a human dimension to globalization and was a staunch campaigner for poverty eradication and a better European-African partnership.

Horst Köhler was appointed as State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance in 1990. In this position he negotiated both the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the GDR and the Maastricht Treaty on European Monetary Union. He also served as Personal Representative of Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl for the World Economic Summits of the then G7.

In 1993, Horst Köhler left public administration to become President of the German Savings Banks Association, before being appointed President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 1998.

In 2000, he became Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He held this position until his election as Federal President in 2004. During his tenure at the IMF, he led efforts to resolve financial crises in a number of countries. In addition, he focused the Fund’s attention on the HIPC-initiative and macroeconomic stability of African countries.

From 2012 to 2013, Horst Köhler was a member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. From 2016 to 2017 Horst Köhler co-chaired, together with Kofi Annan, a Special Panel advising the African Development Bank on the implementation of its strategic priorities. 

In August 2017, Horst Köhler was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, to be his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara.

In 1977, Mr Köhler earned a Doctorate in Economics and Political Science from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, where he also holds an honorary professorship today.

John Agyekum Kufuor

President of Ghana (1991-1995) and Club de Madrid Member

He obtained an Honorous Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University (1961-1964). He started his Public Service as Chief Legal Officer and City Manager of Kumasi. In 1969 he was elected Member of Parliament and appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Government of Kofi Busia. He led Ghana’s delegation to UN General Assembly, the Organization of African Unity’s meetings in Addis Ababa and the Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Lusaka in 1970. Busia’s government was overthrown in 1972, and during Ghana’s transition back to democracy Kufuor returned to public life and he was elected to Parliament in 1979. In 1981, Jerry Rawlings overthrew the government; Kufuor resigned less than a year later, and abstained from public life. Ghana returned to democratic politics in 1992. Kufuor helped found the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and became the party’s candidate for president in 1996. That year, Kufuor lost to Rawlings in the national election. He was however nominated by the NPP to stand in the Dec 2000 election. On Jan.7, 2001, Kufuor began his first term as president, and he was re-elected for a second term in 2004.  He ended his tenure as constitutionally mandated on 7th January 2009. He served as Chairman of the regional grouping ECOWAS for two consecutive terms – 2003 and 2004. Mr. Kufuor was also elected Chairperson of the African Union (2007–08.). Since October 2009, Kufuor is the Chairman of Interpeace, an international peacebuilding organization based in Geneva.

Chandrika Kumaratunga

President of Sri Lanka (1994-2005) and Club de Madrid Member

Chandrika Kumaratunga was the 5th President of Sri Lanka, serving from 1994 to 2005.  She is the only woman to hold the post of Head of State in Sri Lanka. 

The daughter of two Prime Ministers (her father Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and her mother modern world’s first female head of government Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike in 1960-65, 1970-77), she was also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until the end of 2006. 

Ms Kumaratunga was the only political leader to offer a political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka in the form of Devolution of Power to the Regions, including those inhabited by the minority communities, in her new Constitutional Proposals.  This could not be implemented as the government could not obtain the required 2/3 majority in Parliament.  She also implemented successful programmes to bring about Understanding and Social Cohesion among the diverse communities in Lanka – the number of majority Sinhala opting for Peace, Dialogue and a Negotiated Solution to the ethnic problem increased from 23% to 68% in two years.  Her government developed much of the neglected Northern and Eastern districts.  When the LTTE resumed its armed conflict, Kumaratunga urged the government forces to exercise caution and to minimize civilian casualties.  Even after LTTE attempted to kill her, Kumaratunga persisted in her bid for Peace.  A landmark agreement was signed between Government and the LTTE in June 2005.

Kumaratunga’s government implemented a successful economic development programme, which took the benefits of development to all sections of the population.  Education, Health, Ports, Airport, Highways, Power, Telecommunications, Water Supply sectors saw massive improvement.

Per capita income trebled during her Presidency, taking Sri Lanka to middle-income level country status, and GDP increased by 03 times.  Her government initiated successful Public/Private partnerships in Stated owned enterprises in major sectors of the economy such as Telecom, Ports, Electricity and Airlines.

