Maria Livanos Cattaui has worked for decades at the crossroads of world business and the global economy. She has deep experience in trade policies, with a particular focus on their impact on developing and emerging economies, and on how businesses can effectively address social and economic issues. Cattaui was Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce from 1996 to 2005, before which she was with the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva for nearly two decades. At WEF, she became managing director, responsible for the annual meeting in Davos, where she was instrumental in building it into the world’s foremost gathering of leaders.
Cattaui remains committed to initiatives that advance causes in science, technology, human rights and equity, education, research, and diplomacy. She chairs the board of the ICT4Peace Foundation and is deeply involved in the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator. She serves as a board member or advisor to several organizations, including Open Society Foundations, the Institute of International Education, and the Institute for Integrated Transitions. She has previously served on the boards of the National Bureau of Asian Research, the International Council of Toy Industries, the EastWest Institute, and the International Youth Foundation.
Cattaui, of Greek origin and Swiss nationality, was educated in the United States. She graduated with honors from Harvard University and holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University, Toronto.