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Leadership Team

  • Executive Chairman
  • Managing Directors
  • Senior Directors
  • Directors
  • Associate Directors
  • World Economic Forum USA Inc. Officers and Board

    Executive Chairman

    Klaus Schwab

    Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Universities of Fribourg and Harvard. Degrees include Doctorates in Mechanical Engineering and in Economics (summa cum laude).

    Professor of Business Policy at the University of Geneva, 1972-2002. Honorary Professorship and six honorary doctorates (the latest from London School of Economics). Author of several books, the annual The Global Competitiveness Report (since 1979) and many other publications.

    Founded the World Economic Forum in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation building it into the foremost global partnership of business, political, intellectual and other leaders of society committed to improving the state of the world.

    Recipient of numerous academic, international and national honours for initiatives undertaken in the spirit of entrepreneurship in the global public interest and for peace and reconciliation efforts in several regions.

    Appointed Honorary Knight Commander in the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) by Her Majesty The Queen of England.

    He and his wife Hilde founded The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 1998 as a non-profit organization to identify, disseminate and support the work of accomplished social entrepreneurs around the world.

    In 2004, he also created a new foundation, The Forum of Young Global Leaders, which brings together 1111 men and women from all walks of life who have demonstrated their commitment to improving the state of the world.

    Managing Directors

  • Ged Davis
  • Michael Obermayer
  • Richard Samans
  • André Schneider
  • Peter Torreele

    Ged Davis
    Managing Director, Strategic Insight Teams

    Ged first graduated with a degree in Mining Engineering from Imperial College, London. He holds postgraduate degrees in Economics and Engineering from the London School of Economics and Stanford University.

    Ged had a long career with Royal Dutch/Shell Group which he joined in 1972. A decade later he took the helm of Planning, Europe. From 1986 to 1990, Ged was Head of Energy, Group Planning and then spent the next four years as Head, Group Investor Relations until 1994. He then fulfilled the dual role of Head, Scenario Processes and Applications, and Head of Socio-Politics and Technology Team, Group Planning. He also took on the position of Director of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Global Scenarios between 1996 and 1997. From 1999 until 2003, Ged was Vice-President, Global Business Environment for Shell International Limited as well as Head of the Scenarios Team. Ged was the director of the UNAIDS "AIDS in Africa" scenario project from 2002 to 2003. Currently, Ged is a member of the Board of Governors of the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada. He joined the World Economic Forum in 2004.

    Michael Obermayer
    Managing Director, and Dean, Global Leadership Fellows Programme

    Michael received an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, before going on to attain a PhD (Hons) in Biochemistry from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and the University of Munich. Michael also has an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau.

    In 1977, Michael joined McKinsey and while he worked mostly in Scandinavia for the first decade, he also worked in the UK, France, Italy and the US. Michael worked mostly with pharmaceutical and electronics/SW companies, specializing in R&D as well as marketing questions. In 1986, he became Head of McKinsey's Norwegian practice and in 1989, he became Head of the Stockholm office while taking the initiative to establish McKinsey in Russia. Between 1993 and 2000, Michael was Chairman, McKinsey Eastern Europe, and established the McKinsey Institute. In 2004, he retired from McKinsey, and is currently a Member of the Advisory Council of McKinsey. He was appointed Managing Director, and Dean of the Global Leadership Fellows Programme, World Economic Forum, in September 2005.

    Richard Samans
    Managing Director, Centre for Public-Private Partnerships

    Rick received a BA in Economics and French from Tufts University. He completed a Masters degree in International Affairs at Columbia University.

    Rick began his career in 1982 with Credit Lyonnais USA as Corporate Lending Officer. He then became Legislative Assistant to a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, between 1985 and 1988. Until 1991, Rick was a Professional Staff Member and Senior Legislative Assistant to the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. From 1992 to 1993, he was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in London and Washington DC. Rick was then Associate Director and Staff Director for the Subcouncil on Capital Allocation on the Competitiveness Policy Council between 1993 and 1996. Thereafter, he held the position of Economic Policy Adviser to the Senate Minority Leader until 1999. Rick served the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the United States President for International Economic Policy, from 1999-2001. He was an Adjunct Faculty Member and Guest Lecturer in International Relations at the School of International Service, American University. Rick joined the World Economic Forum in 2001 as Director of Global Issues, and as an Associate Member of the Managing Board. He was appointed Managing Director in August 2003.