President Kumaratunga is Chair of the CBK Foundation for Democracy and Justice which she created in 2008, as well as the South Asia Policy & Research Institute.

Ricardo Lagos

President of Chile (2000-2006) and Club de Madrid Member

Ricardo Lagos is a Lawyer from University of Chile, with a Phd in Economics from Duke University. During the 80’s he played a predominant role in the process to recover the democracy in Chile. He led the Democratic Alliance and the Independent Committee for Free Elections. He was the founder and first president of the Party for the Democracy.

Prior to becoming president, Mr. Lagos was Minister of Education under Patricio Aylwin’s term, (1990) and Minister of Public Works under Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle’s term (1994).

He has also received the Honoris Causa distinction from a large number of prestigious universities in the world, such as the Universidad Autónoma de México, Universidad de Salamanca, amongst many others. He was granted the “Berkeley Medal”, top distinction of the Berkeley University in California.

During 2008 and 2009 Former President Lagos hel the position of President of the Club of Madrid, and was one of the United Nations’ Special Envoy on Climate Change. He currently is President of the Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo in Chile, created after he left the presidential term in 2006.

His latest publications include “El Futuro Comienza Hoy”; 100 Años de Luces y Sombras; El Siglo que Despierta (Conversations with Carlos Fuentes); El Chile que se viene: Perspectivas y Sueños para el 2030 (editor with Oscar Landerretche); Así lo Vivimos (The Southern Tiger); Mi Vida. Desde la infancia hasta la lucha contra la democracia, y En Vez del Pesimismo.

Yves Leterme

Prime Minister of Belgium (2008, 2009-2011) & Club de Madrid Member

Yves Leterme is a former Prime Minister of Belgium. He served as Prime Minister from 2008 and 2009 to 2011 and received the honorary tile of Minister of State following his premiership. He received a law degree from Catholic University of Leuven in 1981 and holds degrees in Political Science from Ghent University.

Mr. Leterme served as alderman of Ypres from 1995 to 2001 and was appointed Member of the Belgian Parliament in 1997. In 2003, he served as the chairman of the Christian People’s Party. The following year, he became the Minister-President of the Flemish government and implemented numerous economic and social welfare reforms such as a balanced government budget and improved childcare. Mr. Leterme was appointed to the position of Prime Minister for the first time in March 2008. His first term, however, ended after just 9 months when he tendered his resignation in December. He regained the premiership following a government reshuffle in July 2009. His second term proved to be more fruitful than the first. Mr. Leterme held key bilateral talks with Lebanon regarding foreign relations and strengthened bilateral relations with Vietnam by improving trade relations between the two nations. He also attempted to pass a series of reforms aimed at reducing the language divide that separates French and Dutch speakers in Belgium. Following the end of his second term in 2011, he became the Deputy Secretary-General at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2012.  In 2016, he took up the position of secretary-general of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

Mr. Leterme currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Commission of Elections and Democracy on the Digital Age for the Kofi Annan Foundation, founded by 2001 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. He is also a member of the sustainability council for Volkswagen.

Doris Leuthard

President of the Swiss Confederation (2010 and 2017)

Doris Leuthard studied law at the University of Zurich and completed language and study courses in Paris and Calgary. She was a partner in a law firm before entering politics.

From 1999 to 2006, Doris Leuthard was a member of the National Council representing canton Aargau. From 2004 to 2006, she was president of the Christian Democratic People’s Party. During her time in the National Council, she was a member of the following committees: legal affairs, political institutions, judicial, economic affairs and taxation. Leuthard was head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA) from August 2006 to October 2010. During this time, she was responsible for the labour market, vocational education and training, technology, innovation, agriculture, housing, national economic supply and trade policy. She has also represented Switzerland at international organisations including the WTO, OECD, FAO and the World Bank and chaired the EFTA Council. In 2018, she was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma. She is also a leader of SAFFA 2020, the Swiss Exhibition for Women’s Work. She is a Board Member of the Kofi Anna Foundation since 2019. In 2020, she was appointed Board Member of Stadler Rail.

Susana Malcorra

Susana Malcorra is the Dean of the IE School of Global and Public Affairs and was previously Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship for the Republic of Argentina back in 2015. After her resignation in July 2017, she served as Minister Advisor to the President until December 2017.

