José Manuel Barroso – Keynote Speaker

Former President EU-Commission and Former Prime Minister Portugal

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Specialist Subjects

  • Building Global Confidence
  • Future of Europe
  • Societal Trends
  • European Union
  • International Trade


  • Spanish


José Manuel Barroso is the Former President of the European Commission and the Former Prime Minister of Portugal.

In 1999, Barroso was elected president of the Portugese Social Democratic Party and became the leader of the opposition. In 2002, he was elected Prime Minister of Portugal and in 2004 he was nominated as President of the European Commission. Barroso remained in the Presidency for two five-year terms where he played an influential role in the passing of the Treaty of Lisbon, responding to the financial crisis and incorporating new members in the European Union, as the EU went from 15 to 28 countries between 2004 and 2014.

On behalf of the EU, José Manuel Barroso received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 and gave the acceptance speech together with the President of the European Council.

Since 2016 he is Non-Executive Chairman of Goldman Sachs International and Advisor to Goldman Sachs and since 2021 José Manuel Barroso is Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Gavi is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunization in poor countries, supporting the immunization of almost half the world’s children.

Barroso’s academic positions included visiting professor at Georgetown University. Most recently, he was visiting professor of International Economic Policy and a policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School, at Princeton University.

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