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Børge Brende

President, World Economic Forum

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Børge Brende is the President of the World Economic Forum and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway. From 2011 until becoming FM he was a managing director at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. From 2009-2011 Brende was Secretary General of Red Cross Norway. Brende has been a Cabinet Minister of the Environment (2001-2004) and a Cabinet Minister of Trade and Industry (2004-05). Brende was Chairman of the UN Commission of Sustainable Development (2003-04). He has been the Chairman of Mesta, Norway’s largest contracting group in the area of road and highway maintenance. He was also a member of the board of Statoil. By revenue Statoil is ranked by Fortune Magazine as the world's 13th largest oil and gas company, and the largest company in the Nordic region by revenue, profit and market capitalization. Brende was a Member of the Norwegian Parliament (1997-2007), the last period as Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee on Energy and Environment. Since 2005, Brende was International Vice-Chairman of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (an advisory board to the State Council). Brende was the deputy chairman of the Conservative party from 1994-98. Brende has also been the chairperson of the International Network of Political Leaders Promoting Democracy in Burma - and a Member of the Board of Aid to Afghanistan. As Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Brende improved the framework conditions for trade and industry, and for innovation and development. By the end of his term in office, funding for innovation had increased by 30%. As a minister of the Environment he was in charge of an increase of the national park area of Norway of more than 50%. As Secretary General of Norwegian Red Cross Brende was leading two of the largest relief operations in the societie's history; in Haiti and Pakistan. As background, Brende has a BA in Economics, Law and History from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.