Dr Vaira Vike-Freiberga is the former President of Latvia (1999-2007) and is the first woman to hold the post in Latvia and Eastern and Central Europe. She was instrumental in achieving Latvia’s membership in the EU and NATO and was a Special Envoy on UN reform. Dr Vike-Freiberga is a member, board member or patron of 30 international organisations and five Academies. She is a recipient of over 50 Awards, Orders of Merit and 19 Honorary Doctorates. She obtained a PhD at McGill University. After a distinguished career as a Professor of Psychology and international scholar at the University of Montreal, she returned to her native country in 1998 to head the Latvian Institute.