2012 Global Forum on Development Speakers


Biographies are sorted by alphabetical order per session

(last update: 09 February 2012)


Session 1: Shaping the future OECD strategy on development


Ian Goldin

Professor Ian Goldin took up his position as the first Director of the School in September 2006. Goldin was Vice President of the World Bank (2003-2006) and prior to that the Bank's Director of Development Policy (2001-2003). He served on the Bank's senior management team, and was directly responsible for its relationship with the UK and all other European, North American and developed countries. Goldin led the Bank's collaboration with the United Nations and other partners. As Director of Development Policy, Goldin played a pivotal role in the research and strategy agenda of the Bank. From 1996 to 2001 he was Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and served as an adviser to President Nelson Mandela. He succeeded in transforming the Bank to become the leading agent of development in the 14 countries of Southern Africa. During this period. Previously, Goldin was Principal Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, and Program Director at the OECD Development Centre in Paris, where he directed the Programs on Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development. Born in South Africa, Goldin has a BA (Hons) and a BSc from the University of Cape Town, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a Doctorate from the University of Oxford.


Jon Lomøy

Mr.Jon Lomøy has been appointed Director of the Development Co-operation Directorate of the OECD in April 2010. From 1989 to 1996, he has held senior positions at the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD) headquarters. From 1996 to 2000, as Ambassador of Norway to Zambia, he also managed bilateral development programmes, including education and governance. Jon Lomoy returned to NORAD from 2001 to 2004 as Director of the Southern Africa Department. In 2004, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy Director General of the Department for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, where he was responsible for the overall management of the Norwegian bilateral assistance programme.  During this period, he initiated the Oil for Development Programme and, with the World Bank, a review of multi-donor trust funds in post-conflict countries. From 2007, he was Ambassador of Norway to Tanzania, managing one of Norway’s largest bilateral aid programmes.


Nora Lustig

 Nora Lustig is Professor at Tulane University and a nonresident fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue. Prior to joining Tulane, she was Shapiro Visiting Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University; Director of the Poverty Group at UNDP; President and Professor of the Department of Economics of the Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico; Senior Advisor and Chief of the Poverty and Inequality Unit at the Inter-American Development Bank; Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution; and Professor at the Center of Economic Studies, El Colegio de Mexico. Professor Lustig’s research focuses on inequality, poverty, and social policy and development economics. Dr. Lustig was co-director of the World Development Report 2000/1, Attacking Poverty, founding member and president of LACEA (Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association), and chair of the Mexican Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. She received her doctorate in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.


Mario Pezzini

Mr. Pezzini, an Italian national, joined the OECD in 1995. He has been Head of the OECD Rural Development Programme (1996-1999), then Head of the Regional Competitiveness and Governance Division in the Public Governance and Territorial Directorate, promoting regional development, regional policy effectiveness and multi-level governance (1999 -2006), and Deputy Director of the Public Governance and Territorial Directorate (2007-2010). Before joining the Organisation, Mr. Pezzini was Professor in Industrial Economics at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris as well as in US and Italian Universities. On several occasions, Mr. Pezzini has been economic advisor for international organisations and think tanks (such as ILO, UNIDO, European Commission and Nomisma in Italy) in the field of economic development, industrial organisation and regional economics. 


Rintaro Tamaki

Mr. Rintaro Tamaki has been appointed Deputy Secretary-General as of 1st August 2011. He helps the Secretary-General manage the OECD work on environment, development, green growth, financial affairs and taxes. Prior to joining the OECD Mr. Tamaki, a Japanese national, was Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan.During his 35-year prominent career at the Japanese Ministry of Finance. Mr. Tamaki has worked on various budget, taxation and development issues. He worked for the OECD Secretariat from 1978-1980 in the Economic Prospects Division and from 1986-1988 in the Fiscal Affairs Division of DAFFE. In 1994 he was posted to the World Bank and in 2002 as Finance Minister at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC. He then became Deputy Director-General (2005), Director-General (2007) and Vice Minister, International Affairs (2009) at the Ministry of Finance.


Session 2: Domestic Resource Mobilisation: From taxes to spending


Odd-Helge Fjeldstad 
Odd-Helge Fjeldstad is an economist with more than 20 years of experience from research and policy analysis in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Middle East. Thematically his work focuses on public sector reforms, mainly related to taxation and revenue administration, including tax evasion, fiscal corruption, capital flight, intergovernmental fiscal relations, and local government tax reform. Fjeldstad is Professor of ‘Development Ethics and Corruption’ at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and Research Director of the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). He has been advisor for African Governments on public financial management, and has worked as consultant for bilateral and multilateral development organisations, including DFID, Norad, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, OECD, IFC and the World Bank. During 2008-2009 he served as member of the Norwegian ‘Government Expert Commission on Capital Flight from Poor Countries’. Fjeldstad is a member of the OECD-DAC ‘Task Team on Taxation and Governance’.