In 2004 joined the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) where she became the chief operating officer. In May 2008, United Nations Secretary-General appointed Ms. Malcorra Under-Secretary-General for the recently created Department of Field Support, where she was charged with providing logistical, communications, personnel, and financial support services to Peacekeeping Operations overseeing a budget of eight billion dollars.

In April 2012, Ms. Malcorra was appointed Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General. Thus, in addition to her long career as an executive, she has invaluable experience in the diplomatic field including a range of activities from handling negotiations with various countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Chad, Somalia or Afghanistan, among others) to the approval by the General Assembly of strategic, financial and budgetary matters involving over 9 billion dollars. Among other specific tasks, Ms. Malcorra coordinated the Mission on the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons and the first Health Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in West Africa.

Dirk Messner

President of the German Environment Agency

Dirk Messner is President of the German Environment Agency since 2020. He previously served as Director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security of United Nations University (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany, and Vice Rector of the United Nations University (UNU). Prior to becoming Director of UNU-EHS in October 2018, Prof. Messner had been Director of the German Development Institute from 2003-2018. Prof. Messner is an internationally recognised expert on globalisation / global governance, transformation pathways to sustainability, decarbonization of the global economy, sustainability and digital change, and international cooperation and societal change. Prof. Messner has also been a member of a number of high-ranking policy advisory councils, including co-chairing the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany and is member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).

Liz Mohn

Vice-Chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board, Chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft (BVG)

Following the death of her husband, Reinhard Mohn, Liz Mohn represents the fifth generation of the Bertelsmann/Mohn family, owner of the Bertelsmann media group. She is vice-chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Executive Board and its Board of Trustees. She is also chair of the Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft Executive Board and a member of the Supervisory Board at Bertelsmann SE. She serves as president of the German Stroke Foundation, an organization she founded, and chairs the board of the Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music. She also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Association of German Music Schools.

In 2000, she received Germany’s Cross of Merit, First Class, and in 2008 the organization Atlantik-Brücke selected her as the first woman to receive the Vernon A. Walters Award. In 2010 she was also honored with the Global Economy Prize by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. She received an ECHO Klassik award in 2002 and again in 2012. In 2013, she was named an officer of the French Legion of Honor.

Mario Monti

Prime Minister of Italy (2011-2013) and Club de Madrid Member

Mario Monti is a former Prime Minister of Italy. He served from 2011 to 2013.

Born in Varese, Italy, in 1943, he graduated from Bocconi University and pursued graduate studies at Yale University. He was professor of Economics at the University of Trento, at the University of Torino, and then at Bocconi, where he was Rector between 1989 and 1994. Monti served as European Commissioner for the Single Market (1995-1999) and Competition (1999-2004), fostering market integration whilst promoting tax coordination; and sanctioning high-profile cases of abuses of dominance, anticompetitive mergers, and illegal state-aids. In November 2011, with Italy close to default, President Napolitano called on Monti to form a government of national unity, taking the positions of Prime Minister (2011-2013) and Minister of Economy and Finance (2011-2012). Eliciting cross-party support, the government overcame the financial crisis, initiated structural reforms, and obtained vital improvements in Euro-area governance. At the EU level, he was the author of ‘A New Strategy for the Single Market’, a report to the President of the European Commission (2010), and the chairman of the High-level Group created by the European Parliament, the Council, and the Commission that released the report ‘Future Financing of the EU’ (2017). He was also a member of several advisory commissions in Italy (e.g. Monti Commission on banking and financial reform, Italian Treasury, 1982), in the United Kingdom (Roll Committee on the independence of the Bank of England, CEPR, 2003), and in France (Attali Commission on economic growth in France, Presidency of the Republic, 2007). Monti was also a founding chairman of IGIER, established at Bocconi with CEPR and NBER (1990), and of Bruegel, the European think-tank based in Brussels (2005).

Since 1994, he is President of Bocconi University and since 2011 he is Italian Senator for life. Since August 2020, he is Chairman of the “Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development: Rethinking Policy Priorities in the light of Pandemics”, convened by WHO/Europe. He is also one of the 12 foreign members of the Institut de France’s Académie des Sciences morales et politiques (since 2012), a member of the Board of Trustees of Friends of Europe (since 2005), and the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute (since 2019).

