Niall FitzGerald is a successful and widely experienced international business leader. His executive career was with Unilever for 37 years. He was an executive board member for 18 years and served respectively as Finance Director, Foods Director and Detergents Director until his appointment as Chairman and CEO in 1996; a position he held until 2004. During his Unilever career, he worked and lived in Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, the USA and the UK.
Mr FitzGerald has chaired a broad range of companies and public bodies. These include Reuters, Hakluyt, the Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust, International Business Council, Conference Board, Investment Climate Facility for Africa, British Museum, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) and Advertising Association.
Mr FitzGerald has also served on the Boards of Bank of Ireland, Ericsson, Merck, Prudential Corporation and chaired Audit, Remuneration and Governance Committees. Other Board mandates have included the World Economic Forum, Council on Foreign Relations, International Policy Council for Agriculture and Trade, President of South Africa’s International Advisory Council, Kok Commission on the Lisbon Agenda, and Spencer Stuart Advisory Board.
Mr FitzGerald’s current engagements include Chairman, Brand Learning; Chairman, NiJaCo; Chairman, Hakluyt International Advisory Board; Chairman, Munster Rugby Commercial Board; Chairman, UCD Graduate Business School; Chairman, Leverhulme Trust; Senior Advisor, Allen & Co.; Member of Mitsubishi International Advisory Committee. He also chairs the Board of Governors of Cumnor House School in West Sussex. He is Patron of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.
Mr FitzGerald was awarded an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire in 2002, and holds a number of honorary doctorates from American, British and Irish universities. He has also been the recipient of numerous other awards for his work on global business issues. In 2015, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the President of Ireland.