Ilona Szabó de Carvalho

President, Igarape Institute

Ilona Szabó de Carvalho is the co-founder and president of the Igarapé Institute – an independent think-and-do tank focused on improving human, digital, and climate security. Igarapé develops applied research, technologies, partnerships, and solutions to improve public and corporate policies and practices to overcome global challenges.

As an entrepreneur and a globally recognized thought leader, Ilona serves on several boards, including the UNSG High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism, the Fernando Henrique Cardoso Foundation (FFHC), the Brazilian Center of International Relations (CEBRI) and Re.green (an ecological restoration company) boards. She is currently the co-chair of the Global Future Council on the Future of Nature and Security of the World Economic Forum, a member of the Expert Panel on the Inter-American Development Bank Group Institutional Strategy, and of the Social and Sustainable Economic Development Council of Brazil’s Presidency and its Commission on the Environment and Sustainable Development.

She was previously the Executive-Secretary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and led a national gun control campaign in Brazil. Before that, she worked for 5 years in investment banks in Rio de Janeiro.

She earned a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Uppsala in Sweden, is an affiliate scholar at the Princeton University Brazil Lab, and was a public policy fellow at Columbia University in NY.

She is a columnist at Folha de São Paulo, a podcast and TV anchor and commentator, a TED speaker, and an author of 3 books.

Ilona was nominated a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum in 2015 and in 2018, she received the Public Security Order of Merit, from the Brazilian Ministry of Public Security. She was also highlighted as one of the world's top 50 thinkers for the Covid-19 age by Prospect Magazine in 2020, and in 2023, she was awarded the Bertha Lutz Diploma, from the Brazilian Federal Senate.

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