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Maria Livanos Cattaui was Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) from 1996 through June 2005. Mrs. Cattaui championed the role of world business in the global economy. She placed ICC at the vanguard of international policy making on trade and investment, protection of intellectual property, the information society, as well as other vital issues for business. Mrs. Cattaui was instrumental in establishing an innovative global partnership between ICC and the United Nations. The partnership has led to greater business input into UN economic activities. She has been closely involved in placing business know-how and experience at the disposal of developing countries in attracting foreign direct investment.
Before joining the International Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Cattaui was with the World Economic Forum in Geneva for nearly two decades. She rose to become Managing Director, responsible for the annual meeting in Davos, which she was instrumental in building up into the world’s foremost gathering of leaders.
She is Vice Chairman of the International Crisis Group (Brussels). She holds Board and Advisory Board Memberships on the EastWest Institute (New York), the Institute of International Education (New York), the International Youth Foundation (Baltimore), the Schulich School of Business (York University, Toronto), the Elliott School of International Affairs (George Washington University, Washington, DC).
Mrs. Cattaui, who is of Swiss nationality and Greek origin, was educated in the United States. She is an honors graduate of Harvard University. During her early career, she was engaged in writing and research, then editorial supervision and planning with Encyclopedia Britannica, and with Time-Life Books. She was also a freelance editor and writer of books, speeches and articles.