Pascal Saint-Amans

A French national, Pascal Saint-Amans joins the CTPA from the "Direction Générale des Impôts" (DGI) of the Ministry of Finance in Paris where he has been responsible for a wide range of tax issues. He graduated from the National School of Administration (ENA) in 1996 and has held various positions within the DGI: he was in charge of  following the EU work on direct taxes, responsible for legislation on wealth tax and mergers and spin offs. He was also in charge of tax treaty negotiations and  mutual agreement procedures. In this capacity, he participated as the delegate for France in Working Party No. 1 (tax treaties) of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs before being elected Chair of that group in 2005. He was also a member of the UN Group of experts on international tax co-operation, and a “rapporteur” in 2006. His latest position was Deputy Director in charge of litigation at the DGI. He thus brings a wealth of international tax experience to his new position.


Louise Savell 

Louise is a Director at Social Finance with a focus on the development and delivery of new initiatives. In this capacity, she plays a significant role in the strategic development of Social Finance. Louise helped establish the organisation in 2007 and played a key role in the development of the Social Impact Bond approach. She has also led much of Social Finance’s research, policy and financial inclusion work. Before joining Social Finance, Louise was Programmes Manager at ARK, a child-focused foundation raising money from the hedge-fund industry. There she focused on supporting Eastern European governments to reform their child welfare systems. She started her career in East Africa researching and developing youth HIV/AIDS prevention programmes. Louise was a Scholar at the University of Oxford, where she received a BA in Philosophy, Psychology & Physiology and an MPhil in Development Studies. She also holds a post-graduate diploma in Voluntary Sector Management from the Cass Business School.


Vito Tanzi

Vito Tanzi was a senior associate in the Economic Reform Project. Mr. Tanzi has had a distinguished career at the International Monetary Fund, where he has served for almost three decades.  Mr. Tanzi has served as director of the fiscal affairs department at the IMF since 1981. He started at the IMF in 1974 as chief of the tax policy division. From 1990 to 1994, he also served as president of the International Institute of Public Finance. Before joining the IMF, Mr. Tanzi was professor and chairman of the department of economics at American University. Mr. Tanzi received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He is known for his research on Latin American economies and the so-called Tanzi effect, whereby real tax proceeds are eroded during periods of high inflation. His most recent publications include Public Spending in the 20th Century: A Global Perspective; Policies, Institutions, and the Dark Side of Economics; and Taxation in an Integrating World.


Attiya  Waris 

Attiya Waris is an Assistant Lecturer, Department of Commercial Law, School of Law of the University of Nairobi in Kenya. She holds two Master of Laws one in Human rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and another in Business and Commercial Law from the University of London. She holds an Undergraduate Law degree from the University of Nairobi. She is both a DAAD scholar and a scholar of the European Union She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a Certified Public Secretary (Kenya). She comes from a strong mixed practitioner and academic background having worked in several countries in Africa in various diverse institutions including law firms, Non-Governmental Organisations as well as the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.She supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate students and is currently the Project Officer at the School of Law for a Project on Gender and Sexuality that is researching into mainstreaming gender and sexuality issues in the teaching at the School of Law. She also organises Bi-monthly Brown Bag lectures at the faculty.


Session 3: Enhancing the effectiveness of government expenditures


Florencio Abad


Florencio "Butch" Barsana Abad is the current Philippine Secretary of Budget and Management.On June 29, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III picked him as his Secretary of Budget and Management.He held the education secretary post before in the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo before he resigned amid the president's alleged involvement in the 2005 Hello Garci Scandal. Before becoming a man in Congress he was a Trade unionist of the Federation of Free Workers and Ateneo Workers College from 1976 to 1979. He was a Research director of Ateneo Center for Social Policy and Public Affairs.He was elected Representative of Batanes during the 8th Congress of 1987 , served again in the 10th to 12th Congress from 1995 to 2004. In July 2004, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed him to the Department of Education as Secretary and served until July 2005. On 28 June 2010, president Benigno Aquino III announced the appointment of Abad as secretary of the Department of Budget Management.


