Ana Palacio is an international lawyer and founder of Palacio y Asociados (Madrid, Brussels, and Washington DC), a law firm specializing in European and International Law, and arbitration.
She serves on the Consejo de Estado del Reino de España (Council of State) – the supreme consultative body to the Spanish Government on legislation and regulation. Palacio sits on the corporate board of Pharmamar (biotech), Enagás (Spain’s leading natural gas transmission company and Technical Manager of the Spanish gas system), and AEE Power (energy infrastructures); she is a member of the European Advisory Committee of Investcorp (a world-leading manager of alternative investments), and the International Advisory Board of Office Chérifien des Phosphates -OCP- (fertilizers); and a member of the Governing Council of the Instituto de Empresa (business school).
Palacio serves on the Executive Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States as well as on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Human Sciences. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council and participates on the governing bodies of several research centers and public institutions, among them the Scientific Council of the Real Instituto Elcano, the Conseil d’Orientation et de Réflexion de l’Assurance de France (CORA), and the Board of Visitors of the MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is a recurrent participant and speaker at international conferences and fora. Between 1994 and 2002, Ms. Palacio was a Member of the European Parliament, where she chaired the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee, the Citizens Rights, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, as well as the Committee of Committee Chairs. She participated as member of the Presidium of the Convention for the Future of Europe (2001-2003) in the debate and drafting of the European Constitution.
In 2002, Palacio became the first woman to serve as Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain (2002-2004). As a Member of the Cortes (the Spanish Parliament), she chaired the Joint Committee of the two Houses (Congreso de los Diputados and Senado) for European Union Affairs (2004-2006). She further served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group, as well as Secretary-General of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes – ICSID- (2006-2008). She holds degrees in law, political science, and sociology. She has received numerous awards and decorations, including Officer at the Order of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Georgetown University and the 2016 Sandra Day O’Connor Justice Prize acknowledging extraordinary contributions to the rule of law.