Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

A lawyer by profession, specializing in international and European law, arbitration and mediation, Ana Palacio has held the most senior positions in the governing bodies of the Madrid Bar and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), where she was a spokesperson for the Spanish Delegation (1996-2000), First Vice-President and Vice-President-Elect (2000-2002). Moreover she has been the Executive President and member of the Council of the Europäische Rechtsakademie –ERA- (1998-2000). She is an honorary member of the Bar of England and Wales.

Ana Palacio is a member of the Panel of Conciliators and the Panel of Arbitrators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) (since April 2010). 

She is also an arbiter at the Arbitration of Madrid’s Chamber of Commerce (since January 1992).

Ana Palacio is a member of the panel established by Article 255 of the Lisbon Treaty “to give an opinion on candidates' suitability to perform the duties of Judge and Advocate-General of the Court of Justice and the General Court” (since February 2010). This panel comprises “seven persons chosen from among former members of the Court of Justice and the General Court, members of national supreme courts and lawyers of recognized competence.”

In February 2010, Ana Palacio was appointed special advisor on Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship to the Vice President of the European Commission in charge.

She is a member of the Board of Directors of Pharmamar (since July 2009). Pharmamar is a biopharmaceutical company determined to advance cancer treatment through discovering, developing, producing, and marketing innovative drugs of marine origin.

She is a member of the International Advisory Board of INVESTCORP (since June 2008). INVESTCORP is a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products specializing in five lines of business: private equity, global hedge fund offerings, real estate investment, technology investment and Gulf growth capital.

She is a member of the International Advisory Board of Anadarko (since June 2008). Anadarko is an Independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York (since December 2005). Through nearly 100 hundred years of grant making, the Corporation has applied what Andrew Carnegie called the principles of “scientific philanthropy” with unremitting efforts in international peace and the advancement of education and knowledge.

She is a member of the Commission on the Liberalization of the French Economy, instituted by President Sarkozy, in March 2007.

She is member of the International Advisory Board of Instituto de Empresa -IE- (since April 2004). The IE is one of Europe's leading business schools in academic areas like entrepreneurship, or in the field of learning technologies.

She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of the European Union (since July 2008) and a member of the Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States (since March 2008).

She is a member of the Supervisory Board of Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL) (since January 2005). HiiL fosters innovative and multidisciplinary research on globalisation and nternationalisation of law that develops a strategic research agenda on the effects of globalisation and internationalisation on national legal systems.

She sits on the International Advisory Boards of different think tanks and public institutions, such as the EU Council on Foreign Relations, Notre Europe, Institut Montaigne, Aspen Institute Italia, FAES and FRIDE. She is member of the Policy Board of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Revue du Droit de l’Union Européenne and The American Interest.

Since September 2004, she has been a Professor at the Collegio Europeo di Parma, where she teaches a course on certain aspects of the EU founding treaties. The European College of Parma is a higher education institute which provides academic training for young graduates coming from European and Non-EU countries on the process of European integration and community policies.

Ana Palacio was the first woman to serve as Foreign Minister of Spain (2002- 2004), the most senior post ever filled by a woman in the Spanish government at that time.

As member of the European Convention and the Convention’s Presidium (2001-2002) and Head of the Spanish Delegation to the Intergovernmental Conference (2002-2004), she was at the forefront of the debate on the future of the European Union and actively participated in the drafting and legal discussions of the European Treaties reform.

As Member of the European Parliament (1994-2002), she chaired the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee and the Justice and Home Affairs Committee. Furthermore, she was elected by her peers for two half-legislatures to head the Conference of Committee Chairmen, the Parliament’s most senior body for the coordination of its legislative activities. Inspired by legitimacy as the hallmark of European identity, Ms. Palacio´s legislative work addressed the EU internal market, justice and home affairs, human rights, as well as parliamentary rules and procedures. She was a regular Rapporteur on legal disputes between the

EU institutions and on the requests to lift the immunity for members of the European Parliament. In addition, she was the Rapporteur on the Parliament Regulations and Complementary Proceedings reform and on the EU legal personality report.

On 1 October 2001, The Wall Street Journal published “Europe’s Lawyer,” an extensive feature article in the “12 Influential Players on the World Business Stage” series, about her activities at the helm of EU debate: “[…] Ana Palacio has a hand in almost every piece of European Union Legislation. […] The 53-year-old Ms. Palacio often champions European integration over national interests, and she has earned a reputation for getting things done quickly – both rarities in the EU’s usually laborious, diplomacy-drenched legislative environment. […]”

In 2004-2006, Ana Palacio served as a member of the Spanish Parliament, where she chaired the Joint Committee of the two Houses for European Union Affairs.

As Senior Vice-president and General Counsel of the World Bank Group and Secretary General of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) (2006-2008), she oversaw international legal aspects of the Bank’s operations, providing the intellectual leadership and creativity in devising innovative solutions to enable the World Bank to meet its many developmental objectives and challenges in a rapidly changing environment within the framework of the Bank Group’s Articles and policies.

As member of the Executive Committee and Senior Vice-President for International Affairs of AREVA (2008-2009), she was at the forefront of the current international debate on the global energy equation as  ondition for a sustainable and inclusive globalization process. • Ana Palacio has received various awards and decorations, the most recent of which is an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Georgetown University (May 2009).

Ana Palacio was born in July 1948. She graduated from the Lycée Français (Baccalauréat Mathèmatiques) with honors granted by the French Government to “the best foreign graduate of the year.” She holds degrees in Law, Political Science and Sociology. Her academic performance earned her the Award for Academic Achievement (Premio Extraordinario Fin de Carrera).