Ángel Gurría is a Mexican diplomat and economist. He served as Secretary General of OECD from 2006 to 2021. He is a world-known specialist in the fields of debt management and of development banking. Moreover, he has been a vocal spokesman in the fight against Climate Change and in defence of Biodiversity and the planet’s natural resources.
Born on May 8th, 1950, in Tampico, Mexico, Mr. Gurría holds a B.A. degree in Economics from UNAM (Mexico) and a M.A. degree in Economics from Leeds University (United Kingdom). He has received seven Honorary Degrees from Universities in Israel, Mexico, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom. Mr. Gurría’s distinguished career in public service in Mexico include positions such as Secretary of Foreign Affairs (1994-1997) and Secretary of Finance and Public Credit (1998-2000).
Mr Gurría has participated in various international not-for-profit bodies, including the Population Council, based in New York, and the Centre for Global Development based in Washington. He chaired the International Task Force on Financing Water for All and continues to be deeply involved in water issues, having been a member of the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Board for Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) and of the Global Council on Water Security. He recently received the Hassan II Prize from the World Water Council. He was also a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), based in Canada; the Advisory Board for the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF), co-hosted by Korea and Denmark, and was appointed as a member of the Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Sciences of Spain. He is presently a Member of the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum.
A regular contributor to some of the world’s leading newspapers and journals, Mr. Gurría has received awards and decorations from more than 30 countries, including the Grand Croix de la Légion d’Honneur, the highest honour awarded by the French Government. Mr. Gurría was the first recipient of the Globalist of the Year Award of the Canadian International Council to honour his efforts “as a global citizen to promote trans-nationalism, inclusiveness and a global consciousness”.
As OECD Secretary-General Mr Gurría firmly established the Organisation as a pillar of the global economic governance architecture including the G7, G20 and APEC, and as a reference point in the design and implementation of “Better Policies for Better Lives”. He broadened OECD’s membership with the accession of Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia, and has made the Organisation more inclusive by strengthening its links with key emerging economies. Under his watch, the OECD led the effort to reform the international tax system, and to improve public policies on education, health, digital, governance, anti-corruption and other fields. He also heralded a new growth narrative that promotes inclusiveness and the well-being of people – including the elderly, women and youth – . He scaled up OECD’s contribution to the global agenda, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. Mr Gurría steered the OECD through the COVID-19 Pandemic, keeping it going and supporting its Members and Partners with more than 200 pieces of original research and recommendations on all aspects of the crisis.
For the first time in a generation, he steered Mexico’s economy through a change of Administration without a recurrence of the financial crises that had previously dogged such changes.