Arancha González is a renowned Spanish lawyer and expert in international trade. From 2013 until 2020 she served as the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the WTO and the UN. Between 2020 and 2021 she acted as foreign minister of Spain and currently she is dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po, the first women to hold this position. González advocates for inclusive and sustainable trade and is committed to empowering women.
Arancha González is joining us as a Personality in Residence to discuss questions around the emerging multi-polar world order, the future of global trade and female leadership.
Personality in Residence: Arancha González
In October 2023, SQUARE had the great pleasure of welcoming the Spanish lawyer, economist, and diplomat, Arancha González, as a Personality in Residence. The current Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po emphasized during her time in St. Gallen the importance of making young people aware that they have influence. According to her, the world is changing, which is beyond our control, but we can influence how it changes.
Focus on Human Influence and Collaboration
To ensure that change leads to the better, we must remember that humans are at the center and must work together, even if it means engaging in dialogue with the "enemy". She also reported on her experience of often being "the only woman in the room," especially during her time as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (2013-2020) and as Chief of Staff to the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (2005-2013).
Inspiration and Influence
But it was not only her resume that inspired; her entire personality left a lasting impression. It was particularly encouraging to observe how the various events and discussions with students and the public were marked by Arancha González Laya's determination, honesty, openness, and warmth.
Trust and Personal Relationships in Diplomacy
These qualities influenced the panel discussion in which she spoke with Simon Evenett, Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St. Gallen, about global trade, as well as the informal "Unplugged Sessions" where students had the opportunity to ask Arancha more personal questions.
Author: Dina Oberli