Louise Kantrow was appointed ICC Permanent Representative to the United Nations in April 2007. The Paris based ICC is the largest, most representative business organization, encompassing 6.5 million businesses in its global network, with national committees and direct members in 130 countries, as well as active presence in over 230 countries though ICC’s World Chambers Federation. It has served as the voice of business at the UN since 1946, frequently taking part in UN and related multilateral deliberations in the economic, social and environmental arenas.
Since her appointment, Kantrow has been involved in multiple major UN conferences as ICC and private sector representative. She was co-chair of the Private Sector Steering Committee in the Follow-up International Conference to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (Doha, 2008); as co-chair of the Private Sector Steering Committee for the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (Istanbul, 2011); and most recently, as co-organizing partner of the Business and Industry Major Group for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). In these capacities, Kantrow coordinated business and industry contributions to the political processes, represented and delivered private sector messages, and organized official UN private sector events including the Second International Business Forum in Doha, the High-Level Lunch Meeting in Istanbul, and the Business Action for Sustainable Development Business Day in Rio de Janeiro, particularly the High-Level Lunch Meeting and the 2012 World Business and Development Awards. She also leads the establishment and coordination of the work of the Global Business Alliance for Post-2015, a robust and inclusive business alliance that would provide positive private sector contributions to the formulation and implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Kantrow’s career has included posts within the UN and senior positions at nonprofit, governmental and intergovernmental organizations closely associated with UN activities. Most recently, she served as executive director of the International League for Human Rights, one of the oldest human rights organizations in the world. Prior to that, as executive vice-president of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), she supervised a major expansion of programs at the Business Council to the United Nations.
Earlier in her career she served as senior advisor to the United Nations Population Fund and as director of operations at the Population Council. She worked for eighteen years as economic affairs officer in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, following service as a senior economist with the US Agency for International Development and as a population affairs officer with the UN. Kantrow holds doctoral and master’s degrees in demography and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.