The Hon. Yves Leterme

Deputy Secretary General of the OECD; Former Prime Minister of Belgium


The Hon. Yves Leterme is a prominent Flemish Belgian politician and a leader of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party. He served as Prime Minister of Belgium from March 2008 to December 2008, and again from November 2009 to December 2011, before taking up the position of Deputy Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Mr. Leterme studied Law at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he graduated in 1981 and subsequently obtained a B.Sc. degree in Political Science from Ghent University. He went on to pursue an LLM degree in 1984 and an MPA degree in 1985. Mr. Leterme began his career as an auditor at the Court of Audit of Belgium before becoming involved in national politics. He was the National Secretary of the Christian People's Party until he resigned to serve as a civil servant in the European Union. In 1997, Mr. Leterme was appointed Member of the Belgian Parliament. In the same year, he was appointed to the House of Representatives, elected in 1999 and 2003. In 2004, Mr. Leterme served as Minister-President of the Flemish Government. During his tenure, he brought significant improvements to the economy and increased the social well-being of Flanders. As Foreign Minister, he played an effective role in boosting bilateral and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Belgium. Mr. Leterme has also served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Budget, Institutional Reforms, Transport, and the North Sea.  He fared well during his period in office, specifically in terms of accelerating investments and reducing debt to zero through the implementation of rigorous budgeting policies. Between1995 and 2001, Mr. Leterme served as Alderman of Ypres.

Mr. Leterme continues to attend important conferences and forums to discuss issues ranging from economic growth, constitutional reform, and intergenerational solidarity. He is fluent in Dutch, French, and English.

"No Diplomacy without Culture"

A lecture by The Hon. Yves Leterme, Former Prime Minister of Belgium
The 2011 Annual Academic Conference on Cultural Diplomacy
Berlin, December 2011