Vaira Vike-Freiberga played a significant role in achieving membership in the EU and NATO for her country and was Special Envoy on UN reform. Vice-chair of the Reflection group on the long-term future of Europe, and chair of the High-level group on freedom and pluralism of media in the EU in 2011-12. Member of two High-level groups on European security and defense in 2015, and of the High-level Team of Advisors to the UN ECOSOC on UN development in 2016. Co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center.
Dr. Vike-Freiberga is a member, board member or patron of 30 international organizations and five Academies; Honorary Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University. She has published extensively and is much in demand as speaker. Recipient of many Awards, Orders of Merit and Honorary Doctorates.
Born in Riga, she started her schooling in refugee camps in Germany, then lived in Morocco and Canada, obtaining a Ph.D. at McGill University (1965). After a distinguished career as Professor of psychology and international scholar at the University of Montreal, she returned to her native country in 1998 to head the Latvian Institute. Less than a year later she was elected President by the Latvian Parliament and re-elected in 2003.