Commission Member Biographies

Martti Ahtisaari (Finland) (Chairman)
Former President of Finland, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2008

After a distinguished career with the United Nations and the Finnish Foreign Ministry, Martti Ahtisaari was elected as president of the Republic of Finland in 1994. He held the position until the end of February 2000. In December 2008 Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Upon leaving office as President of the Republic of Finland, Mr. Ahtisaari has taken several international tasks to continue his career in international peace-mediation and conflict resolution. After leaving the office of the President, Martti Ahtisaari founded Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), a nongovernmental organisation to continue his legacy in helping the international community to do better when it comes to preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, and post-conflict statebuilding. Today President Ahtisaari acts as the chairman of the board of CMI.

Ahtisaari’s post-presidential activities have included facilitating the peace process between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement, chairing an independent panel on the security and safety of UN personnel in Iraq and appointments as the UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and Personal Envoy of the OSCE CiO for Central Asia. Between November 2005 and February 2008, Ahtisaari acted as the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations for the future status process for Kosovo.

Along with CMI President Ahtisaari is active in numerous nongovernmental and nonprofit organisations. As his main activities he is the Co-Chair in European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), Chairman of the Independent Commission on Turkey, member of the Elders, member of the Silatech Board of Trustees, and member of the Prize Committee of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

Kurt Hans Biedenkopf (Germany) (former member)
Former Prime Minister of Saxony, Germany

Prof. Dr. Kurt Hans Biedenkopf was prime minister of Saxony, Germany, from 1990 until 2002. He began his political career as secretary general of the Christian Democratic Union in 1973. From 1977 to 1983 he was a deputy chairman of the party. Between 1976-1980 and 1987-1990 he was a member of the Bundestag (federal parliament of Germany). After Germany's re-unification in 1990 Biedenkopf was elected prime minister in the newly formed state of Saxony. His party also won the subsequent elections in 1994 and 1999 with an absolute majority. He held his office until April 2002.

Emma Bonino (Italy)
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Former European Commissioner

Emma Bonino is the vice president of the senate and was minister for international trade and European affairs. First elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1976 with the Radical Party, she has since served either in the Italian or in the European Parliament continuously, except when she held the post of European Commissioner for humanitarian aid, fisheries, and consumer policy (1995-1999). In 1996, she was nominated "European personality of the year" by a jury chaired by Jacques Delors, and awarded the prestigious "Prince of Asturias" prize two years later. She was visiting professor at the American University of Cairo and a board member of the International Crisis Group. She has served as chief observer of the EU electoral missions in Ecuador (2002) and Afghanistan (2005), and conducted several successful international campaigns to promote human--and in particular women's--rights.

Hans van den Broek (Netherlands)
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Former European Commissioner

Hans van den Broek was minister of foreign affairs of the Netherlands from 1982 to 1993 after having previously served as state secretary for European affairs and as member of the Dutch Parliament. From 1993 to 1999 Van den Broek was member of the Commission of the European Union with responsibilities for enlargement and external relations with Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, Russia and the Newly Independent States, Cyprus, and Malta. As commissioner he was also associated with EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. In February 2005 Van den Broek was nominated minister of state for life.

Bronislaw Geremek (Poland) († 13 July 2008)
Former Foreign Minister of Poland
Former foreign minister of Poland and member of the European Parliament, Geremek was a crucial figure in the fight to end Communist rule in Poland. Geremek led the roundtable negotiations that helped pave the way for elections in 1989, eventually helping to bring the Solidarity movement to power and a peaceful end to Communist rule in Poland. As foreign minister between 1997 and 2000 Geremek played a role in Poland's negotiations to join the European Union and also signed the documents that formally marked Poland's entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Anthony Giddens (United Kingdom) (Until 2011)
Former Director, London School of Economics and Political Science

Anthony Giddens is a member of the House of Lords, a Fellow of King's College Cambridge, and Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics, where he also served as its director from 1997 to 2003. His many books include The Constitution of Society (1984), Beyond Left and Right (1994), The Third Way (1998), and Europe in the Global Age (2006). His most recent major work is The Politics of Climate Change (2009). His books have been translated into more than forty languages.

