Peter D. Sutherland

United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Migration and Development

Mr. Sutherland is United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Migration and Development. He has held this position since 2006 and was responsible for the creation of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. He is President of the International Catholic Migration Commission and a member of the Migration Advisory Board of the International Organisation for Migration

Of Irish nationality he was born on 25 April 1946 and was educated at Gonzaga College, University College Dublin and the King’s Inns. Mr. Sutherland graduated in Civil Law. He was also admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America. From 1969 to 1981 he practised at the Bar. He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple, London and is an Honorary Bencher of the King’s Inns. He was admitted to the Inner Bar in Ireland.

He also serves as a non-executive director on the Boards of Allianz SE, Koc Holding A.S. and BW Group Limited. He is an international advisor to Goldman Sachs, member of the International Advisory Board of BP plc and a member of the European Advisory Board of Eli Lilly. He has served on the Boards of thirteen major companies in Europe and the US.   He is also associated with the following organisations:

  • The Federal Trust, President
  • The Royal Irish Academy, Member
  • Trilateral Commission, Honorary European Chairman (2010- )
  • Consultor for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (2006- )
  • Governor, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
  • President, St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford

Mr Sutherland has previously served as:

  • Attorney General of Ireland (1981-1984)
  • EC Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy (1985-1989)
  • Chairman of Allied Irish Banks (1989-1993)
  • Founding Director General of The World Trade Organisation, formerly GATT (1993-1995)
  • Chairman of BP p.l.c. (1997-2009)
  • Vice-Chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists (1997-2009)
  • Chairman of Trilateral Commission (Europe) (2001-2010)
  • World Economic Forum Foundation Board Member (1995-2013)
  • Chairman of the London School of Economics and Political Science (2008-2015)
  • Chairman of Goldman Sachs International (1995–2015)

His awards include the Grand Cross of Civil Merit (Spain 1989), the Grand Cross of King Leopold II (Belgium 1989), the New Zealand Commemorative Medal (1990), Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (France 1993), Commandeur du Wissam (Morocco 1994), the Order of Rio Branco (Brazil 1996) and the Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique (Portugal 1998). He received an honorary Knighthood (UK 2004) and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory (Papal decoration) in 2008. In 2014 he was made a Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star (Sweden). He was also presented with the Robert Schuman Medal for his work for European Integration, the Gold Medal of the European Parliament (1988), the First European Law Prize (Paris 1988), the David Rockefeller International Leadership Award (1998). Furthermore, he received the European Person of the Year Award (1988), the Irish People of the Year Award (1989), the Consumer for World Trade Annual Award (1994) for distinguished service, the Dean’s Medal (1996) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and the Foundation Day Medal from University College Dublin (2004).

He has received fifteen honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and America. He was awarded an honorary fellowship of the London Business School, the Oxford University Institute of Economics and St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford. He was Heffernan Visiting Fellow at Harvard University 1989 and has received Honorary Life Membership of The Royal Dublin Society (2013).

His publications include the book ‘Premier Janvier 1993 ce qui va changer en Europe’ (Paris University Press 1989) and numerous articles in law journals. He chaired the Committee that produced the Sutherland Report for the European Council on the implementation of the Internal Market of the EEC. He co-chaired a group of high-level trade experts to provide an analysis and recommendations in support of trade liberalisation and revitalisation at the request of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of Germany Mrs Merkel (World Trade and the Doha Round, May 2011).

Mr Sutherland is married and has three children. His leisure interests include reading and sport.