Leterme, Piñera, Ribas-Reig, Rudd and Thinley, new Members of the Club de Madrid

With these new five appointments the Club de Madrid overpass the 100 Members mark and reach a total of 102 from every continent and political orientation working pro-bono to strengthen democratic values and institutions all over the world

The Club de Madrid’s General Assembly, recently gathered in Florence, has elected five new Members; Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium (2009-2011); Oscar RibasReig, Prime Minister of Andorra (1982-1984; 1990-1994); Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile (2010-2014); Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2010, 2013) and John Tingley, Prime Minister of Bhutan (2008-2013).

With these new five appointments the Club de Madrid overpass the 100 Members mark and reach a total of 102 from every continent and political orientation working pro-bono to strengthen democratic values and institutions all over the world. The Club de Madrid is an independent non-profit organization that responds to a growing demand for support to address a number of challenges in democratic governance by providing the experience and valuable leadership of its Members.

New Club de Madrid Members’ biographies


Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium (2009-2011)

Date and Place of Birth: 6 October, 1960, Wervik (Belgium)

Education: Bachelor’s of Laws at the Catholic University of Leuven (1981); BSc in Political Sciences (1983) Masters of Laws (1984) and Master of Public Administration (1985) all from Ghent University; Diploma from the Centre for International Federalism Studies (Nice, 1984)

Leterme was the Prime Minister of Belgium from March 2008 to December 2008 and again from 2009-2011. He has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Budget, Institutional Reforms, Transport and the North Sea in the Belgian federal government. He is a former Minister-President of Flanders and Flemish Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. Mr. Leterme became an administrator with the European Union in 1992 and worked in the European Parliament for five years. Later, as Minister-President of Flanders, he remained closely connected with European affairs, inter alia as a regular participant in the Agriculture Council meetings.


Oscar Rigas-Reig, Prime Minister of Andorra (1982-1984; 1990-1994)

Date and Place of Birth: 1 December, 1949 Santiago de Chile (Chile)

Education: graduated from the University of Barcelona with a degree in Law (1959)

Óscar Ribas-Reig was the first prime minister of Andorra. He twice served as head of government, firstly from 1982-1984 as leader of the National Liberal Party and then from 1990-1994 with the National Democratic Agreement Party. Under his leadership Andorra became part of the UN. Ribas announced when he was elected that he would concentrate on fiscal and tax reforms. He is also credited for improving tourism in the country. In 1992 Ribas resigned after his efforts to introduce a new constitution securing civil human rights were blocked by the conservatives. He has served as Honorary Chairman of Andorra Banc Agricol Reig SA (also known as Andbanc Grup Agricole Reig) and as the Chairman of Andorra Banc Agricol Reig SA.


Sebastián Piñera President of Chile (2010-2014)

Date and Place of Birth: 26 October, 1936, Saint Julià de Lòria (Andorra)

Education: Piñera graduated with a degree in Economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 1971. He then went on to study at Harvard University on a partial Fulbright Program, where he graduated with both a Master’s and a PhD in Economics.

Sebastián Piñera was a Professor of Economics and Economic Political Theory at various educational institutions from 1971 until 1988.

 In 1989 he created the Enterprising Women Foundation (Fundación Mujer Emprende), aiming to assist women of lower-income. Then in 1993 he created the Fundación Futuro, whose mission is to assist in the development of justice, freedom, and democracy within Chile, and following Piñera’s presidential election win, the foundation was renamed the Fundación Cultura y Sociedad. Within that foundation the Grupo Tantauco was created with the mission of environmental protection, which currently runs the Tantauco Park, owned by Piñera, with the goal of protecting 118,000 hectares of the unique ecosystem of the region. Piñera has also been a successful business man, with significant investments in Chilevisión, LAN Airlines, Colo-_Colo, as well as Quiñenco, Enersis, and Soquimich. In the late 1970s he was responsible for the introduction of credit cards to Chile. In 2005 Piñera announced his initial candidacy for the 2005 presidential election, and was ultimately elected in January of 2010. He served as President of Chile from March 11, 2010 until March 11, 2014. 


Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2010, 2013)

Date and Place of birth: 21 September, 1957, Nambour, Queensland (Australia)

Education: BA in Asian Studies from Australian National University

Kevin Rudd was twice Prime Minister of Australia, from 2007-2010, and again in 2013. He served as leader of the Australian Labor Party from 2006-2010. The Rudd Government’s first acts included signing the Kyoto Protocol and delivering an apology to Indigenous Australians for the Stolen Generations. The previous government’s industrial relations legislation, WorkChoices, was largely dismantled, Australia’s remaining Iraq War combat personnel were withdrawn, and the “Australia 2020 Summit” was held. In response to the global financial crisis, the government provided economic stimulus packages, and Australia was one of the few developed countries to avoid the late-2000s recession. Following his first term as prime minister, Rudd was appointed minister for foreign affairs in the Gillard administration. In February 2014, he was named a SeniorFellow with John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Yigme Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan (2008-2013)

Date and Place of Birth: 9 September, 1952, Bumthang (Bhutan)

Education: Graduated from St Stephen’s College (New Delhi); MA in public administration at Pennsylvania State University; certificate in manpower planning and management at Manchester University

Yigme Yoser Thinley is the first elected Prime Minister of Bhutan, a position he held from 2008-2013. Before Bhutan’s transition to democracy in 2008, he held senior positions in the Department of Home Affairs, and was Bhutan’s Permanent Representative to the UN. He later became Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and also served two one-year terms as Prime Minister. During this period he was awarded the Red Scarf and also the Orange Scarf, and received the title of Dasho, which is roughly equivalent to a knighthood. The Thinley government oversaw the adoption of a new democratic constitution under which all government policy must be based on maximizing Gross National Happiness rather than Gross National Product.