Vellamvelly Muraleedharan

Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs of India

Vellamvelly Muraleedharan is an Indian politician from Kerala representing the Bharatiya Janata Party and the current Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs. He was the eighth State President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala. He is also a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. He was sworn in as a Union Minister on 30 May 2019. On 12 June 2019, Muraleedharan was appointed Government Deputy Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha.

He began his political activities during the days of National Emergency that gripped India from June 1975 to March 1977. In 1978 as the Taluk President, he led ABVP in Thalassery. He became the Kannur District Secretary in 1979 and the State Joint Secretary of ABVP in 1980.

Muraleedharan shifted his activities to the RSS at Kozhikode and became a full-time worker of ABVP. He quit his job later and was elected as the State Organizing Secretary of ABVP in 1983 at the age of 25. From 1987 to 1990, he also held the additional responsibility as All India Secretary of ABVP During his 11 years tenure (1983–1994) as the State Organising Secretary,[7] he worked closely with K.N. Govindacharya and Dattatraya Hosabale, who were then the successive South Zone Organising Secretaries of the ABVP. The ABVP team during 1983–1994 at the state and national level had leaders including Ananth Kumar (Karnataka), Sushil Modi (Bihar), Jagat Prakash Nadda, (Himachal Pradesh), Muraleedhara Rao (Rajasthan),Harendra Kumar (Former All India General Secretary), Om Prakash Kohli (All India President), Professor Late Bal Apte, (All India President), Vinod Tawde and Chandrakant Patil (All India General Secretaries).[8]

Muraleedharan left for Mumbai when he was appointed All India General Secretary of ABVP for the term 1994–1996.

Muraleedharan returned to Kerala in 1997 on a research project of Khadi and Village Industries Commission at Trivandrum.

Olusegun Obasanjo

President of Nigeria (1976-1979 / 1999-2007) and Club de Madrid Member

Mr. Obasanjo became the Nigerian head of state for the first time in February 1976; until then he had been Federal Commissioner for Work and Housing in Murtala’s military government.

 Keeping the chain of command established by Murtala Muhammad in place, Mr. Obasanjo pledged to continue the programme for the restoration of civilian government and to carry forward the reform programme to improve the quality of public service. In October 1977, a Constitutive Assembly was convened in order to draw a new Carta Magna, which was later approved in September 1978. This led to the abolition of the military government, the end of the state of siege which had come about with the arrival of the military regime in 1966, and the legalization of political parties.

Mr. Obasanjo served until October 1, 1979, when he handed power to Shehu Shagari, a democratically elected civilian president, becoming the first leader in Nigerian history to surrender power willingly. In late 1983, however, the military seized power again. Mr. Obasanjo, being in retirement, did not participate in that coup, nor did he support it.

During the dictatorship of Sani Abacha (1993–1998), Mr. Obasanjo spoke out against the human rights abuses of the regime, and was imprisoned with the claim of planning a coup.

In the 1999 elections – the first democratic elections in sixteen years – he decided to run for the presidency as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party. Mr. Obasanjo won the elections and was later also re-elected in 2003.

While leading a public campaign against corruption and implementing economic reforms in his country, he has been widely seen abroad as an African statesman championing debt relief and democratic institutions.

Olusegun Obasanjo stepped down after the April 2007 elections – won by Umaru Yar’Adua. He has recently been appointed Special Envoy by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland

Director, MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics lab

Professor Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland directs MIT Connection Science, an MIT-wide AI and Data For Good initiative , and previously helped create and direct the MIT Media Lab and the Media Lab Asia in India.  He is on the Board of the UN Foundations’ Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, co-led the World Economic Forum discussion in Davos that led to the EU privacy regulation GDPR, and was central in forging the transparency and accountability mechanisms in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  He has received numerous awards and prizes such as the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review, the 40th Anniversary of the Internet from DARPA, and the Brandeis Award for work in privacy.

