ICC has announced the election of five new members to its 27-member Executive Board: Arancha González (Spain), Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Science Po Paris, Patricia Nzolantima (Democratic Republic of Congo), Founder and Chair of Bizzoly Holdings, Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu (Türkiye), President of TOBB, Chair of ICC Türkiye, Omolara Ololade Akanji (Nigeria), Former Director General Trade and Exchange at Central Bank of Nigeria, and Independent Director on the Board of Sterling Bank Plc and Interswitch, and Cameron McKenzie (Puerto Rico), President of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce.
The leaders were formally elected during the annual meeting of the ICC World Council on 20 June 2023. Each will serve a three-year term effective from 20 June 2023.
The recent additions to the ICC Executive Board bring further diversity with 48% women representation on the Board, a first for the organisation, surpassing its target of at least 40%. The new Executive Board also scores high on regional diversity with five members from Africa, five from the B-MENA region, eight from Europe, five from Asia and four from the Americas.
The Executive Board is responsible for developing and implementing ICC’s strategy, policy and programme of action as well as for overseeing the financial affairs of ICC. It is vested with all the necessary powers to fulfill these objectives.
During the World Council meeting Shinta Kamdani, CEO of Sintesa Group (Indonesia), Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani, Chairman of ICC Qatar (Qatar), Valentina Mintah, CEO of West Blue Consulting (Ghana), Dario Gallina, President of the Torino Chamber of Commerce (Italy) were all also elected to serve on the ICC Executive Board for a second term.
Outgoing Board members Sebastian Escarrer, Chair ICC Spain, and Patrick Obath, Chair ICC Kenya, have both completed their mandates as ICC Executive Board members.
Arancha González Laya
With extensive expertise in international relations, trade, and economics, Arancha González Laya has held several prominent positions throughout her career. She served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain from 2020 to 2021, and as the Assistant-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) from 2013 to 2019. Ms González has also worked at the European Commission, advising the European Commissioner for Trade, and at the World Trade Organization, serving as Chief of Staff to the Director-General and his representative at the G-20. She is currently the Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po in France and serves on several boards and councils.
Patricia Nzolantima is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and board member dedicated to empowering African women and girls. She has founded various companies, including Bizzoly Holdings and Bizzoly Transport & Logistics, with a focus on empowering women and promoting financial inclusion. Ms Nzolantima has extensive experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, branding, mentoring, and coaching. She has been recognised for her contributions and has received awards such as the YPO Global Impact Award and was featured in the Forbes Forty Under 40 Africa Economic Leaders.
Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu is the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB), the largest business organization in Türkiye and the former chair of the ICC World Chambers Federation. He is also the Chairman of Eskihisar Group Companies. Mr Hisarcıklıoğlu’s contributions to economic development and the business community have been recognised globally, with honorary doctorates and awards from governments and organisations worldwide. He has held prominent positions in various international and chamber organisations and has also received prestigious awards from several countries for his significant achievements in the business field.
Omolara Ololade Akanji
Omolara Ololade Akanji is a former director of the Central Bank of Nigeria, with a distinguished career spanning 35 years. She held various positions within the Central Bank, including Acting Director of Research and Director of Trade and Exchange. She is currently an Independent Director on the Board of Sterling Bank Plc and Interswitch. Ms Akanji is an accomplished author, with over 40 professional papers published in both domestic and foreign journals. She is actively involved in consulting and training on finance and trade finance matters. Additionally, she is a Vice-Chair of ICC Nigeria’s Banking Commission and serves as an independent director for Nigeria Spinners Company. Ms Akanji holds multiple degrees and certifications from esteemed institutions, including the University of Ibadan, the Harvard School of Government, and the IMF Institute.
Cameron McKenzie is the President of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce. With a track record in investment banking, strategic consulting, and corporate financial advisory services, he founded McKenzie & Associates LLC, an investment bank and advisory firm. He has worked on numerous confidential mergers and acquisitions, capital raises, and financial transactions across Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America. Mr McKenzie holds multiple certifications and licenses and has been recognised by industry associations for his achievements.
ICC Chair Maria Fernanda Garza said:
“The new members and leaders in their fields will undoubtedly be valuable additions to the current board, enriching it with their expertise in finance, trade, innovation, and their dedication to enhancing ICC’s work on digital trade and global commerce. ICC also thanks the outgoing Executive Board members, Sebastian Escarrer, Patrick Obath, for their contributions to the organisation throughout their respective tenures. We look forward to continuing our mission of promoting cross border commerce that fosters peace, prosperity and opportunity for all with the guidance and expertise of our new Board members and leaders.”