NEW YORK CITY: Today Asia Society announced the appointment of Josette Sheeran, the vice chairperson of the World Economic Forum (WEF), as the seventh president and chief executive officer of the institution. Sheeran will assume office on June 10.
“Josette Sheeran is a proven executive with a long and successful record of global leadership, and far-reaching diplomatic experience with the nations of Asia,” Asia Society Board Co-Chairs Henrietta Fore and Ronnie Chan said in a joint statement.
“We are delighted that she will be Asia Society’s next president at this time of continued
growth for our organization,” they added.
At the WEF, which hosts the annual Davos and Davos in China gathering of world leaders, Sheeran has helped advance global initiatives, regional and industry agendas such as Grow Africa, which has attracted $4 billion in investment commitments to end hunger and malnutrition in the continent. This spring, she also served at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Fisher Fellow in the Future of Diplomacy.
“I would like to thank Josette on behalf of the World Economic Forum for her achievements in transforming the Forum into an even more essential player in Global society,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.
Prior to her tenure at the WEF, Sheeran was executive director of the United Nations
World Food Program, appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006. There she was responsible for managing the world’s largest humanitarian organization, leading a team of 13,000 people in more than 70 countries, and managing an annual budget of more than $3 billion—including $1 billion in Asia.
Under Sheeran’s leadership, the WFP increased its donor base to more than 100 nations, and became the first global institution to include the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the gulf states among its top 10 donors.
In 2011, Forbes named Sheeran the world’s 30th most powerful woman; Foreign Policy has listed her among its top 100 women on Twitter; and Sheeran’s TED Talk on ending world hunger has been viewed more than one million times.