José Manuel Ramos-Horta

President of East Timor (2007-2012) & Club de Madrid Member

José Manuel Ramos-Horta studied Public International Law at The Hague Academy of International Law (1983) and at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio where he completed a Master of Arts degree in Peace Studies (1984). He was trained in Human Rights Law at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg (1983). He completed Post-Graduate courses in American Foreign Policy at Columbia University in New York (1983).

Due to his active involvement in political awareness and advocating independence for the territory, he was deported at the age of 18 to Portuguese East Africa. He returned to Timor in 1971 and, after the 1974 revolution in Portugal, joined with other young Timorese pro-independence activists to found the Social Democratic Association of Timor, later known as the Revolutionary Front of Independent Timor-Leste (FRETILIN). When FRETILIN declared the independence of East Timor in 1975, Ramos-Horta was appointed the minister of external affairs and was instructed to go abroad to seek international recognition and support. He was just 25 years old.

Ramos-Horta left East Timor three days before the invasion by Indonesian troops that led to a 24-year occupation. Few days later, he became the youngest diplomat ever to address the United Nations Security Council, successfully urging the Council to adopt a resolution that recognized the right of the people of Timor-Leste to self-determination and independence.

After the 1999 referendum in which the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia, Ramos-Horta returned to his homeland for the first time in 24 years. He served as foreign minister under the provisional United Nations administration (2000–2002) and during the first four years of independence (2002-06), and was selected as prime minister after the political and social crisis that led to the resignation of the first government in 2006. In 2007 he was elected president of the Republic, receiving over 70 percent of the votes cast.

Along with Roman Catholic priest Carlos Belo, Ramos-Horta jointly received the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize. Both men also received the Order of Liberty, Grand Cross, from Portugal in 1996.

Teresa Ribera

Fourth Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge and Club de Madrid Advisor

Teresa Ribera is the current Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge in Spain. She was previously Director of the Institute for sustainable development and international relations (IDDRI), an independent policy research institute which aims at fostering the transition to sustainable development and prosperity for all, especially through four key agendas: climate, biodiversity and ecosystems, ocean and governance of sustainable development.

Teresa Ribera was Secretary of State for climate change in Spain’s Government between 2008 and 2011, responsible for environment and climate policies as well as the national meteorological agency. In earlier years, she was Director-General for climate (2004-2008) and held different positions in the ministries of Public Works, Transportation and Environment (1996-2004).

She chairs the Advisory Board of the Momentum for Change UNFCCC Initiative. In January 2017 she was appointed by the Swedish Government as a member of the Board of the Stockholm Environment Institute. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Climate, and of SDSN’s Global Leadership Council.

Teresa Ribera graduated in Law, holds the diploma in constitutional law and political science of the Centro de Estudios Constitucionales (Spain) and belongs to the Cuerpo Superior de Administradores Civiles del Estado. She has been assistant professor in public law in the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Kevin Rudd

Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2010, 2013) and Club de Madrid Member

Kevin Michael Rudd was born in Nambour, Queensland in 1957. He graduated in Chinese Studies at the Australian National University, and has served as a diplomat, public servant and political staffer prior to his career in politics.

He was first appointed to the House of Representatives in 1998, from where he went to the Shadow Cabinet in 2001, acting as the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. In 2007, his Labor Party won the elections, allowing Rudd to be elected as Prime Minister of Australia. After leaving office in 2010, he held a short tenure of two months of Prime Minister in 2013. After leaving, he was appointed as a Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Distinguished Statesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Chatham House and the Paulson Institute, the first President of the Asia Society Policy Institute and is the Chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism. Rudd is also a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation.

He joined the Club de Madrid in 2014, ratified by the XIII General Assembly.

Wolfgang Seidel

Head of Department at German Environmental Agency

Dr. Wolfgang Seidel is Head of Department (President`s Office) at the German Environment Agency (UBA) since 2014 and in that capacity i.a. responsible for media and public relations, strategic research planning and the international relations of the Agency. Dr. Seidel joined UBA in 2002 and worked as a legal expert on integrated environmental planning and governance issues. From 2004 until 2014 he organized the establishment of the German Emissions Trading Authority at UBA as competent authority for the EU ETS and headed the Unit, Administration, Verification and Financing”. From 2005 until 2012 he was also in charge of the Kyoto Mechanisms JI and CDM under UNFCCC for Germany. Dr. Seidel has long standing expertise in environmental governance, climate and energy and international cooperation in these fields. He is a trained lawyer and holds a doctorate degree in environmental law.

