Carole Coune has officially assumed the office of Secretary General of the International Transport Forum at the OECD. As of August 1, 2011, Coune takes over from Jack Short, who is retiring, as leader of the Paris-based intergovernmental organization which brings together 52 nations.
“I am looking forward to building on the accomplishments of my predecessor,” said Secretary General Coune, “and continuing the evolution of the International Transport Forum as the leading global platform for serious debate on the future of transport.”
On her first official visit to a member country, Coune met with Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport, Construction and Urban Development, Dr. Peter Ramsauer, and State Secretary Rainer Bomba in Berlin on Tuesday to discuss her strategic vision for the future of the International Transport Forum.
Minister Ramsauer assured Coune of Germany’s support for her work. He emphasized that Germany is prepared to host the Forum’s annual summit until at least 2017. ”I am delighted that Ms. Coune’s first official visit to a member country brings her to Germany. This underlines Germany’s international role as host country of the Forum’s annual summit and as a transport nation,“ said Ramsauer.
The International Transport Forum at the OECD is a platform for transport policy issues. It acts as a think tank for member countries and organises an annual summit, at which ministers debate strategic issues of the sector with business leaders, top academics and representatives of civil society. The theme of the 2012 summit, to be held 2-4 May 2012 in Leipzig, Germany, will be “Seamless Transport: Making Connections.”
Coune comes to the office of Secretary General from the top civil service position in Belgium’s Transport Ministry. A trained lawyer, she started her career with the Belgian National Railway (SNCB). After moving to the Transport Ministry, Coune quickly rose through the ranks. In 2008, she was promoted to its top job, President of the Management Board. In this capacity, she guided the Ministry through its Presidency of the European Council of the EU in 2010.