Javier Solana

Distinguished Fellow – Foreign Policy

Javier Solana is a distinguished fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings, president of ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics (Barcelona-Madrid), senior fellow at the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin), chairman of the Aspen Institute Spain, and advisor to the Institute of Modern International Relations of Tsinghua University. He is also member of the board of the International Crisis Group, the European Council on Foreign Relations, Criteria Caixa, La Caixa Banking Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Munich Security Conference, and the International Advisory Board of BP. In addition, he is visiting professor at the London School of Economics, where he was awarded an honorary degree in December 2010, and Fisher Family Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center. He is the former secretary general of NATO, European Union high representative for common foreign and security policy, and secretary-general of the Council of the European Union. At Brookings, he provides counsel on the research program and participates in policy debate.

Solana began his long career in public service when he was elected to the Spanish Parliament in 1982. He held a number of portfolios over the 13 years he served in the Spanish cabinet, including minister of culture and minister of education and science. In July 1992, he became Spain’s minister of foreign affairs, a post he held until December 1995, when he became NATO secretary general. At NATO, he is credited with bringing much-needed re-organization and revitalization to the organization’s military structure.

In October 1999, Solana left NATO to become the secretary general of the Council of the European Union and its first high representative for the common foreign and security policy. His primary task was to put forth ideas and analyze policy options in an effort to help EU leaders agree on foreign and security policy issues, thereby giving the Union more political weight in international affairs. He also assumed a leadership role in world affairs as the EU’s de facto foreign minister.

Solana spent six years as a Fulbright Scholar in the United States and received his doctorate in physics from the University of Virginia.

Aspen Institute España, chairman
BP, International Advisory Board, member
Centre of Human Dialogue, honorary president
Council on Foreign Relations, Global Board of Advisers, member
Criteria Caixa, board member
ESADEgeo, president
European Council on Foreign Relations, board member
Fundación La Caixa, board member
Global Commission on Drug Policy, member
Harvard University, Belfer Center, fisher family fellow
Hertie School of Governance, senior fellow
Human Rights Watch, board member
Institute of Modern International Relations, Tsinghua University, advisor
International Crisis Group, board member
La Caixa Banking Foundation, board member
London School of Economics, senior visiting professor
Madariaga-College of Europe Foundation, president
Munich Security Conference, board member
Museo Nacional del Prado, board member
Yalta European Strategy, board member

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Transnational Governance Issues
    • Foreign and Security Policy Issues
    • European Union
  • Past Positions

    • Secretary-General, Western European Union
    • Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union (1999-2009)
    • European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (1999-2009)
    • Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (1995-1999)
    • Spanish Cabinet Minister for Foreign Affairs (1992-1995)
    • Spanish Cabinet Minster for Education and Science (1988-1992)
    • Spanish Cabinet Minister for Culture (1982-1988)
    • Spanish Parliament Member
    • Professor of Solid-State Physics, Madrid Complutense University
  • Education

    • Ph.D., University of Virginia
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