Belgium Prime Minister H.E. Yves Leterme delivers the opening address at the 2010 Brussels Forum. Craig Kennedy, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), introduces Leterme.
Craig Kennedy has been president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) since 1995. Under Mr. Kennedy’s leadership, GMF has focused its activities on bridging U.S.-European differences on foreign policy, economics, immigration and integration, and domestic policy. Toward this effort, he has provided GMF with a strong infrastructure throughout Europe, opening new offices in Paris, Bratislava, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, and Bucharest to complement the work being done in Washington and Berlin. Mr. Kennedy began his career in 1980 as a program officer at the Joyce Foundation in Chicago, becoming vice president of programs in 1983 and president from 1986 to 1992. He left the Joyce Foundation to work for Richard J. Dennis, a Chicago investor and philanthropist. During this same period, he started a consulting firm working with nonprofit and public sector clients.
Yves Leterme is currently serving his second term as prime minister of Belgium. He studied political science and law at the University of Leuven and at the University of Ghent, and in 1983 he became chairman of the Ypres Christian Democratic and Flemish Party (CVP) Youth. In 1992, Mr. Leterme became an administrator at the EU and worked at the European Commission for five years. He became municipal councilor of Ypres in 1995 and parliamentarian in 1997. In 2001, he became CVP fraction leader in the Chamber (House of Commons), and in 2003 he became the party chairman. In 2004, Mr. Leterme became minister-president of the Flemish government. In 2007, he became vice-prime minister of Belgium and minister of budget, transport, institutional reform, and the North Sea. He then served as prime minister, minister of foreign affairs, and again as prime minister.
Belgium Prime Minister Yves Leterme addresses the "modest miracle" that most citizens in the European Union still enjoy a normal life, despite fallout from the global financial crisis. Leterme pushes for continued momentum in the arena of financial reform, saying, "We have to remember the lessons learned."