    André Schneider
    Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer

    André is a Classical Orchestra Musician and received a Diploma from the Richard Strauss Konservatorium in Munich. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Geneva.

    André launched his career in the world music as a classical musician. He has played for the Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin, the Staatstheater Kassel, the Symphony Orchestra of the Radio Saarland and the Lucerne International Festival Orchestra. He then concentrated on his interest in Information Technology and became a Researcher in parallel computers for the European Community. At IBM Consulting Group, he was Product Developer, Consultant and Principal. Before joining the World Economic Forum in 1998, he was an IT consultant for various companies and organizations and a member of numerous committees. In 2000, André was appointed Director of Knowledge Management and Associate Member of the Managing Board. He has been a member of the Managing Board since January 2003. André is a consultant for various companies and organizations and speaks on IT-related topics.

    Peter Torreele
    Managing Director, Regional Agenda Teams & Industry Agenda Teams

    Peter received a degree in Engineering from Gent University, Belgium, before completing an MBA in Marketing and a degree in Economics at Louvain-La-Neuve University, Belgium. Peter then went to France's INSEAD, Fontainebleau to do the General Management Programme.

    Peter launched his career with the Danone Group in 1988. After several marketing positions within the Danone diary division, he became Marketing Director UK/Ireland. In 1996, he moved to the Danone beverage division to become Sales and Marketing Director Northern Europe. At that time, he was a Member of the Board of the AlkenMaes Group. In 2000, Peter joined Roche Pharmaceuticals as Global Head of Marketing, Metabolism Category within Roche Consumer Health. He was a Member of the Leadership Team, Roche Consumer Health. Peter joined the Forum in September 2003, and was appointed Managing Director and member of the Board in November 2004.

    Senior Directors

  • Malte Godbersen
  • Julianne Jammers
  • Thierry Malleret

    Malte Godbersen
    Senior Director, Information Technology

    Diploma in Physics, Karl-Ruprechts University, Germany; PhD in Natural Sciences, Karl-Ruprechts University and Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Germany; MBA, University of Geneva, HEC, Switzerland.

    1991-95, Researcher, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Germany; 1996-98, Consultant, IBM Consulting Group, Switzerland; 1998-2000, Manager and Practice Leader, IBM Consulting Group, Switzerland. 2000-03, Director, Knowledge Management, World Economic Forum.

    Julianne Jammers
    Senior Director, Member Relations & Engagement

    1985, Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business, New Mexico State University, USA; 1987, MBA in International Management, American Graduate School of International Management.

    1986-1992 Instructor, National Business College and City Colleges of Chicago, European Campus, Germany. Began with Procter & Gamble in 1987 as Key Account Manager, Corporate Sales, US Military in Europe, Germany; 1992-95 Sales Merchandising Manager, Health and Beauty Care Products, Procter & Gamble, Switzerland. 1995-98, moved to marketing and brand management, Switzerland and Austria. In June 1998 joined IMD International in Lausanne, Switzerland, a world-wide recognized leader in Executive Education, and was the Director of IMD's MBA Marketing and Career Services. Joined the World Economic Forum in 2002 as the Director of Recruiting and Development and then held the position of Senior Director, Human Resources.

    Thierry Malleret

    Senior Director, Global Risk

    PhD in Economics; MPhil in Economics; MA in International Relations: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris; Oxford University (St Antony's College).

    1988-90, Chargé de Mission, Prime Minister's Office, Paris; 1990-91, Resident Fellow, Institute for East-West Security Studies, New York; 1992-98, Associate Banker and Economist, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London; 1998-99, Chief Economist and Strategist, Alfa Bank, Moscow.