Matt Andrews 

Matt Andrews is Associate Professor of Public Policy. His research focuses on public sector reform, particularly budgeting and financial management reform, and participatory governance in developing and transitional governments. Recent articles focus on forging a theoretical understanding of the nontechnical factors influencing success in reform processes. Specific emphasis lies on the informal institutional context of reform, as well as leadership structures within government-wide networks. This research developed out of his work in the provincial government of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa and more recently from his tenure as a Public Sector Specialist working in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. He brings this experience to courses on public management and development. He holds a BCom (Hons) degree from the University of Natal, Durban (South Africa), an MSc from the University of London, and a PhD in Public Administration from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.


Edward  Hedger 

Edward Hedger is Head of the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure at the Overseas Development Institute in London. He specialises in budgeting and public expenditure management reform issues in developing countries and fragile states. His experience includes long-term assignments as team leader of a multi-year public finance reform programme in the Russian Federation and as budget adviser to the ministry of finance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has also worked as a short-term consultant in areas of budget planning and preparation, external audit and accountability, and public administration reform in countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Western Balkans and Central Asia .


Jørgen  Kosmo
Jørgen Hårek Kosmo (born 5 December 1947 in Fauske) is a Norwegian politician. Since 2005 he has been Auditor General of Norway, after representing the Labour Party in the Storting (parliament) for 20 years, of which the final 4 years as President of the Storting. Kosmo was Minister of Defence from 1993 to 1997 and Minister of Labour and Government Administration from 2000 to 2001. He has been member of the leglistature Storting from 1985 to 2005 and served as President of the Storting (speaker) from 2001 to 2005. Kosmo was in 2004 appointed County Governor of Telemark, but could not take over the position while he was member of parliament.He has held positions of trust in the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (1974–75) and the Norwegian Union of Building Workers (1979–83). From 1979 to 1985 he was member of the municipal council of Horten, the last 2 years as mayor.


Session 4: Fiscal stability and fiscal responsability


Sebastian Barnes 
Sebastian Barnes is a senior economist in the Economics Department at the OECD and head of the EU desk. He is a former head of the Ireland desk, where he co-authored two Economic Surveys of Ireland which focused on macroeconomic and structural issues and offered policy recommendations to boost economic performance on a sustainable basis. He joined the OECD in 2005 from the Bank of England. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, a master’s degree in European Political Economy from the College of Europe (Bruges) and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. He is married with one child and lives in Paris.


Mario Marcel 

Mr. Marcel is the Deputy Director of the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate at the OECD, he provides leadership on issues like Reform of the Public Sector, Anti Corruption, Regulatory Policy, Budgeting and Public Expenditure and Territorial Development. Prior to joining the OECD, Mr. Marcel was Manager of the Institutional Capacity and Finance Sector at the Inter-American Development Bank. Before that, he did economic research at the Corporación de Estudios para Latinoamérica (CIEPLAN), and was Director of the Budget Office in the Ministry of Finance in Chile for six years. He led successful initiatives aimed at improving public governance in Chile, being recognized as a Regional Leader in Management for Development Results in 2009. At the IADB he developed a substantial agenda of public reform initiatives in more than 20 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.


Ivar Sikk 

Mr. Sikk  is an experienced Estonian politician who occupied key positions in national political fields. Ivar Sikk is Deputy Secretary General of State Budget and Governance Policy at the Ministry of Finance in Estonia. From  1996 to 2000 he was programme manager at the Ministry of Agriculture and head of Departement . From 2000 to 2007, he started his carrer in the Ministry of Finance by head of Department. He studied at the Estonian Academy of Agriculture, Tartu Executive Management School  and the Institute of Law at the University of Tartu. He followed the Washington D.C International Workshop on Rural Infrastructure and the Cochran Fellowship Program (USDA, Agricultural and Trade Policy).


Session 5: Effective public spending; The case of infrastructure


Brian Atwood


J. Brian Atwood was unanimously elected Chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee in January 2011. From 1993 to 1999 during the administration of President William Clinton, Mr Atwood served as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Prior to this, he led the Transition Team at the State Department and was Under Secretary of State for Management. During the administration of President Jimmy Carter, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations. In 1981‐82, he was Dean of Professional Studies and Academic Affairs at the Foreign Service Institute. From 2002 until 2010, Mr Atwood was Dean of the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Other prior positions include President and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens International (1999-2002) and founding President of the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs (1985-1993). In 2001, he served on United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Panel on Peace Operations. Mr Atwood joined the Foreign Service in 1966 and served in the American Embassies in Cote d'Ivoire and Spain. He served as legislative advisor for foreign and defense policy to Senator Thomas F. Eagleton (D'Mo) from 1972 to 1977. Atwood received the United States Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award in 1999 and the President’s Award for Outstanding Service from the University of Minnesota in 2011.