Han Seung-soo

Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea (2008-2009) & Club de Madrid Member

Han Seung-soo is a former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea. He served from 2008-2009.

Dr. Han was Korea’s Minister of Trade and Industry (1988-90), Korean Ambassador to the United States (1993-94), Chief of Staff to the President (1994-95), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (1996-97), and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001-02). He was a three-term Member of the Korean National Assembly. He was President of the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (2001-02), UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Change (2007-08) and for Disaster Risk Reduction and Water (2013-18), Special Advisor to the UN/World Bank High-Level Panel on Water (2016-18), Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board for Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) (2007-15), Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel for Global Sustainability (GSP) (2010-12), and Founding Chair of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) (2010-12).

Han Seung-soo was educated at Yonsei University (BA), Seoul National University (MPA) and University of York, England (Ph.D.1968/D.Univ.1997). Prior to his entry into politics in 1988, he taught and did research at the Universities of York (1965-68), Cambridge (1968-70), Harvard (1985-86) and Tokyo (1986-87); and had a distinguished academic career as Professor of Economics at Seoul National University (1970-88). He is currently, among others, Co-Chair of International Finance Forum, Chair of High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP), Chair of the Water Advisory Group of Asia Development Bank, Chair of the IFF Green Finance Innovation Award Jury, Vice-Chair of Zayed Sustainability Prize Jury, Distinguished Professor at Zhejiang University International Business School, Chair of the International Committee of the International Monetary Institute (IMI) of Renmin University, Advisory Board Member of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Yuhan Foundation, and Founder of GG56 Ltd. He was also Chairman of the 2014 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Games Bid Committee. Dr. Han was awarded the 6th European Communities Prize on his doctoral thesis, The Growth and Function of the European Budget, in 1971; received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the United Nations in 2001, and was awarded an honorary Knighthood (KBE) from HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 2004.

Jenny Shipley

Prime Minister of New Zealand (1997-1999) and Club de Madrid Member

Dame Jenny Shipley was Prime Minister of New Zealand and Leader of the National Party from 1997 to 1999. Dame Jenny was elected to the New Zealand Parliament in 1987. She held the Ministerial portfolios of Social Welfare and Women’s Affairs 90-93, Health 93-96 and SOE’s, State Services and Transport and ACC 96-97 leading major reform. While Prime Minister she hosted APEC in Auckland in 1999. After serving as Prime Minister, she served as Leader of the Opposition and retired from politics in 2002 to return to the business community.

She was a Director on the Shanghai and Hong Kong listed Fortune 500 Company, China Construction Bank for 6 years and now chairs the CCBNZ subsidiary. She chairs the NZX listed Genesis Energy. Dame Jenny is on the Board of BOAO Forum and IFF Beijing and was an Initiator of the Education Forum for East Asia. She is an active member of the World Women’s Leadership Council, a former Vice President of the Club of Madrid and deeply involved in promoting inclusion and the value of diversity in NZ and globally.

Vera Songwe

UN Under-Secretary-General and 9th Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa

Vera Songwe is the UN Under-Secretary-General and 9th Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), becoming the first woman to lead the institution in its 60-year history. 

As Executive Secretary, Songwe’s reforms, focusing on “ideas for a prosperous Africa”, have brought to the fore critical issues of macroeconomic stability, development finance, private sector growth, poverty and inequality, the digital transformation, trade and competitiveness.

Recently listed as one of Africa’s 50 most powerful women by Forbes,  named as one of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ by Jeune Afrique in 2019, ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ by New African Magazine in 2017 and one of the ’25 African to watch’ by the FT in 2015, Songwe is acknowledged for her long-standing track record of providing policy advice and her wealth of experience in delivering development results for Africa. She has written extensively on development and economic issues including on debt, infrastructure development, fiscal and governance issues. She is well published and contributes to the development debate across a broad spectrum of platforms including in the Financial Times.

Prior to ECA, she held a number of senior leadership roles with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank.

