Global Advisory Board

Jose Maria AznarPresident José Maria Aznar is a practicing lawyer and the Executive President of The Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis. He became President of Spain in 1996, following the electoral victory of the Partido Popular. With the party’s subsequent electoral victory in the year 2000, this time with an absolute majority, he led the country again for a new term. His time as President lasted until the elections of 2004, when he voluntarily chose not to run for office again.

Throughout his two terms as President of the Government he led an important process of economic and social reform. Thanks to various liberalisation processes and the introduction of measures to promote competition, along with budgetary controls, rationalised public spending and tax reductions, almost 5 million jobs were created in Spain. The Spanish GDP figure grew each year by more than 2%, at an average of 3.4% in fact, featuring an aggregate increase of 64% over eight years. Throughout this period, Spain’s average income increased from 78% to 87% of the average income of the European Union. The public deficit decreased from an alarming 6% of GDP to a balanced budget. Furthermore, the first two reductions on the income tax that democratic Spain has ever known took place during his two terms in office. He is the Honorary Chairman of the Partido Popular, a party he chaired between 1990 and 2004. Until the year 2006 he was the Chairman of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI) and Vice-Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU), the two international organisations that bring together the parties of the Centre, along with Liberals, Christian Democrats and Conservatives throughout the world.

José María Aznar graduated in law at the Universidad Complutense. He qualified as an Inspector of State Finances in 1975. He was Distinguished Scholar at the University of Georgetown from 2004 to 2011. He is a well published author and has been awarded several honorary doctorate degrees.


Amir Ben YammedAmir Ben Yahmed is the Managing Director and co-owner of family-owned the Jeune Afrique Group, one of Africa’s largest media companies.

Since 1960, Jeune Afrique Group has been a force in the African media industry, covering African politics and business, grooming generations of African journalists and spawning its reach into various media interests

Jeune Afrique Group’s operations include Jeune Afrique Weekly, The Africa report monthly, Events organisation, book publishing interests, television production and other media interests

Amir Ben Yahmed is also the President of the Africa CEO Forum which under the patronage of the African Development Bank, gathers every year more than 700 hundreds participants including most of Africa’s top CEO’s.

Now in its third edition, The Africa CEO forum has become the largest international event dedicated to the promotion of the African private sector.


Jim O’NeillJim O’Neill is Chairman of the Cities Growth Commission in the UK, launched in October 2013. He also chairs the economic advisory board to the Greater Manchester Local Authority

He is the Honorary Chair of Economics at Manchester University. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the international economic think tank, Bruegel, and on the economic advisory board to the IFC, the investing arm of the World Bank. .

Jim worked for Goldman Sachs from 1995 until April 2013, spending most of his time there as Chief Economist.

Jim is the creator of the acronym “BRIC” and has conducted much research about these and other emerging economies. He has published various books on the topic, and made a documentary series for the BBC entitled MINT: The Next Economic Giants. He writes frequently on these and many other international economic and financial topics, including regular columns for Bloomberg as well as the Daily Telegraph in the UK.

He is one of the founding trustees of the UK educational charity, SHINE. Jim also serves on the Advisory Board of the Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF), and is on the boards of the Sutton Trust, Teach for All and a number of other charities specialising in education. In September 2013, Jim became a Non-Executive Director of the UK Government’s Department for Education.

Jim earned   BA and MA degrees in economics from Sheffield University in 1978 and a PhD from the University of Surrey in 1982. He received an honorary doctorate from the Institute of Education, University of London, in 2009 for his educational philanthropy, and also an honorary degree from City University, London in 2014 for his contribution to global banking and finance.


Matthew_BishopMatthew Bishop is the US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist. Mr. Bishop was previously the magazine’s London-based Business Editor.

He is the author of several books, including most recently an e-book, “In Gold We Trust? The Future of Money in an Age of Uncertainty”, with Michael Green. Mr. Bishop is the author of several of The Economist’s special report supplements, including most recently The Great Mismatch, about the future of jobs; A Bigger World, which examines the opportunities and challenges of the rise of emerging economies and firms; The Business of Giving, which looks at the industrial revolution taking place in philanthropy; Kings of Capitalism, which anticipated and analysed the boom in private equity; and Capitalism and its Troubles, an examination of the impact of problems such as the collapse of Enron. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Role of Business.


Tandeka NkiwaneTandeka C. Nkiwane is Special Advisor to the CEO of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, a technical body of the African Union. Prof. Tandeka Nkiwane is a South African political scientist and director of the Development Research Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has served as Research Professor and Chair of the Programme on African Intellectuals at the University of South Africa, and she has taught at several universities in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the United States. An expert in international relations, international political economy and regional economic integration in Africa, Prof. Nkiwane is also a passionate advocate of women’s rights globally.