Deb Bhattacharya  
Deb Bhattacharya is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh. Most recently, he was the Special Advisor on LDCs to the Secretary General, UNCTAD, in Geneva. He was earlier Ambassador of Bangladesh to the WTO and UN system in Geneva. He was also the Executive Director of the CPD and Senior Research Fellow at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. Deb Bhattacharya has held a number of visiting positions including in Oxford, Manchester, Centre for Global Development (CGD) in Washington DC, UN-INTECH in Maastricht, and IDE in Tokyo. He is in the governing board of a number of international and regional organisations and networks on development, finance, trade, agriculture, environment and migration.


Joao Carlos Ferraz 
João Carlos Ferraz is an Economist with expertise in subjects associated with economic development, industrial organization, competitiveness and economics of innovation. Executive Director of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), responsible for the Areas of Economic Research, Corporate Planning and Risk Management. Member of the Executive Secretariat, as BNDES representative, of the Brazilian Industrial Policy (PDP). Officer (on leave) of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC). Professor (on leave) of the Instituto de Economia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Angel Gurria 
Angel Gurría came to the OECD following a distinguished career in public service, including two ministerial posts. As Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from December 1994 to January 1998, he made dialogue and consensus-building one of the hallmarks of his approach to global issues. From January 1998 to December 2000, he was Mexico’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit. 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. As OECD Secretary-General, since June 2006, he has reinforced the OECD's role as a ‘hub” for global dialogue and debate on economic policy issues while pursuing internal modernization and reform. Under his leadership, OECD has expanded its membership to include Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia and opened accession talks with Russia. It has also strengthened links with other major emerging economies, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa, with a view to possible membership. The OECD is now an active participant in both the G-8 and the G-20 Summit processes.


David Morrison 
David Morrison joined UNCDF as Executive Secretary in July 2008. Mr. Morrison began his career with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in North Korea in the late 1980s. He returned to UNDP in 1999 as an Advisor on Strategy and Partnerships, serving on the incoming Administrator's Transition Team, and helping to create a new strategy and change process for the organization. From 2000-2004 he was President of NetAid, a partnership between UNDP and Cisco Systems to use the Internet to fight poverty. Prior to joining UNCDF he served as UNDP's Spokesperson and Director of Communications. From 1989 - 1995 Mr. Morrison worked as a Canadian diplomat, serving as a political officer at the Canadian Embassy in Havana, and on the G8 Policy Staff in Ottawa. From 1995 - 1999 he was a Member of the Executive Board of the World Economic Forum, responsible for the programme of the annual summit of world leaders in Davos.


Lant Pritchett 
Lant Pritchett is Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (as of July 1, 2007). In addition he works as a consultant to Google.org, is a non-resident fellow of the Center for Global Development, and is a senior fellow of BREAD. He is also co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1983 with a B.S. in Economics and in 1988 from MIT with a PhD in Economics. After finishing at MIT Lant joined the World Bank, where he held a number of positions in the Bank's research complex between 1988 and 1998, including as an adviser to Lawrence Summers when he was Vice President 1991-1993. From 1998 to 2000 he worked in Indonesia. From 2000 to 2004 Lant was on leave from the World Bank as a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2004 he returned to the World Bank and moved to India where he worked until May 2007. He has been part of the team producing many World Bank reports, including: World Development Report 1994, Infrastructure for Development.


Woochong Um 

Woo Chong Um is the Deputy Director General for the Regional and Sustainable Development Department (RSDD) of the Asian Development Bank. He is currently overseeing the ADB's climate finance program with particular focus on leveraging private sector and carbon market financing. His responsibilities also include sustainable infrastructure, gender and social development, governance and public management, environment, and safeguards. Before his appointment  s Deputy Director Ceneral, Mr. Um was the Director of the Sustainable Infrastructue Division of the Regional and Sustainable Development Department.  Um's portfolio of initiatives included clean energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, water supply and sanitation, urban development, carbon finance, and Infomation and Communication Technology. Prior to this, Mr. Um was the Principal Operation Specialisit in the Infrastructure  Division of the Mekong Department


Roundtable discussion: Conclusions and way forward


Alicia Barcena
Ms. Bárcena assumed office as the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on 1 July 2008. She had previously served as the Under-Secretary-General for Management at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Chef de Cabinet and Deputy Chef de Cabinet to the former Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan. Alicia Bárcena held the post of Deputy Executive Secretary and Director of ECLAC's Environment and Human Settlements Division. Prior to her time at ECLAC, Ms. Bárcena served as Co-ordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), responsible for the Environmental Citizenship Project at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  Alicia Bárcena was the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica. Ms. Bárcena has taught and conducted research in the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and holds a Master degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. She has completed the courses for a degree of Master in Ecology, and has initiated studies for a PhD degree in Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.


