President of the World Leadership Alliance Club of Madrid; former President of Latvia
Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga has been the President of the World Leadership Alliance Club of Madrid since 2014 and is former President of Latvia (1999-2007). She was instrumental in achieving membership in the European Union and NATO for her country, and was Special Envoy on UN reform among her international activities. Since 2007, she is an oft invited speaker on social issues, moral values, and democracy. She was Vice-chair of the Reflection group on the long term future of Europe, and chaired the High-level group on freedom and pluralism of media in the EU.
Having left Latvia as a child refugee to Germany in 1945, then French Morocco and Canada, she earned a Ph.D. in psychology (1965) at McGill University. After a distinguished career as Professor at the University of Montreal, she returned to her native country in 1998 to head the Latvian Institute.A year later she was elected President by the Latvian Parliament and re-elected in 2003.
She is member of four Academies, and Board member or patron of 30 international organizations, including the Board of Thinkers of the Boston Global Forum. She has received many highest Orders of Merit, as well as medals and awards, for distinguished work in the humanities and social sciences. She has published 14 books and authored over 200 articles, book chapters, reports, and audiovisual materials.