Secretary General, OECD
MA Development Economics
MA Development Economics 1974; Honorary Doctorate of Laws 2010
Dr Angel Gurría has served as Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 2006. Born in Mexico, Angel Gurría graduated with a MA in Development Economics from the University of Leeds in 1974.
Under his leadership, the OECD has helped governments around the world foster prosperity and fight poverty, reinforcing its role as a hub for global dialogue on economic policy issues whilst pursuing internal reform. During this time the OECD has expanded its membership to include Chile, Estonia, Israel, and Slovenia and opened accession talks with Colombia, Costa Rica, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as strengthening links with other major emerging economies with a view towards possible membership.
The OECD is now an active participant in both the G-7 and the G-20 Summit processes and as Secretary-General Dr Angel Gurría has launched high-profile initiatives in the domains of innovation, green growth, gender, development, and skills.
Before taking up his current position he had a distinguished career in Mexican politics, as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1994–97) and Minister of Finance and Public Credit (1998-2000).
Dr Angel Gurría has participated in various international not-for-profit bodies, including the Population Council in New York and the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. He chaired the International Task Force on Financing Water for All and continues to be deeply involved in water issues through his membership on the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Board and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of Governors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada and was the first recipient of the Globalist of the Year Award from the Canadian International Council, honoring his efforts as a global citizen to promote transnationalism, inclusiveness, and global consciousness. He is also a member of the advisory board for the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) and was recently appointed as a member of the Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Sciences of Spain. Further, he has served as a commissioner for the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which leverages broadband technologies as a key enabler for social and economic development.
Dr Angel Gurría has shared his experience to our alumni presenting our inaugural Leeds University Business School alumni lecture. His lecture on ‘Building a sustainable recovery: The OECD experience’ concluded that “Change is always possible, but we need new ideas to propel it. As decision-makers, we need to keep tuned and updated to the effervescence of ideas of institutions like the University of Leeds, our alma mater; we have to constantly upgrade our conceptual framework.
“I am pretty confident that by sharing knowledge, promoting innovative policies and more inclusive multilateral cooperation, we can turn these trends around and help our children read the poem by Jonathan Read backwards and say: “I can change the world, and I refuse to believe that, I am part of a lost generation.”
In 2015 Dr Gurría was recognised by leading accreditation body AACSB as part of the Influential Leaders Awards.