Professor Klaus Schwab is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, an independent, impartial, not-for-profit Foundation committed to improving the state of the world. Since its inception in 1971, the Forum has become the world’s foremost multistakeholder organization and has been a driver for reconciliation efforts in different parts of the world, as well as the catalyst of numerous public-private partnerships and international initiatives. See the history page for more information.

In 1998, Klaus Schwab and his wife Hilde created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, which seeks to identify, recognize and disseminate initiatives in social entrepreneurship that have significantly improved people’s lives and have the potential to be replicated on a global scale. The Foundation supports a network of 200 social entrepreneurs around the world.

In 2004, Klaus Schwab established, with the financial contribution he received as part of the Dan David Prize, a new foundation: the Forum of Young Global Leaders (targeted at leaders below 40 years of age); and, in 2011, he created the Global Shapers Community (targeted at potential leaders between the ages of 20 and 30). The purpose of these two foundations is to integrate young people as a strong voice for the future into global decision-making processes and to stimulate young people to engage in concrete projects that address social problems.

Under the leadership of Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum also established communities providing the best expertise and knowledge for problem-solving. Among those communities is the Network of Global Agenda Councils, comprising more than 1,500 of the most knowledgeable and relevant experts related to over 80 global, regional and industry challenges.

The activities of the World Economic Forum comprise meetings that are exclusively organized for its different communities and initiatives in line with its mission of improving the state of the world. In the same context, it also conducts research and produces reports.

The Forum employs more than 500 people, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and additional offices in New York, Beijing and Tokyo.

Professor Klaus Schwab holds two doctoral degrees, one in mechanical engineering and one in economics and social sciences. He spent a year at Harvard University and went on to be the youngest professor at the University of Geneva. He has received numerous international and national honours.

Klaus and Hilde Schwab were married in 1971. He has always followed, outside his work in the above foundations, a broad range of academic, cultural and public service interests. He enjoys sports and is a regular participant of the Engadin Cross-country Ski Marathon. The Schwabs have two children and two grandchildren.

Prof Klaus Schwab’s CV

Klaus Schwab
Graduated from the Humanistisches Gymnasium in Ravensburg, Germany
Dipl. Ing., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland
Lic.ès.sc.écon. et soc. (summa cum laude) University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Doctorate in Engineering (Dr. Sc. Tech.), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH),
Zurich, Switzerland
Doctorate in Economics (Dr.rer.pol.), University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Master of Public Administration, John F. Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard University, USA
Experience on the shop floor of several companies
Assistant to the Director-General of the German Machine-building Association
(VDMA), Frankfurt
Member, Managing Board, Sulzer Escher Wyss AG, Zurich, a manufacturing
company with activities in several countries and with 10,000 employees
Founder and since then
Executive Chairman, World
Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is
an independent international
organization committed to
improving the state of the
world by engaging business,
political, academic and other
leaders of society to shape
global, regional and industry
The World Economic Forum
today is the foremost global
multistakeholder organisation,
employing more than 500
people in Geneva, New York,
Beijing and Tokyo.
Co-Founder, together with
his wife Hilde, Schwab
Foundation for Social
The Schwab Foundation for
Social Entrepreneurship
provides unparalleled
platforms at the regional and
global level to highlight and
advance leading models of
sustainable social innovation.
It identifies a select community
of social entrepreneurs and
engages it in shaping global,
regional and industry agendas
that improve the state of the
world in close collaboration
with the other stakeholders of
the World Economic Forum.
Founder, Forum of the
Young Global Leaders
The Forum of Young Global
Leaders is a multistakeholder
community of exceptional
young leaders who share a
commitment to shaping the
global future. Each year, the
World Economic Forum
identifies 200-300
extraordinary individuals
worldwide to join the YGL
community for five years.
Today, they form a powerful
international community of
over 1,000 young leaders
having a significant impact on
our global future.
2 011
Founder, Global Shapers
The Global Shapers
Community is a global network
of local communities (“hubs”) of
young people who are
exceptional in their potential,
their achievements and their
drive to make a contribution to
their communities. Hubs are
based in each major city
around the world. There are
currently over 200 hubs
established globally. The
community is vitalized by the
manifold interactions generated
within each hub, between hubs
and on a global level.
Klaus Schwab
Professor for Business Policy, University of Geneva, Switzerland
after 2003 Honorary Professor, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Member, United Nations High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development
Vice-Chairman, United Nations Committee for Development Planning
Honorary Professor, Foreign Affairs University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Honorary Professor, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Member, President’s Council of the University of Tokyo, Japan
Member of the Royal Academy of Morocco, North Africa
Honorary Director, World Economy Research Center, Nankai University, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China
Member of Advisory Board, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University
Pioneer of breakthrough concepts, including:
• multistakeholder approach • public private partnerships
• social entrepreneurship • corporate global citizenship
Author of the annual Global Competitiveness Report (since 1979), numerous articles and
several books
Trustee, The Peres Center For Peace, Tel Aviv, Israel
Member of the Board, Lucerne Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland
Member, Advisory Board to the UN Secretary-General, Sustainable Energy for All
Member, Strategic Attractiveness Council, French Presidency
Honorary Doctorate of Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Québec
Honorary Doctorate of Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico
Honorary Doctorate of Economic University Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Honorary Doctorate of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
Honorary Doctorate of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel
Honorary Doctorate of London School of Economics and Political Science, London,
United Kingdom
Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Kazan State University, Tatarstan
Honorary Doctorate of the University of Latvia
Honorary Doctorate of the European Business School, Germany
Honorary Doctorate of Nankai University, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China
Honorary Doctorate of Economics of the Vietnam National University,
Ho Chi Minh City
Honorary Doctorate of Economics of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Honorary Doctorate of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand