It is our pleasure to announce the election of Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler as our next President. Under ICCA’s new governance structure, she will take office as President-Elect as of 1 April 2017 and become President a year later, succeeding Donald Francis Donovan, current ICCA President and co-head of international disputes at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Also as of 1 April, Olufunke Adekoya, a partner at ÆLEX in Lagos, will begin a two-year term as one of two ICCA Vice-Presidents, and Michael Pryles, independent arbitrator and Founder President of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre Court of Arbitration, will begin a two-year term as ICCA Treasurer.
Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler is a Partner at Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler and Professor at the University of Geneva. She has acted as counsel or arbitrator in more than 200 commercial, investment, and sports arbitrations; she is founder and director of the Geneva LLM in International Dispute Settlement (MIDS), and co-founder of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (FIAA). Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler has served on the ICCA Governing Body since 1998.
ICCA President Donald Donovan said: “There is nobody held in higher regard in the international arbitration community than Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler. Through her work as practitioner, arbitrator, teacher, scholar, founder of MIDS, co-founder of the FIAA, and mentor to so many younger members of the community, she has earned her place at the top of the profession. She is ideally suited to lead ICCA’s further growth as it continues to serve as the intellectual and professional centre of the international arbitration community and tackles the greatest challenges in the field.”
Since her appointment to the Governing Board in 1998, Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler has made an invaluable contribution to ICCA and to the field of international arbitration. She has served on multiple ICCA Committees and has participated in, and assisted in the organization of, several ICCA Congresses. Her role in hosting ICCA’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2011 created a forum for discussion about ICCA’s future development, which paved the way for far-reaching changes to ICCA’s constitution, membership structure and increased global activity from 2012. Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler has also lent her academic expertise to various ICCA projects and publications.
Equally enthusiastic about Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler’s appointment is ICCA Vice-president and ICCA Nominations Committee Chair Meg Kinnear: “Gabrielle’s global profile and long association with ICCA are two of many reasons for her election to the role of ICCA President. I believe she will bring a great deal of insight and dynamism to the role and look forward to working with her.”
As an Honorary President of the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), former ASA President (2001-2005), member of the HKIAC Advisory Board, President of FIAA, President of various CAS bodies, and a former member of the ICC Court, LCIA Court, AAA Board, and ICAS, Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler is no stranger to international arbitration organizations and institutions, and will be able to draw on her vast experience in this arena to the benefit of ICCA.