Business at OECD elects new chair to lead business diplomacy efforts in OECD policymaking

19. May, 2021

Paris, 19 May 2021—Today, our General Assembly elected Charles (Rick) Johnston as the next Chair of Business at OECD (BIAC), succeeding Phil O’Reilly after eight years at the helm of the Organization. Business at OECD leadership represents the business community at the highest levels of OECD policymaking. Among others, Mr. Johnston will lead high-level engagement opportunities, including our participation in the annual OECD Ministerial Council Meeting and the annual meeting with the OECD Secretary General and Ambassadors, and will guide our overall strategy ensuring that we represent the broad interests of our members.

Based in Paris, Business at OECD represents over 7 million companies of all sizes through a global network of 59 leading business and employer organizations. The OECD relies on our international network of 3000+ business experts to provide a real economy perspective on OECD work and analysis that impacts businesses’ ability to operate in international markets. “Rick brings a lot of positive energy and long-standing experience in international policy making into this position,’’ commented Hanni Rosenbaum, Business at OECD Executive Director, who leads the Paris-based team. “His excellent knowledge of the OECD and our global membership will be of great benefit to Business at OECD. We also express our sincere thanks to our outgoing Chair Phil O’Reilly for his excellent steering of our Organization over the last eight years.”

Rick Johnston is Managing Director for Citibank International Government Affairs, based in Washington, D.C. He is a Board Member of the U.S. Council for International Business, Business at OECD’s sole American affiliate. Mr. Johnston is responsible for management of Citi’s relations with governments and political figures in the 100 countries where Citi has a presence. Prior to joining Citi, Mr. Johnston practiced international trade and investment law in Washington following his tenure as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

“It is a time of transformation and rejuvenation,” Johnston said at our General Assembly meeting today. “The OECD is about to hand the reins over to Mathias Cormann, its new Secretary General. In that position, Mr. Cormann will lead the Organization as it takes on an enhanced role for guiding its Members and others in a sustainable recovery from a devastating global pandemic, and in an era that sees fundamental challenges to the potency of democratic governance and market-based economies. Our service as a trusted and credible adviser to the OECD has never been more important.”

Our General Assembly also elected two additional Board members: Mr. H.S. Cho, Vice Chairman of Hyosung Group, and Mr. Baran Çelik, Vice President and CEO of Beyçelik Holding.