Christina Tillmann

Director of Program “Future of Democracy” at Bertelsmann Stiftung

Christina Tillmann joined the foundation in 2008. Her work focuses on democracy and political participation in Germany, citizen engagement and the legitimacy of international organisations. She holds degrees in political science and public law from the University of Münster (M.A.) and in political administration from the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer (Mag. rer. publ.). Prior to joining the foundation, she was a political strategy consultant.

Aminata Touré

Prime Minister of Senegal (2013-2014) & Club de Madrid Member

Aminata Touré served as Prime Minister of Senegal between 2013 and until July 2014. She was the second woman to become Prime Minister of Senegal. Previously she served her country has Minister of Justice from 2012 to 2013. Currently, Aminata Touré is the Special Envoy of President Macky Sall for Internal and External Affairs.

Her areas of competence include Economy, Good Governance and Gender. Before launching a political career in Senegal, Aminata Touré worked as Director for the Gender and Human Rights World at the United Nations Population Fund.

Aminata Touré holds a PhD in International Business Administration and Finance from the International School of Management ISM in New York and Paris and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Dijon Business School (France).

Elbegdorj Tsakhia

Prime Minister of Mongolia (2009 -2017) and Club de Madrid Member

Elbegdorj Tsakhia is a public servant, a freedom fighter, and a policymaker from Mongolia. In 1990, he was one of the key leaders of the Mongolian Democratic Revolution and since then have continuously served Mongolia as a Member of Parliament four times, Prime Minister two times, and was elected President for two terms. Born in the isolated Western Mongolia as the youngest of eight sons from a humble traditional nomadic beginning he has worked as a machinist in a copper mine, a soldier and a journalist in the army newspaper.

As Prime Minister, Member of Parliament, and President, Mr.Elbegdorj prioritized strengthening the rule of law in Mongolia, fostering social justice, fighting poverty, combating corruption, supporting environmental sustainability, and advancing active participatory democracy. He has also initiated and led many social, economic, and governance reforms.

Aiming to consolidate democracy in Asia, Mr.Elbegdorj established the Asian Partnership for Democracy initiative within the confines of the Community of Democracies, the largest international organization that drives the global democracy agenda which Mongolia presided in 2011-2013. Under the chairmanship of Community of Democracies, Elbegdorj developed a plan on promoting civil society and advocating women’s rights, particularly political rights.

Currently, Mr. Elbegdorj is continuing his work to improve public policy, governance, and democracy through the Elbegdorj Institute, a think tank he found in 2008. During his tenure as President, he also focused on the impacts of climate change, air and soil pollution, the most significant public health issues in the capital of Mongolia. Through his Green Belt Foundation, he continues this work as well by bringing together multi-stakeholders to find novel solutions to these challenges. He also supports Mongolian studies and aims to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Mongolia successfully.

Mr. Elbegdorj holds Master of Public Administration from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government (2002) and Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Land Forces Military Academy of Lviv of former USSR (1988).

Danilo Türk

President of Slovenia (2007-2012) and Club de Madrid President

Danilo Türk has had a long and distinguished career focused on minority and human rights. In the mid-1980s, he collaborated with Amnesty International to report on human rights issues in Yugoslavia. Between 1986 and 1992, he served as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 1990, he returned to Slovenia as member of the Constitutional Commission of the Slovenian National Assembly. From 1992 to 2000, he was first the Slovenian Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In 2007 he became the third president of Slovenia (2007-2012). In 2016 he was one of the candidates for the post of the Secretary-General of the UN and he chaired the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace (2015-2017) which published its report “A Matter of Survival” (2017).

Juan Gabriel Valdés

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile (1999–2000)

Juan Gabriel Valdés Soublette (Santiago, June 2, 1947) is a Chilean political scientist, diplomat and former minister during the Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle presidency. Between 1973 and 1976 he studied political science at Princeton University in the United States, where he obtained a Ph.D.

In 2014, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet appointed Valdés as Chilean Ambassador to the United States.

