Lara Birkes

Senior Fellow

Lara Birkes is a Senior Fellow at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and, concurrently, serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer at HPE. She was formerly the Director of Global Policy & Strategic Partnerships at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in Geneva where she led engagement with international organisations, governments and multilateral institutions.

Previously Lara was the Head of Strategic Initiatives with the World Economic Forum where she managed the Organization’s G20 initiative.  For over two years prior, she oversaw the Forum’s community of U.S. Government officials and led the Working Group on Trade and Climate Changeto assess the incorporation of environmental provisions into trade texts.  In 2011 she completed the Global Leadership Fellow (GLF) programme.

Lara has a varied background in public and private sector economic policy development. Prior to joining the Forum in 2008, she was a fellow in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Development Division. From 2005-2006 she served as a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco assessing the economic impact of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA.)  Between 2001- 2005, Lara worked in Washington DC as an International Economic Specialist with the law firm of Miller & Chevalier, proceeding work on Capitol Hill from 2001-2005 with the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance (Senator Max Baucus) and the Office of the Democratic Leader (Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.)

Lara holds a BS in International Business & Management from the University of Montana and an MA in International Trade Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California.

Opinion

8 March 2016
Last year ended with global consensus to combat climate change. And this year began with a framework for action, in Davos. A convergence of this magnitude is an invitation to reimagine the way public policy is co-created, how agreements are forged, and to unlock systems-change that reflects the...

Bridges news

3 November 2014
What kind of new economic models will be needed to meet the combined imperatives of poverty reduction, sustainable development, while making the shift to a low carbon future? The world will soon embark on a new sustainable development path. Through the planned conclusion of several multilateral...
18 June 2012
"Actions speak louder than words but not nearly as often." That was the contention of Samuel Clemens, America's celebrated author and humourist, known more widely by his pen name, Mark Twain. In the world's current multilateral context, his assertion remains poignantly accurate. Gathering this...