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About the Davos Panel Spokespersons

Carol Bellamy
Executive Director, UNICEF

Carol Bellamy assumed office as the fourth Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with the rank of Under-Secretary-General, on 1 May 1995. In September 1999, the Secretary-General of the United Nations announced Ms. Bellamy’s reappointment to a second term effective May 2000-April 2005. In her second term Ms. Bellamy will continue to work to ensure the rights of all children and to focus global attention on the emerging challenges of HIV/AIDS, increasing conflict and poverty.

At the start of her first term, Ms. Bellamy’s priorities were to modernise and streamline UNICEF so that the organisation’s work for children would be efficient, effective and focused. This process, which included a comprehensive restructuring, has led to strengthened decentralisation and management which has enhanced UNICEF’s capacity to work for the protection of children’s rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF has also reinforced its capacity to assist national partners to achieve the goals that were set by the 1990 World Summit for Children. These goals cover all aspects of the care of children world wide, including the provision of primary health care and education and of protection from neglect, abuse and want.

Ms. Bellamy has placed particular emphasis on the need to make rapid progress to ensure that all children survive and develop and that even the most disadvantaged enjoy their right to a basic quality education. She has also stressed the need for strong protection measures for children in areas of conflict, against abuse, neglect and exploitative child work.

Prior to joining UNICEF, Ms. Bellamy was Director of the United States Peace Corps. She was the first returned volunteer to serve as head of the Peace Corps, (she served in Guatemala from 1963-1965), a service organisation with 7,000 volunteers in more than 90 countries. Ms. Bellamy has had a distinguished career in law and finance. She served as a managing director of Bear Stearns & Co. from 1990 to 1993. She was a principal at Morgan Stanley and Co. from 1986 to 1990 and worked as an associate at Cravath, Swaine and Moore from 1968-1971.

Ms. Bellamy has worked extensively in the public sector, including five years in the New York State Senate (1973-1977). In 1978, she became the first woman President of the New York City Council, a position she held until 1985.

Ms. Bellamy graduated in law from New York University in 1968. She is a former Fellow of the Institute of Politics of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an honorary member of Phi Alpha Alpha, the U.S. National Honor Society for Accomplishment and Scholarship in Public Affairs and Administration. Ms. Bellamy graduated from Gettysburg College in 1963. She was born on 14 January 1942.


Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland
Director-General, World Health Organization

Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland is the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). She was elected by the World Health Assembly and assumed office on 21 July 1998.

A medical doctor and Master of Public Health (MPH), Gro Harlem Brundtland spent 10 years as a physician and scientist in the Norwegian public health system. For more than 20 years, she was in public office, ten of them as Prime Minister. In the 1980s, she gained international recognition, championing the principle of sustainable development as the chair of the World Commission of Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission).

Dr. Brundtland began her political career at an early age. Born in Oslo, Norway in 1939, by the age of seven she was enrolled as a member of the Norwegian Labour Movement in its children’s section and has been a member ever since, leading the Labour Party to election victory three times.

Dr. Brundtland won a scholarship to the Harvard School of Public Health. There, Dr. Brundtland’s vision of health extending beyond the confines of the medical world into environment issues and human development began to take shape.

Returning to Oslo and the Ministry of Health in 1965, Dr. Brundtland worked on children’s health issues, including breastfeeding, cancer prevention and other diseases. She worked in the children’s department of the National Hospital and Oslo City Hospital and became director of Health Services for Oslo’s schoolchildren.

In 1981, at the age of 41, she was appointed Prime Minister of Norway for the first time. She was the youngest person and the first woman ever to hold this office in Norway. She was re-appointed to two other terms and finally stepped down as Prime Minister in October 1996.

Throughout her political career, Dr. Brundtland has developed a growing concern for issues of global significance. In 1983, the then United Nations Secretary-General invited her to establish and chair the World Commission of Environment and Development. The Commission, which is best known for developing the broad political concept of sustainable development, published its report Our Common Future in April 1987. The Commission’s recommendations led to the Earth Summit-the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.


William H. Gates, III
Co-founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Co-founder, Chairman, Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation

William (Bill) H. Gates is co-founder, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mr. Gates, and his wife Melinda, have endowed the Foundation with more than $17 billion to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that as we move into the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people. Since its inception the Foundation has given more than $2 billion to initiatives such as the Gates Millennium Scholars program, a $50 million annual commitment for the next 20 years to bring access to a college education for minority students who otherwise would not be able to attend, a grant of $100 million to establish the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program, and a $750 million commitment to the Vaccine Fund, to help pay for vaccine for children in the world’s poorest nations.

Born on October 28, 1955, Mr. Gates began his career in personal computer software, programming computers at age 13. He entered Harvard University in 1973 and began developing the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer - the MITS Altair. In his junior year, Mr. Gates dropped out of Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the personal computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers.

Microsoft is now the world’s premier software provider. Under Mr. Gates’ leadership, Microsoft’s mission is to continually advance and improve software technology and to make it easier, more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers. The company is committed to a long-term view, reflected in its investment of more than $3 billion on research and development in the current fiscal year.

In 1999, Mr. Gates wrote Business @ the Speed of Thought, a book that shows how digital processes can solve business problems in fundamentally new ways. Co-authored by Collins Hemingway, the book was published in 25 languages and is available in more than 60 countries. Business @ the Speed of Thought has received wide critical acclaim and was listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal. His previous book, The Road Ahead, published in 1995, held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times’ bestseller list for seven weeks. Mr. Gates has donated the proceeds of both books to non-profit organizations that support the use of technology in education and skills development.

Mr. Gates was married on Jan. 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates. The couple have two children.


James D. Wolfensohn
President, World Bank Group

James D. Wolfensohn, the World Bank Group’s ninth President since 1946, established his career as an international investment banker with a parallel involvement in development issues and the global environment.

Since becoming president on June 1, 1995, he has traveled to more than 100 countries to gain first-hand experience of the challenges facing the World Bank, and its 181 member countries. He also helped initiate, together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1996, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) as the first comprehensive debt reduction program to address the needs of the world’s poorest, which includes most heavily indebted countries.

On September 27, 1999, Mr. Wolfensohn was unanimously reappointed by the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors to a second five-year term as president beginning June 1, 2000. This will make him the third president in World Bank history to serve a second term.

As an international investment banker, Mr. Wolfensohn’s last position was as president and chief executive officer of James D. Wolfensohn Inc., an investment firm he set up in 1981 to advise major U.S. and international corporations. He relinquished his interests in the firm upon joining the World Bank. Mr. Wolfensohn has held a series of senior positions in finance, including executive partner of Salomon Brothers in New York, and senior positions with Schroders Ltd. in London, J. Henry Schroders Banking Corporation in New York, and Darling & Co. of Australia.

Throughout his career, Mr. Wolfensohn has also closely involved himself in a wide range of cultural and volunteer activities, especially in the performing arts. Currently, he is chairman of the Board of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University and serves as chairman emeritus of Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Wolfensohn has been president of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies, director of the Business Council for Sustainable Development, and served both as chairman of the Finance Committee and director of the Rockefeller Foundation and of the Population Council, and as member of the Board of Rockefeller University. He is an honorary trustee of the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association in New York.

In May 1995, he was awarded an Honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the arts. Mr. Wolfensohn has also been decorated by the Governments of Australia, France, Germany, Morocco, and Norway.

Born in Australia in December 1933, Mr. Wolfensohn is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He holds BA and LLB degrees from the University of Sydney and a MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He and his wife, Elaine, have three children.

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