Ana Palacio, a board director at the Atlantic Council, is a former foreign minister of Spain.
A lawyer by profession, specializing in international and European Union law, arbitration and mediation, Ana Palacio has held the most senior positions in the governing bodies of the Madrid Bar, as well as the European Bar (first vice president and president elect, 2000-2002). She is an honorary member of the Bar of England and Wales. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees (January 2000) and former Executive President of the Academy of European Law and Distinguished Professor of the European College in Parma (September 2004).
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."
Ms. Palacio was the first woman to serve as Spain's Foreign Minister (2002-2004) and, at the time, held the most senior post ever filled by a woman in the Spanish government.
As Prime Minister Aznar's representative to the European Convention and the Convention's Presidium (2001-2002), she was at the forefront of the debate on the future of the European Union and actively participated in the drafting and legal discussions pertaining to the reform of the European Treaties.
As Member of the European Parliament (1994-2002), she chaired the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee and the Justice and Home Affairs Committee, and was elected by her peers to chair in two half legislatures the Conference of Committee Chairmen, the Parliament's most senior body for the coordination of its legislative work. On October 1, 2001 the Wall Street Journal, under the heading "Europe's Lawyer," published an extensive feature article on her activities at the helm of EU debates, as part of a special supplement on "12 Influential Players On The World Business Stage," writing, "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."
She has served as a member of the Spanish Parliament, where she chaired the Joint Committee of the two Houses for European Union Affairs (2004-2006).
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 (2006-2008), she oversaw the international legal aspects of the Institution's operations, providing 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.
Currently, she is a member of the Board of Pharmamar (July 2009), and a member of the International Advisory Board of INVESTCORP (June 2008) and Anadarko (June 2008).
She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Future of the European Union (July 2009); a member of the Commission on the Liberalization of the French Economy instituted by President Sarkozy (March 2007); a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Corporation of New York (December 2005); a member of the Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States (March 2008).
She sits on the International Advisory Board of numerous think tanks and public institutions, including: Council on Foreign Relations (US and EU), Notre Europe, Institut Montaigne, Aspen Institute Italia, Instituto de Empresa (IE). She is a member of the Global Advisory Council of The American Interest and the Revue de Droit de l'Union européenne.
Ms. Palacio has received various awards and decorations. She recently received an Honorary Degree as Doctor of Humane Letters from Georgetown University (May 2009).
Born in 1948, Ms. Palacio graduated from the Lycee Francais (Baccalaureat Mathematiques) with honors granted by the French Government to "the best foreign student who finished studies that year." She holds degrees in Law, Political Science and Sociology; her performance in her degree studies merited the Award for Academic Achievement (Premio Extraordinario Fin de Carrera).