Arancha Gonzalez

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Arancha Gonzalez
Arancha Gonzalez at the Trade and Development Board's 64th Session in 2017
Gonzalez at a TDB Session in 2017

Arancha González Laya (born 22 May 1969) is a Spanish lawyer and currently an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. She was appointed to this position in August 2013.[1]


González began her career in the private sector as an associate at German law firm Bruckhaus Westrick Stegemann advising companies on trade, competition and state aid matters.

Between 2002 and 2005 González was the European Commission Spokeswoman for Trade and adviser to the European Commissioner Pascal Lamy. She subsequently served in various capacities in the European Commission in the area of international trade and external relations, including negotiations of trade agreements between the EU and Mercosur, Iran, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Balkans and Mediterranean countries. She has also assisted developing countries in benefiting from trading opportunities in Europe.

González served as Chief of Staff Pascal Lamy in his role as WTO Director General between 2005 and 2013. In that capacity she was intimately involved in setting up the WTO's Aid for Trade initiative[2] as well as the Enhanced Integrated Framework, a joint venture of several international organisations helping to build trade capacity in the world's poorest countries. She served as WTO Director-General's representative (Sherpa) at the G-20.

During her tenure as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, González has spearheaded global efforts to empower women economically. This has included the launch in 2015 of the SheTrades Initiative, which aims to connect three million women entrepreneurs to market by 2021. She also played a leading role in the adoption of the Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade at the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December 2017. In 2019, González co-edited Women Shaping Global Economic Governance, a collection of essays by 28 women leaders from across the globe.

In 2014, González launched the first Trade for Sustainable Development Forum, gathering public and private sectors in an effort to drive the debate on the greening of trade and addressing trade and climate change. The 6th edition of the Trade for Sustainable Forum was held on 7-9 October 2019.

Other activities[edit]

Political positions[edit]

González has been an advocate for Spanish unity and dialogue on the Catalan independence issue.[6]

Personal life[edit]

González has taught extensively on trade and development, including at the College of Europe (Bruges), the IELPO (Barcelona), the World Trade Institute (WTI) and the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade. Her hobbies include trekking and arts.


  1. ^ ITC Communications (15 August 2013). "UN Secretary-General appoints Arancha González of Spain as Executive Director of ITC". International Trade Centre. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  2. ^ Ryan Heath and Eline Schaart (2018), Women Who Shape Brussels - 2018 Ranking: Arancha González Politico Europe.
  3. ^ Members International Gender Champions (IGC).
  4. ^ Advisory Council Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
  5. ^ Arancha González Laya World Economic Forum (WEF).
  6. ^ Ryan Heath and Eline Schaart (2018), Women Who Shape Brussels - 2018 Ranking: Arancha González Politico Europe.

External links[edit]