Helle Thorning-Schmidt Keynote Speaker
- Prime Minister of Denmark (2011 – 2015)
- Co-Chair of the Facebook Oversight Board
- Member of the European Parliament (1999-2014)
Helle Thorning-Schmidt's Biography
Helle Thorning-Schmidt was the 26th Prime Minister of Denmark (2011- 2015) – she was the first woman to hold this role in Danish history. Prior to her Premiership, she was a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004 and was elected leader of the Social Democrats in the Danish Parliament in 2005.
Following the 2011 Danish General Election, she formed a coalition government, pursuing a centrist compromise agenda, successfully steering Denmark through a difficult period of transition after the global financial crisis. Less than three weeks after taking office she presided over the successful conclusion of NATO’s strike missions in Libya, to which Denmark was a contributor. Although her party increased it’s share of the vote and seats in the 2015 General Election, her coalition partners lost enough support to compromise her Government’s position and she therefore resigned as Prime Minister.
On leaving Politics, Helle became the CEO of Save the Children International, where she led the Charity’ growth to become an organisation that works in over 120 countries to reach 55 million children every year. Save the Children has 25,000 staff, working in some of the most difficult and challenging contexts in the world, and an annual budget of over 2 billion USD.
Throughout her career Helle has been deeply engaged with a range of significant national, European and global issues. She now contributes her insights and expertise, as a board member to several influential international advisory groups and think-tanks, including:-
The European Council for Foreign Relations, the International Crisis Group, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the Every Woman, Every Child Global Strategy UN Advisory Group, the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and the Centre for Global Development European Advisory Group.
Since 2020, Thorning-Schmidt has served as a Co-Chair of the Facebook Oversight Board. Additionally, she was appointed by the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe to serve as a member of the Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development, chaired by Mario Monti.