Wolfgang Friedrich Ischinger (Germany)
Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany

Wolfgang Friedrich Ischinger is a German diplomat. He was Germany's ambassador to the Court of St. James's (in the United Kingdom) from 2006 to May 2008. From 2001 to 2006 Ischinger was the German ambassador to the United States, and from 1998 to 2001 he served as Staatssekretar (Deputy Foreign Minister) in Berlin.

Ambassador Ischinger is also the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and the Global Head of Government Relations, Allianz SE, Munich. He serves on the Supervisory Board of Allianz Deutschland AG, and on the European Advisory Board of Investcorp (London/New York).

David Miliband
Former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

David Miliband is the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. He oversees the agency’s relief and development operations in over 40 countries and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs throughout the United States. In addition, he leads the IRC’s advocacy efforts in Washington, Geneva, Brussels, and other capitals on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Miliband had a distinguished political career in the United Kingdom over 15 years. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the youngest Foreign Secretary in three decades, driving advancements in human rights and representing the United Kingdom throughout the world. As Secretary of State for the Environment in 2005–2006 he pioneered the world’s first legally binding emissions reduction requirements. His accomplishments have earned him a reputation, in former President Bill Clinton’s words, as “one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time,” and as an effective and passionate advocate for the world’s uprooted and poor people.

Earlier Miliband was Minister for Schools (2002–2004); and Head of Downing Street’s Number 10 Policy Unit (1997–2001). He has also been a Member of Parliament representing South Shields. He is Co-Chair of the Global Ocean Commission.

Miliband graduated from Oxford University in 1987 with a first class degree in philosophy, politics, and economics, and received his master’s degree in political science in 1989 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he attended as a Kennedy Scholar. He is married to the violinist Louise Shackelton, and they have two sons.

Miliband’s parents were refugees from Belgium and Poland to the UK in the 1940s. As the son of refugees, he brings a personal commitment to the IRC’s work.

Marcelino Oreja Aguirre (Spain)
Former Foreign Minister of Spain, Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Former European Commissioner

Spanish politician and businessman Marcelino Oreja Aguirre served as minister of foreign affairs (1976-1980), secretary-general of the Council of Europe (1984-1989), and a European commissioner (1994-1999). As foreign minister, he signed the Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations and was responsible for Spanish entry into the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and the establishment of diplomatic relations with the USSR, Vietnam, and Mozambique. Oreja also served as European commissioner for institutional relations, culture and the audiovisual sector.

Michel Rocard (France)
Former Prime Minister of France

Michel Rocard served as prime minister of France under Francois Mitterrand from 1988 to 1991. During his tenure he helped create the Revenu minimum d'insertion (RMI), a social minimum welfare program for homeless people. Rocard also led the negotiations for the Matignon Accords regarding the status of New Caledonia. Between 1994 and January 2009 he served as a member of the European Parliament for the Parti Socialiste. Rocard currently serves as ambassador of the polar regions for France.

Albert Rohan (Austria)
Former Secretary General for Foreign Affairs

After receiving his doctor of law in 1960 at the University of Graz, Albert Rohan joined the Austrian Diplomatic Service in 1963. He was appointed to the Austrian Embassies in Belgrade and London, and from 1977 to1981 served as Director of the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General in New York. From 1985 to 1989 Albert Rohan was Austrian Ambassador to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. In 1995 he was appointed as Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs of Austria and remained in this position until 2001. Following his retirement from the Diplomatic Service, Rohan worked as lecturer and political commentator for radio, television and print media. From 2005 to 2008 he acted as Deputy Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Kosovo Status Process. Since 2004 he has served as the Rapporteur of the Independent Commission on Turkey. Rohan is founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, President of the Austrian-American Society and Vice-President of the European Policy Association of Austria. In 2002 he published the book "Diplomat on the Fringes of World Politics".

The Independent Commission on Turkey is supported by the
British Council and the Open Society Foundation–Turkey.
Independent Commission on Turkey