Javier Solana

Secretary General of NATO & EU High Commissioner.

Javier Solana is a highly distinguished European politician who has held high office as both European Union foreign policy chief and secretary general of NATO For the past decade he has been a familiar face on the European stage as the EU high representative for foreign affairs.

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Speaker Profile

About Javier Solana

  • Former Spanish minister of Foreign Affairs
  • His experience affords him unparalleled insight into international affairs, security and defence.
  • Secretary General of NATO (1995-1999)
  • High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU (1999-2009)

Speaking Style

Academic and formal

Praised as a great diplomat and consensus builder Javier Solana has a wealth of international experience and knowledge to share with his audience.

Javier Solana began his long career in public service in 1982 when he was first elected to the Spanish Parliament. He held many posts over 13 years, serving as minister of culture, education and of science before becoming Spains minister for Foreign affairs.

In 1995 he was appointed Secretary General of NATO where he is credited with bringing much-needed re-organization and revitalization to the organizations military structure.

As a European politician, one of his greatest successes was in Macedonia in 2001, where his actions calmed the country which was on the verge of civil war and he played an important role in negotiations around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During his tenure he launched 23 civil or military operations including in the Balkans, Africa, Georgia and Indonesia and assumed a vital leadership role in world affairs as the EU's de facto foreign minister.

He believes strongly that Europeans need to work more than ever toward integration or find themselves surpassed by emerging countries in terms of technological development, job creation, production costs, talent, and creativity.

Javier Solana is now president of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics where he works on Spanish Security Strategy and is a distinguished fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is a frequent and trusted commentator, writing on a huge range of global issues. He is also a frequent speaker at the prestigious U.S. based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Other posts he holds include; chairman of the Aspen Institute Espaa, honorary president of the Centre for Human Dialogue, member of the board of the International Crisis Group, the European Council on Foreign Relations, Human Rights Watch and senior visiting professor at the London School of Economics.

Dr. Solana spent six years as a Fulbright Scholar in the United States and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Virginia.

Major awards and honors

  • The Grand Cross of the Order of Isabel la Catlica
  • Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
  • the Order of St Michael and St George,  
  • the Grand Cross Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • The French Legion of Honor and the European Carlos V Award
  • He has been honoured as the Statesman of the Year from the East West Institute in New York and has also been awarded the prestigious Charlemagne Prize.

Speaking Topics

  • The new world order
  • The Effects of Globalization
  • Leadership
  • The Challenges to Global Security
  • Transatlantic co-operation
  • Relations between Europe and the United States
  • The Role of Europe in the Global Constitution


"He is an extraordinary consensus-builder who works behind the scenes with leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure that NATO is united when it counts." - U.S. ambassador to NATO Alexander Vershbow

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