OECD Secretary-General

2019 Emerging Leaders Programme


Remarks by Angel Gurría 

OECD Secretary-General

15 July 2019 - OECD, Paris

(As prepared for delivery)




Professor Cappelli, Professor Light, Dear participants,

I am delighted to address the 8th edition of the Emerging Leader’s Programme co-hosted by Wharton School and the OECD. What a great turn out with participants representing seven different IOs from around the globe (the World Organisation for Animal Health; Council of Europe Development Bank; Bank for International Settlements; the European Central Bank; the European Stability Mechanism; the OPEC Fund for International Development; and the OECD).

We need great leaders at all levels. And not just any type of leader. We need leaders that are able to generate trust, enthusiasm, change, dreams, effective projects. Leaders that believe in efficiency as much as they believe in inclusion, diversity and gender equality. Leaders that can lead multicultural teams and deliver innovative solutions to our most pressing challenges.

Today’s challenges recognise no borders and affect us all. Challenges such as climate change, nationalism, immigration, ageing, digitalisation and the health of the international financial system – to name but a few – require concerted, decisive and urgent multilateral responses. This becomes even more important at a time when multilateralism is being increasingly questioned. Today, more than ever, we need to prove that multilateral co-operation delivers. That it is effective, useful, accountable and very importantly, sensitive to people’s concerns.

We hope that the Emerging Leaders Programme will improve your leadership abilities; harness your strengths and help identify your areas of improvement; focus upon the value of understanding different perspectives; view negotiation as more than a zero-sum game; further build upon your emotional intelligence, and consolidate your skills in order to lead and inspire multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.

I would like to thank the Wharton School for their continued and invaluable partnership in this Programme. The cutting-edge and targeted seminars that Wharton’s team of professors are sharing with you this week are designed to enhance not only your own career, but also to advance your respective organisations and to further your collective knowledge in many important areas.


Dear friends:

Throughout your careers and your lives, you will increasingly be put to the test, you will often be called upon to make tough decisions, decisions that will affect you and those around you. So let us be reminded of the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “to handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

I hope that these coming days will help to prepare you for your important roles. Always remember the five words that describe our vision, our ambition and our sense of mission: better policies for better lives. Thank you.


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