President and CEO of Aena (2017-2018). President and CEO of CESCE (2016-2017). Secretary of State for Trade of Spain (2011-2016). State Economist.
He is one of the most recognized managers in the Spanish scene, both at the institutional and business level. In his professional career he has held various positions in the public sector such as Secretary of State for Trade, President and CEO of Aena, President of ICEX, President of Invest in Spain and of the CECO Foundation, economist at the Bank of Spain's Research Department, Deputy Director General of Public Debt at the Directorate General of the Treasury of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and economic advisor to the Government of José María Aznar. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the European Commission and the OECD. In 2017, Forbes elected him as the best CEO in Spain under 50 years of age, and the top 9 Spanish CEO's. In his conferences he addresses issues related to the economic situation, the internationalization of companies and his experience in the corporate world.
As president and CEO of AENA (2017-2018), the world's largest airport operator with a market capitalization of 20,723 million euros, García-Legaz achieved a 9.8 percent increase in net profit in 2017. He has also chaired the Board of Aena International, a European-Latin American airport operator, where he currently remains a member of the Board of Directors. Before becoming a commercial technician and State economist, he worked at Caja Murcia and in the Research Department of the Bank of Spain. In 1993, he joined the Administration, in the General Directorate of the Treasury of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Five years later, he joined the Government of José María Aznar, first as economic advisor to the President, then as Director of the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and finally as Director General of Education and Welfare in the President's Cabinet. As Secretary of State for Trade, in the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (2011) with Luis de Guindos as Minister, he represented Spain in the EU Council of Trade Ministers and in the G20 Council of Ministers.
He worked as a consultant to the European Union on financial policy in Lithuania, Hungary and Bulgaria (1996-1998), a consultant to the World Bank on public debt policy in developing countries (1999), a consultant to the OECD on reform of the telecommunications markets in Russia (2002) and an advisor to the National Chamber of Commerce of Brazil on employment policy (2005-2008). From March 2008 to January 2012, he was a Member of Parliament for Murcia and Secretary of the Economy and Finance Committee of the Congress of Deputies. From 2011 to 2015 he served as Secretary of Trade, International Trade and Foreign Investment in the Government of Spain. In this position, and with 2,500 employees under his control, he was responsible for trade policy and regulation in Spain, the promotion of Spanish exports and Spanish investment abroad and the attraction of foreign investment in Spain. In 2015, Spain became the second largest exporter in the EU, only after Germany.
In 2011-2012, he was executive president of Invest in Spain, the Spanish agency responsible for attracting foreign investment to Spain. Under his position, he established solid and direct relationships with investment funds in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, China and Angola. In his position as Secretary, he chaired the Board of Directors of the CECO Foundation, responsible for training talented young Spaniards in international trade, and was also Executive Director of Global Forum Spain, considered the "European Davos". From 2015 to 2017 he served as Chairman of the Board and CEO of CESCE, the third largest European credit insurance company with annual revenues of $500 million. He also chaired the Board of Directors of Informa Dun & Bradstreet, the leading company in corporate finance reporting and rating in Spain, and the Board of Directors of CIAC, International Consortium of Credit Insurers.
He holds a degree in Economics and Business Administration from CUNEF and a PhD in Economics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His career also includes extensive academic experience at IE Business School and the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas-ICADE. He is the author of the books: A Case for an Open Area of Prosperity in the Atlantic and TAFTA. A Case for a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement. He is currently Vice President and Board member of the Open Horizons Foundation, a Spanish NGO that works with homeless and severely disabled people, incarcerated mothers and children at risk of social exclusion.
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