  • Mark Adams
  • Macha Levinson
  • David Aikman
  • Augusto Lopez-Claros
  • Haiko Alfeld
  • Colette Mathur
  • Francesca Boldrini
  • Andrew Richards
  • Denise Burnet
  • Martha Stack
  • Jean-Loup Dénéréaz
  • Jonathan Schmidt
  • Sherif El Diwany
  • Alexander Van de Putte
  • Christoph Frei
  • Regula Waltenspuel
  • Lee Howell
  • Alex Wong
  • Jeremy Jurgens

  • Mark Adams
    Director, Communication and Media

    BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics, Manchester University; BA (Hons) in Art History, Open University.

    1986-90, Reporter and Trainee, BBC; 1990-99, Programme Editor and Producer, Independent Television News; 1999-2002, Editorial Director, Euronews 24-hour news channel; 2003-2005, Director, Media, World Economic Forum; since 2005, current position.

    David Aikman
    Director, Partnership

    1995, BA (Hons) in English and German Literature, Dalhousie University, Canada; 2003, MBA, IMD, Switzerland.

    1995-2002, International Olympic Committee, Switzerland: Marketing Coordinator, Licensing; Marketing Manager, Licensing; Marketing Group Manager, Business Development; 2003-2005, Associate Director, Global Institute for Partnership and Governance; since 2005, current position.

    Haiko Alfeld
    Director, Africa

    1987, Bachelor's degree in Social Science, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

    Served in the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, with the following postings: Press Attaché, South African Embassy, Berne; responsible for Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Migration Issues, SA Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Geneva. Between assignments in Switzerland, seconded to the South African Parliament to contribute to the establishment of a Parliamentary international relations capacity; since 2002, current position.

    Denise Burnet
    Director, Events

    1975, Diploma, Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, Geneva, Switzerland.

    1975-76, Executive Assistant, Minair, Switzerland. Since 1978, with the World Economic Forum: responsible for the creation of the database, then registration for roundtables; since 1981, responsible for the organization and coordination of the first Geneva Meeting, country meetings in France, Turkey, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Portugal, India and the first meetings in Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil, the first regional summit in Hong Kong, followed by the Middle East/Africa, Mercosur and South Africa; responsible for the relations with government members in France, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Israel. 2000-03, Associate Director with additional responsibility for Public Figures; since 2003, current position.

    Francesca Boldrini
    Director, Global Health Initiative

    1995, BSc (Hons) in Genetics and Microbiology, University of Edinburgh.

    1993, Research Assistant San Diego University; 1995-96, Key Customer Manager UK, Procter and Gamble, Healthcare; 1996-98 Assistant Brand Manager UK/NL/Eire, Procter and Gamble; 1998-99 Brand Manager Europe Actonel, Procter and Gamble & Aventis Alliance; 2000-02 Global Marketing Consumer Innovation Manager Healthcare, Global Business Unit, Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals; 2002-04 Project Manager, Tuberculosis and India, Global Health Initiative, World Economic Forum; 2004-05 Associate Director, Global Health Initiative, World Economic Forum; since 2005, current position.

    Jean-Loup Dénéréaz
    Director, General Services

    1978, graduate, Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics du Bâtiment et de L'Industrie.

    Twenty years in the construction business with major general contractors such as: Losinger, Göhner and Karl Steiner.

    Sherif El Diwany
    Director, Middle East

    1978, Bsc. Architecture, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 1981, MSc in Planning, University of Houston, Texas, USA

    1982-85, Director of Development Projects, Environmental Quality International, Cairo, Egpyt; 1985-2000 Founder, Public Interest Incorporate, Egypt, a public policy and business development consultancy; 2001-2005, International business development in trade facilitation and customs modernization, Geneva; since 2005, current position. Member: American Chamber; Egyptian-German Chamber; Civil Forum. Adviser: World Bank, UN, EU and several international and Egyptian businesses.