From 2000 to 2003, Valdes was Chile’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

Juan Gabriel Valdés is a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization which works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law. It does so by making available, discreetly and in confidence, the experience of former leaders to today’s national leaders. It is a not-for-profit organization composed of former heads of government, senior governmental and international organization officials who work closely with Heads of Government on governance-related issues of concern to them.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga

President of Latvia (1999-2007) and Club de Madrid Member

She was instrumental in achieving membership in the EU and NATO for her country and was Special Envoy on UN reform. Vice-chair of the Reflection group on the long-term future of Europe, and chair of the High-level group on freedom and pluralism of media in the EU in 2011-12. Member of two High-level groups on European security and defense in 2015, and of the High-level Team of Advisors to the UN ECOSOC on UN development in 2016. Co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center.

Dr. Vike-Freiberga is a member, board member or patron of 30 international organisations and five Academies; Honorary Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University. She has published extensively and is much in demand as speaker. Recipient of many Awards, Orders of Merit and Honorary Doctorates.

Born in Riga, she started her schooling in refugee camps in Germany, then lived in Morocco and Canada, obtaining a Ph.D. at McGill University (1965). After a distinguished career as Professor of psychology and international scholar at the University of Montreal, she returned to her native country in 1998 to head the Latvian Institute. Less than a year later she was elected President by the Latvian Parliament and re-elected in 2003.

He Yafei

Former Deputy Foreign Minister of China, Former Deputy Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs of the State Council of China

He Yafei is a former Deputy Foreign Minister of China and former Deputy Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of China. He was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, in March 1955. He graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University, and earned a master’s degree at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

As a professional diplomat, he has served in various positions related to foreign affairs. He was appointed Counselor of the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations in 1994, and Deputy Director General of the Department of Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997. In 1998, he was appointed Minister Counselor of China’s Embassy in the United States and was promoted to Minister of the Embassy in 2000. He served as Director General of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs from 2001 to 2006, and as Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2008. In 2008, he was appointed Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And in 2010, he assumed the office of Representative and Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN office in Geneva, and also served at other international organizations in Switzerland.  Mr. He has rich experiences in diplomatic practices, and in-depth research and studies on the global governance and China’s foreign policy, on which he has published several books. His latest book China and Global Governance was published in March 2019. On the basis of clarifying the concept and mechanism of global governance, he clarifies China’s role in the global governance, and summarizes the concepts and practices of China’s efforts in improving global governance system and innovating the model of global governance mechanism.

Ernesto Zedillo

President of Mexico (1994-2000) and Club de Madrid Member

Ernesto Zedillo is a former President of Mexico. He served for a 6-year term from 1994 to 2000. He was fundamental to achieve a peaceful and democratic alternation in the Mexican Presidency in 2000, after more than seven decades of national governments of the same party.

Zedillo earned his Bachelor’s degree from the School of Economics of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Yale University. In 1978, seven years after joining the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), he began a decade-long career at Mexico’s Central Bank, during which time he served as an economist, deputy manager of economic research, general director of a trust, and deputy director of the bank. Zedillo also taught macroeconomics and international economics at the Colegio de Mexico and the National Polytechnic Institute. In 1988, he was named Secretary of Programming and Budget, and was in charge of executing the austerity measures prescribed by the IMF. He was appointed Secretary of Education in 1992 and, the following year, he became director of Luis Donaldo Colosio’s presidential campaign. Following Colosio’s assassination, Zedillo was chosen to be the PRI’s candidate and was elected President in 1994 for a sole 6-year term. His term was characterized by a series of political and institutional reforms that helped democratize Mexico’s political system, even at the expense of the electoral success of his own party. These changes eventually led to the first presidential victory of a party different than the PRI or its predecessors, in 71 years. In 2000, he left office having achieved the recovery of employment creation and the national economy, in sharp contrast with the scenery he found in 1994.

Zedillo has received decorations from 32 national Governments and has been awarded honorary degrees from both Yale and Harvard universities, among various others. He is the recipient of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom from Fear Award, the Gold Insigne of the Council of the Americas, the Tribuna Americana Award of the Casa de America in Madrid, and the Berkeley Medal from UC-Berkeley. Zedillo also serves as a visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and a Distinguished Practitioner of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Procter and Gamble, Union Pacific, and ALCOA, as well as an adviser for Daimler-Chrysler and the Coca Cola Company. Since 2002, Zedillo is Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and teaches International Relations, Economics, Politics, Environmental Studies, and Latin American affairs.