Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was the 4th, and 1st female, President of Croatia (2015-2020), with broad national and international experience in politics, diplomacy, geopolitics, and security studies. During her career as an elected official and in national and international civil service, among others, she was elected a Member of the Croatian Parliament (2003), and served as Croatia’s first female Minister of Foreign Affairs (2003-2008) and Ambassador to the United States, co-accredited to Mexico, Panama and the Organization of American States (2008-2011), as well as the first female Assistant Secretary General and member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Senior Leadership (2011-2014).
Currently, she is a co-Chair of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), convened by the WHO and the World Bank, to provide independent monitoring and high-level political advocacy to ensure system-wide accountability and strengthen global preparedness for pandemics and other health emergencies. She is an Executive in Residence at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management and a geopolitical expert. She was a visiting fellow at the Sine Institute of Policy and Politics at American University in Washington DC in 2021 and at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame in October 2022.
She was elected an independent member of the International Olympic Committee in 2020 and appointed Chair of the Future Hosts Commission for the Games of the Olympiad. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Friends of Europe. She also serves as a Member of the High-Level Advisory Council for the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), a member of the International Advisory Board of the US Atlantic Council, a member of the Concordia Leadership Council, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Friends of Europe think tank, member of the International Advisory Council of the GLOBSEC Policy Institute and of its Advisory Board for the Future Security and Defence Council, and Ukraine Support Group, member of the Board of Directors of Halifax International Security Forum, Women Political Leaders (WPL) Global Ambassador on Immunization, and chair emerita of the Council of Women World Leaders.
Parallel to her diplomatic and political careers, she has pursued an academic career in government, international relations, and security studies at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy (1994-1995), George Washington University (2002-2003), Harvard University (2009), Johns Hopkins University (2011), and the University of Zagreb. She is a recipient of the 2019 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement award for her “remarkable contributions as a leader, diplomat, and public servant,” the George Washington University President’s medal, and several other national and international awards, decorations, recognitions, honorary doctorates and honorary citizenships.