IEA was conceived at Harvard in 2003 to be an independent non-profit organization with a non-partisan combination of senior leaders from business, government, finance and academia. IEA is built on a model of success from its unique and interactive socratic country Symposia and has since expanded into multilateral Symposia with its 60 Country Members. IEA's events are interactive, impartial, and business-focused Symposia helping the organization advance global trade, investment and economic relations among nations.

IEA serves as an important source of knowledge, facilitator of relationships, and catalyst for new business opportunities around the world.

IEA has accomplished this with its 60 Country Members by creating dynamic year-round programs, collaborative alliances, innovative joint research, and practical events to facilitate non-partisan engagement between business, finance, government and thought leaders fostering solutions to global business challenges.

Your efforts not only are strengthening our countries' relationship but also are injecting new vitality into the global economy.

President George W. Bush in his letter to the Symposium

Introduction of Country Symposia in 2004

IEA’s 60 Country Alliance Members work with us year-round in order to highlight investment opportunities within their countries. These private country meetings are held across an array of venues, including the US, the relevant country, embassies, or at world road shows. These events feature Heads of State, Ministers of Trade, Economics, Finance, and Foreign Investment in addition to guest speakers.

Since 2004, IEA has hosted year-round programs and events with Heads of State and Ministers, CEOs, and global leaders in the four economic pillars of business, finance, government, and academia. IEA’s programs enable world leaders to create global synergies and embrace transformative economic ideas, perspectives, and strategies used by other nations to facilitate and foster economic growth and new business opportunities.


In 2008, IEA founded the Global Investment Symposium “Pathways to Prosperity” as a pragmatic annual event program for world leaders from business, government, finance and academia to explore investment opportunities and advance concrete projects. Now on its 17th annual edition, the Symposia has become an annual business tradition for CEO and Head of State/Minister engagement, officially each year during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The Symposium features investment presentations by visiting Heads of State and Ministers highlighting business opportunities in their countries, followed by private meetings. IEA's 60 Country Members from the G-20 and 40 Invited Countries who are attending the UNGA, can join the Symposium to engage with global CEOs and investors to foster global trade and investment. The Symposium shows the commitment of Heads of State/Ministers to the development of their economies.

The Symposium also includes Interactive Business Discussions that are moderated by Harvard Business School Professors and have included business leaders like Chairman Paul Volcker, UBS Vice Chairman Senator Phil Gramm, Silverlake co-CEO Glenn Hutchins, Intel's Chairman Craig Barrett, Coco-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, Estee Lauder Chairman William Lauder, and billionaire investors T. Boone Pickens, Hank Greenberg, Pete Peterson, Nicolas Berggruen and Steve Schwarzman.

Creation of Country Case Studies in 2021

About IEA's Interactive Hybrid Format

IEA Zoom Events Modeled on the Renowned Harvard Business School Case Study Method: To foster interactivity and insightful discussion, IEA collaborated with Harvard professors on our Advisory Board to harness the power of the HBS Socratic Method in each Country Presentation event.

IEA’s hybrid events bring participants’ attention to the rich history and key economic issues pertaining to each country member, enabling rich discussions for economic growth and new opportunities.

Just like in an HBS classroom, with IEA Country Presentation Events -both in-person and on Zoom- the professors will guide an interactive discussion combined with a country keynote speech by a Head of State or Minister. This method relies on invited leaders sharing their knowledge and experiences, which helps all guests to gain insights that improve their companies and countries. The interactive nature of our program provides a direct line to speak with decision-makers across the world, ensuring your business’s voice is heard.


Creation of IEA-Harvard Legacy

The success of Harvard hosting US-Country Symposia prompted representatives of several corporations and foreign governments to ask Harvard to create new Symposia dedicated to promoting economic relations between the U.S. and other key countries.

In 2004, having carefully studied this possibility, Harvard concluded that this could prove an exciting opportunity. After review and reflection, it was concluded that this new opportunity can best be developed and implemented by a new and separate non-profit organization that would take responsibility for future country symposia.

A new (non-partisan) non-profit called the International Economic Alliance (IEA) was established in 2004 to this end and it was chaired by Robert Mosbacher Sr., Chairman of Mosbacher Energy and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker was Honorary Co-Chairman. Mr. Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, then-Chairman and CEO of AIG, was a Founding Member. Van McCormick, who was Director of Investment Symposia, is IEA’s Founding Director.

From 2004 to 2007, IEA's founding Advisory Board included Harvard Professors Robert Lawrence, John Quelch, Malcolm Salter and Richard Vietor, alongside business and government leaders such as James Collins (Ambassador to Russia ret.); Secretary Jack Kemp (fmr. U.S. Vice Presidential candidate); Donald Kendall (co-founder of PepsiCo); Eddie LeBaron (Chairman LeBaron Ranches, GM/part owner of Atlanta Falcons, Fmr. Pillsbury lawyer & NFL QB), Past Chairman & Co-Founder of IEA; Thomas Pickering (SVP International Boeing and former US Amb. to 6 countries and the UN); The Honorable Mr. Paul Volcker (fmr. Chairman of US Federal Reserve) and Robert Wussler (co-founder of CNN).

In 2007, IEA welcomed two new co-chairs of IEA's Advisory Board: Ambassador Thomas Pickering and The Honorable Jack Kemp. In 2009, The Honorable Paul Volcker joined as Co-Chairman.


Heads of State and Ministers present investment opportunities


Results-focused discussions on trade and investment


Keynotes on innovation and growth with global business leaders


The real stakes behind globalization, with Harvard Business School Professors and Academic Partners