External speakers

Ana Palacio

Member of Council of State of Spain and former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ana Palacio is an international lawyer specializing in international and European Union law. Ms. Palacio is a Member of the Council of State of Spain and is the Founding Partner of the law and public affairs firm Palacio y Asociados.

Between 1994 and 2002, Ms. Palacio was a Member of the European Parliament, where she chaired the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee as well as the Citizens Rights, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. She participated as member of the Presidium of the Convention for the Future of Europe (2001-2003) in the debate and drafting of the European Constitution. In 2002, Ms. Palacio became the first woman to serve as Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain (2002-2004). She was a Member of the Spanish Parliament (2004 to 2006), where she chaired the Joint Committee of the Two Houses for European Union Affairs. She has been Senior Vice-President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group and Secretary General of ICSID (2006-2008), and she has been a member of the Executive Committee and Senior Vice-President for International Affairs of AREVA (2008-2009).

She is a member of the Board of Enagás (Spanish gas system), Pharmamar (biotechnology), and AEE Power (energy infrastructure). She is a member of the International Advisory Boards of Investcorp (a world-leading manager of alternative investments) and Office Chérifien des Phosphates – OCP – (fertilizers); and of the Governing Council of the Instituto de Empresa (business school). She is a member of the Board as well as of the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council of the United States. Further, Ms. Palacio serves as member of the External Advisory Board of the US former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative, of the Advisory Board of the Sandra Day O’Connor Justice Prize and of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Human Sciences. She has recently been appointed as member of the Global Leadership Foundation.

Ms. Palacio publishes regularly in periodicals and journals. In particular, she maintains a monthly column at Project Syndicate. She is a visiting professor at the Edmund E. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is also a recurrent participant and speaker at international conferences and fora, most recently giving evidence on post-Brexit foreign and defense cooperation before the UK House of Lords’ European Union External Affairs Sub-Committee.

In 2016, Ms. Palacio was presented with the Sandra Day O’Connor Justice Prize for extraordinary contributions to the rule of law, justice and human rights by the O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University, and was awarded the insignia of Officier of the Order of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic.