Swansea University has today (30th September) announced the speakers who will participate during the opening day of the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Global Challenges Summit, which runs from 8th to 10th November.
Convened by Hillary Rodham Clinton and sponsored by the Welsh Government, the Summit brings together world-leading experts and inspirational thinkers to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing our society, including the climate crisis, global health, harnessing technology for good, and social justice. This year, the Summit’s theme is partnerships for a post-Covid world.
The first day features discussions led by Secretary Clinton with current and former world leaders, and will commence at 3pm on 8th November. Speakers include:
Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales since 2018. A former probation officer and youth justice worker, he has been a professor of Social Policy and Applied Social Sciences at Cardiff University, and also taught previously at Swansea University. Mark became a Member of the Senedd for Cardiff West in May 2011. Between 2013 and 2018, he held the Health, Local Government and Finance portfolios as a Minister in the Welsh Government. His leadership of Wales’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to his re-election in 2021, with the Welsh Labour party matching its best ever electoral performance.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who has served as the Prime Minister of Iceland since November 2017. Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir‘s coalition government has continued Iceland’s groundbreaking approach to addressing gender inequality and the economic exclusion of women. Her government has taken steps to end sexual and gender-based violence, and to extend shared parental leave for both parents. As Prime Minister she decided to serve as Minister for Gender Equality to ensure coherent action against all gender-based injustices. Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir’s government is also at the forefront of climate change policy and has committed to make Iceland carbon-neutral before 2040.
Tony Blair, Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As Prime Minister, he helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, securing the historic Good Friday Agreement in 1998. He was a passionate advocate of an interventionist foreign policy, created the Department for International Development, tripled the UK’s foreign aid to Africa, and introduced landmark legislation to tackle climate change.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who served as President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018, was the first elected female head of state in Africa. She is a renowned advocate for peace, justice and democratic rule, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work to bring women into the peacekeeping process. She led Liberia through the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak and is currently co-chair of the World Health Organisation’s Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
Alexander Stubb, who served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland (2008-2016). He was previously a Member of the European Parliament and was Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) from 2017 to 2020. He is currently Director of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute.
Also sharing her experiences on the opening day is Dana Strong, who became Group Chief Executive of Sky in 2021. Prior to her current role, Dana was President, Consumer Services for Comcast Cable, the largest broadband and PayTV operator in the United States. Sky have partnered with the Hillary Rodham Clinton Global Challenges programme at Swansea University since 2019, supporting three cohorts of scholars on the Global Challenges: Law, Policy and Practice master’s degree.
Secretary Clinton said:
“I am excited that, together with Swansea University, we are bringing together some of the world’s most knowledgeable, experienced and inspirational people in their fields to share their thoughts with us. I am very much looking forward to these discussions and hope they will provide a sense of optimism about what we can achieve together.”
Swansea University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Boyle, said:
“It is a privilege to be opening our inaugural Global Challenges Summit with such an impressive group of speakers, all of whom will be sharing their perspectives on how the world is changing and how – together – we can address some of our most urgent societal challenges.
"We will be announcing further, equally high-profile speakers over the next two weeks and are immensely grateful to our participants for giving their time and expertise, and for contributing to what promises to be a truly exciting and impactful global conference. We are also grateful to the Welsh Government for their generous support for this event.”
The Summit will take place virtually from 8th to 10th November 2021. All discussions and panels will be live streamed and free to attend.