    Christoph Frei
    Director, Energy Industries

    1989-95, graduate studies in Electrical Engineering, Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH), Zürich and Lausanne (4th year); 1993-94, training and diploma thesis: solar cells research, ten months at the Institute of Microtechnique, University of Neuchâtel; 1995-97, Master of Science in Energy Systems, ETH Lausanne (EPFL), specialization in Economics and Management; LASEN Award 1998 (diploma thesis); 1997-2000, postgraduate studies in Econometrics, University of Geneva; 1997-2000, PhD thesis in Energy Policy Analysis, Laboratory of Energy Systems (LASEN), EPFL; ABB Energy Research Award 2001 (PhD thesis); 2001-02, European Masters in Applied Ethics, Ethics Centre, University of Zurich.

    1998-2000, Research Fellow, General Energy Research Department/Energy Economics group, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen, Switzerland; 2000-01, Research Fellow, Centre for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE), ETH; Since 2001, Lecturer, postgraduate course "Energy Systems in an Economy-wide Framework", for the Master of Science in Energy Systems, ETH Lausanne (EPFL); May 2001, joined the World Economic Forum.

    Lee Howell
    Director, Asia

    BA in Economics and East Asian Languages and Literature, University of Maryland; LLM in International Legal Studies, Washington College of Law.

    1993-96, Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); 1997-99, Deputy Director, Japan Society of New York; 2000, Consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; 2001, Director, 2002 Annual Meeting Programme in New York, World Economic Forum; 2002-03, Senior Policy Advisor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Member: Adjunct Fellow with the New America Foundation and Pacific Forum/CSIS.

    Jeremy Jurgens
    Director, Global Growth Companies

    1993, BA Economics and International Relations, Claremont McKenna College; 1998 Masters of Education, Harvard University.

    1994-96, Language Instructor, Japanese Ministry of Finance; 1996-1998, International Sales, Patagonia; Curriculum Designer, Microsoft; Since 1999, with the World Econonomic Forum:1999-02, Associate Director, Knowledge Management and Internet Development; 2003-04 Assistant to the Chairman; 2004-2005 Associate Director, Centre for Strategic Insight and responsible for 2005 Annual Meeting Programme.

    Macha Levinson
    Director and Adviser, Europe

    BA (magna cum laude) in Russian History and Literature, Harvard College; MA and Russian Institute Certificate, Columbia University; 1975, Doctorate in Political Science, Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales, Geneva.

    US Foreign Service Officer. 1975-82, consultant on international organizations and arms control; lecturer at Webster University, Geneva; 1983-87, Strategic Affairs Editor, International Defense Review, Geneva; 1987-92, World Link. Since April 1992, responsible for the general development of the World Economic Forum as Director. In addition, direct regional (Europe, Russia and other CIS countries) and sectoral responsibilities (Energy and Industries).

    Augusto Lopez-Claros
    Chief Economist and Director, Global Competitiveness Programme

    Degree in Mathematical Statistics, Cambridge University; PhD in Economics, Duke University.

    Professor, University of Chile, Santiago; 1992-95, Resident Representative, International Monetary Fund, Russian Federation; Executive Director and Senior International Economist, Lehman Brothers, London; since 2003, current position. Author of numerous articles on international economic issues, including: The Search for Efficiency in the Adjustment Process: Spain in the 1980s (1988); The European Monetary System: Developments and Perspectives (co-author, 1990); Fiscal Policy Issues During the Transition in Russia (1998); Ten Years of Russian Economic Reform (2002); Reforming the IMF (2002); The Role of the International Financial Organizations During the Transition in Russia (2003).

    Colette Mathur
    Director, South Asia

    Ecole Supérieure de Relations Publiques in Brussels; Licence de sciences commerciales et industrielles, Diplôme de Troisième Cycle en Gestion d'Entreprise, University of Geneva.

    Worked for three years in public relations post in Brussels, before joining the World Economic Forum in 1979. 1982-2000, Member of the Executive Board successively in charge of media, Europe, Asia, Public Affairs. Since 2001, responsible for the general development of the World Economic Forum as a Director with direct regional (India and South Asia) responsibilities in charge of the India Economic Summit. Committee Member, Geneva Asia Society. Founding Member, EuroIndia Centre. Also actively involved in various charitable causes.

