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Former Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide Joins World Economic Forum

Oliver Cann, Associate Director, Media Relations, Tel.: +41 79 799 3405 ; E-mail:

  • Espen Barth Eide, former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Norway, joins as Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board
  • In addition to Foreign Affairs portfolio, Eide served as Defence Minister from 2011-2012
  • Forum’s new Managing Director also brings strong experience working with international organizations, including the UN and NATO 

Geneva, Switzerland, 19 November 2013 – The World Economic Forum is pleased to announce that Espen Barth Eide, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Norway, is joining the Forum as Managing Director and member of the Managing Board.

“Espen Barth Eide brings his leadership, energy and great experience in international and security affairs to the World Economic Forum. He will be instrumental in driving the Forum’s work as the foremost platform for public private cooperation,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

New Managing Director brings great experience in international and security affairs

“I am delighted to be joining an organization that plays a critical role in bringing stakeholders together from all aspects of the public and private spheres,” Eide said. “Now more than ever, dialogue that crosses boundaries and breaks people and institutions out of silos, is critical in addressing the challenges the world faces.”

Eide served as Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs until October 2013. He was Minister of Defence in the Stoltenberg government from 2011-2012). He also held deputy ministerial posts in both ministries. He was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first Stoltenberg government (2000-2001).

Apart from his government posts, Eide has pursued an academic career in political science. From 1993 to 2000 and from 2002 to 2005 he was a senior researcher and research director at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

Eide has been centrally involved in numerous UN reform processes: in the development of NATO’s new strategic concept; in setting a new international agenda for the Arctic; in fostering closer Nordic cooperation; in building relations with emerging regions; and in a variety of peace processes. In the Defence Ministry, he led major defence reforms, established Norway’s Cyber Defence and oversaw several large procurement programmes.

Eide graduated in political science from the University of Oslo and has also studied in Barcelona. He was chosen as a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2003, and has been actively involved in the activities of the Forum in the past decade.

He is married and has three sons.

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