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Former Director General of the European Commission

February 12th, 2010

Area of Expertise: Business and Globalization, Youth Issues
Geographical Expertise - Region: Asia, Europe, North Africa and Middle East
Languages: English, French, Portuguese
Field of Work: Government, Politics
City: Lisbon
Country: Portugal
Continent: Europe


Emilio Rui Vilar Emilio Rui VilarEmilio Rui Vilar is a former Portuguese politician and former Director General of the European Commission. He currently serves as the chairman of the Audit Commission of Banco de Portugal, and the president of the Board of Trustees of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

He has had a distinguished government career in Portugal and a wealth of experience related to the fields of finance and economics. He played a leading role in the European Community between 1986-1989 as the Director General of the European Community. Today he is active in promoting the preservation of the arts, education, and science.

A native of Portugal, Mr. Vilar was Chairman and CEO of Caixa Geral de Depositos from 1989 to 1996 and the Deputy-Governor of the Banco de Portugal from 1975 to 1984. These experiences in Portugal’s financial sector were in part shaped by Mr. Vilar’s role as the Minister of the Economy of Portugal from 1974 to 1975 and as the Secretary of State for External Trade and Tourism in 1974. He was also the Minister of Transport and Communications from 1976 to 1978.

In addition to the field of finance, Mr. Vilar has a keen interest in the funding of various cultural projects. As President of the Board of Trustees of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation since 2002, Mr. Vilar directly oversees the Portuguese organization’s funding of initiatives in the arts, education, and science. Mr. Vilar was also the General-Commissioner for Europalia Portugal, a cultural organization that highlights the culture of European states, from 1989 to 1992. As President of the Portuguese Foundation Centre and Vice-Chairman of the European Foundation Centre, Mr. Vilar directly affects how these organizations help improve the public good through the development and aid of foundations.

Mr. Vilar has also been a Guest Professor at the School of Economics and Management at Portuguese Catholic University since 1998. As a law graduate from Coimbra University in 1961, Mr. Vilar has impressive experiences from his professional career that aid his contributions to the world of academia.

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