    Andrew Richards
    Director, Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Mobility Industries

    1987, BSc (Hons) in Chemical Engineering, University of Bath, UK; 1995, MBA, Open University.

    1986, Engineer, ESSO Petroleum Co. With The Dow Chemical Company: 1988-92, Sales; 1992, Credit Analyst; 1993-94, Sales; 1995, New Business Development; 1996, Strategic Planning; 1997-2000, Global Business Development Manager.

    Jonathan Schmidt
    Director, Global Agenda

    B.S. Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina; MA East Asian Studies, The George Washington University.

    1988-1989, United States Congressional liaison; 1989-1993, Editor, The China Post; 1993-1995, Co-founder of the digital publishing company, the Asia Intelligence Wire, which was acquired by Pearson plc in 1995; 1995-2000, Managing Director, The Financial Times, Asia Pacific; 2000-2005, new business initiatives, The Economist Group; since 2005, current position. Jonathan is also Chairman of SurfaceMap Systems Ltd. and is a board advisor to the China Business Times.

    Martha Stack
    Director, Consumer Industries

    1996, BA (Hons) in Russian Studies and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA; 2001, MBA, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

    1996-2004 held the following positions at Bain & Company: 1996-98, Associate Consultant; 1998-99, Senior Associate Consultant; 1999-2000 and 2002-03, Consultant; from 2003, Manager; 2004-2005, Associate Director, Retail and Consumer Industries; since 2005, current position. Areas of focus: M&A/due diligence and marketing/brand strategies within the Retail and Consumer Goods practice areas.

    Alexander Van de Putte
    Director, Business Insight

    1989, graduate studies in Business Economics and Business Informatics, UFSIA; postgraduate studies in: 1991, Computer Information Systems, Boston University; 1993, Management and Business Administration, Boston University; 1993-95, Fellow, Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF), Harvard University; 2001, Financial Economics, University of London, 2003, Master Financial Professional Board Certification, AAFM.

    1995-98, Associate and later Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company; 1998-2002, Senior Manager and later Director and Co-Leader, Shareholder Value Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers; 2002-04, Senior Strategy and Portfolio Adviser to the Committee of Managing Directors, Shell International; since 2004, current position.

    Regula Waltenspuel
    Director, International Business Council

    1992-93, studies in Business Policies, University of Geneva, Switzerland; 2001 Stanford Executive Programme.

    1984-85, Swisswire (Siebtuch), Olten, Switzerland, Coordinator, UK and Italy; 1986-88, Gatoil, Switzerland, Assistant, Letters of Credit; 1988-90, Ernest Stoecklin Int'l Furniture, Leonia, NJ, USA; Assistant to the Owner and Chief Executive Officer. Since 1991, with the World Economic Forum: 1991-93, Assistant to the Founder and President; 1993-96, Coordinator, Automotive Industry; 1996-2000, Senior Community Manager, Information Technologies; 2000-01, Associate Director, Communications Industry; since 2001, current position.

    Alex Wong
    Director, Information, Communications and Entertainment Industries

    1999, BASc in Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto; 2000, MPA, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

    1986-87, Engineer, General Motors; 1989-2000, Senior Manager, Strategic Services, Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting); serving on the board of various non-profit organizations; since 2000, current position.

    Associate Directors

    Pratik Bhatnagar
    Initiative Funding and Coordination

    Jennifer Blanke
    Global Competitiveness Programme

    Laurent Desnoux

    Lisa Dreier
    Public-Private Partnerships and Global Governance Initiative

    Claudia Gonzalez
    Public Relations and Special Communities

    Elly Hammar
    Information Technology

    Felix Howald

    Stephanie Janet
    Annual Meeting Operations

    Alia Karaouni
    Business Insight
    Kamal Kimaoui
    Production and Design

    Carine Kulloian
    Information Technology

    Fon Mathuros

    Sylvie Naville
    Latin America

    Vidhi Tambiah
    Business Insight

    Sheana Tambourgi
    Global Agenda

    Mady Tissot
    Partnership Development

    Nancy Tranchet

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    Last updated: 22 February 2006
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