WASHINGTON – The Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace welcomed today the addition of five new trustees: Chandra Kant “C.K.” Birla, Henri de Castries, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Deven Parekh, and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
“We are thrilled to welcome an extraordinary new class of trustees,” said Penny Pritzker, chair of the Board of Trustees. “This group embodies Carnegie’s mission and values and adds to the rich diversity of backgrounds and expertise that makes our Board so special.”
C.K. Birla is Chairman of CK Birla Group, a conglomerate operating in multiple industries including infrastructure, automotive technology, healthcare, education, and information technology. He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra and is also a member of the National Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry as well as Carnegie India’s Founders’ Committee. He was the first chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management in Udaipur. Besides being a trustee of the Calcutta Medical Research Institute, Birla is actively involved in a diverse set of philanthropic activities like cultural and welfare programs, museums, libraries, planetaria, and art galleries. Birla’s passion also extends to supporting young women leaders fellowship programs and actively supports diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Henri de Castries serves as chairman of Europe and special advisor at General Atlantic. He also currently serves as vice-chairman of the Board of Nestlé, and as a director of HSBC, Europe’s largest bank. He chairs the Bilderberg Group, a gathering of North American and European political and private sector leaders. Until 2016, he was the chairman and CEO of the insurance and asset management company AXA. In 2015, de Castries became president of the French think tank Institut Montaigne, focusing on strengthening social cohesion and reinvigorating the European project.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is chair of the Board of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. She is also the chair of the African Risk Capacity. She is senior advisor at Lazard and serves on the boards of Twitter Inc., Standard Chartered Bank PLC, and Lumos. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala served as Nigeria’s finance minister for seven years (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) and briefly as foreign minister (2006), the first female to hold both positions. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the number 2 position of managing director. She is a distinguished visiting fellow at both the Brookings Institution and Center for Global Development. She is also co-chair of the Global Commission on Economy and Climate. Among numerous honors, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has been recognized as Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World (2014) and Fortune’s 50 Greatest World Leaders (2015).
Deven Parekh is a managing director at Insight Partners, a New York City-based global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software companies. He is a global investor who actively works with investments in the United States, Europe, China, and Latin America. In 2019, Parekh was selected as a Top 100 Venture Capitalist by CB Insights, and he was selected for the Forbes Midas list from 2014-2018, a ranking of the world’s most successful tech investors. He serves as board chair for a number of software companies, including Appriss, EveryAction, and Bullhorn. Parekh also served as a member of the Carnegie’s Global Council, and he was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2016 to be on the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Board.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein was recently the United Nations high commissioner for Human Rights, stepping down in August of 2018 after four years in the position. He was the sixth high commissioner to lead the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the first Asian, Muslim, and Arab to do so. A veteran multilateral diplomat, he was previously Jordan’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, a post he held from September 2010 until July 2014, and also from 2000 to 2007. He served as the 18th ambassador of Jordan to the United States from 2007-2010 and as Jordan’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, with the rank of ambassador, from 1996 to 2000. He spent two years as a political affairs officer for UNPROFOR, the United Nations Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia, before starting his diplomatic career.
“From Africa to Europe, and the Middle East to South Asia and the United States, this group of distinguished public servants and entrepreneurs will further strengthen Carnegie’s already remarkable Board of Trustees,” said Carnegie President William J. Burns. “I feel fortunate to count on their advice and partnership at a critical moment for Carnegie and the world.”
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