Gyan Chandra Acharya
His Excellency Gyan Chandra Acharya is Nepalese Ambassador to the United Nations. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Acharya was Foreign Secretary with the Government of Nepal, Permanent Representative to the UN and the WTO, the Ambassador to Switzerland. Credentials like Joint Secretary (Director General) at Europe and the Americas Division/South Asia & SAARC Division, Joint Secretary (Director General) of Economic Relations and Coordination Division, and Spokesperson, all at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were stepping stone to taking recent responsibilities.  In his early career, Mr. Acharya was First Secretary and Counsellor and Embassy of Nepal in Germany, and Second Secretary at Embassy of Nepal in Egypt. From his early career, he was selected to be a member of Nepalese delegations to the UN General Assembly, WTO, WHO, ILO, Non-Aligned Summits, and numbers of State Visits by the the Kings and Prime Ministers of Nepal. 


Marco De Ponte
 Mr. Marco De Ponte has been Secretary-General for ActionAid in Italy since 2001. Between 2003 and January 2011, he also worked at ActionAid International as its “Europe, New Countries & Operational Planning International Director”. He is the chairperson for AGIRE, the Italian Agency for Emergency Response, a network of 12 NGOs that together respond to international emergencies. Between 1999 and 2001, he was employed for Intersos as General Human Rights Coordinator & Albania Desk Coordinator during its post-war rehabilitation effort. For 6 years during the late nineties, Mr. De Ponte held the Office of Vice-Chair of Amnesty International, Italy. He was actively engaged with Amnesty International both nationally and internationally, participating in various research missions in Europe. He also worked for 2 years as Ethiopia campaigner at Amnesty International’s Secretariat in London. Prior to 1999. He graduated with a degree in International Relations at the University of Padua in 1995. In 1996, he received his M.A. from the University of London in “Understanding and Securing Human Rights”.


Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch
Marie-Gabrielle IneichenFleisch is Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements, Member of the Executive Board and Head of the World Trade Division at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA) in Berne since April 2007. She is responsible for World Trade (WTO, Free Trade Agreements/EFTA and OECD). On April 1, 2011, she will assume the position as State Secretary for Economic Affairs. From 1999 to 2007 she was Head of the Division WTO, OECD and public procurement at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA) in Berne. Before joining the WTO Division she was member of the negotiating team for investment protection agreements and worked in the legal service of the former Federal Office for Foreign Economic Affairs. In 1992/1993, just after the accession of Switzerland to the Bretton Woods institutions, Marie‐Gabrielle Ineichen Fleisch worked as the Assistant to the Executive Director of the Swiss constituency in the World Bank.


Ahmed Lahlimi Alami
Ahmed Lahlimi Alami has held the office of Minister at the Haut Commissariat au Plan since 2003. Prior to that, he was Minister of Social Economy, of SMEs and Craft Industry, in charge of the General Affairs of the Government (1998-2002); President of the Abderrahim Bouabid Foundation for Science and Culture (1996-1998); Secretary general of the Tourism Ministry in 1971, then of the Planning and Regional Development Department in 1973, and Deputy General Director of the Caisse Nationale du Crédit Agricole (CNCA) in 1974. He has been Director of the General Secretariat of the Arabic-African Union (1985-1986) and worked as Consultant for the Investment Centre of FAO, IDAF and the World Bank on development projects in several Arab and African countries from 1980 to 1992. M. Alami obtained his master’s degree in economic geography from the University of Bordeaux in 1966.


Andris Piebalgs
Andris Piebalgs is an experienced Latvian politician who occupied key positions in both national and European political fields. During the first Barroso Commission, starting in November 2004, he was the European Commissioner for Energy. In 2009, Andris Piebalgs received the "Diamond Prize" from the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Katowice (Poland) for his work in developing a cohesive European Energy Policy for the further generations. Andris Piebalgs worked as a teacher and was the Headmaster of the 1st Secondary School of Valmiera (1980-1990). He also served as Director of the Department in the Ministry of Education in Latvia. From 1995 until 2003, he worked in the Latvian Diplomatic service. Andris Piebalgs first served as the Ambassador of Latvia in Estonia (1995-1997), where he helped to solve the sea border issue between the two states. In 1997 he became the Latvian Ambassador to the EU. In this capacity he helped to establish Latvia as the EU candidate country and led the accession negotiations, which resulted in Latvia's successful accession to the EU in 2004. From 2003 to 2004, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of State for EU affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. His role was instrumental in coordinating Latvia’s position in the European Council and all Council formations.  At the time, he also established the new development assistance policy for Latvia.


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