Professor Mari Pangestu served as Indonesia’s Minister of Trade from 2004 to 2011, and as Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy from 2011 until October 2014.  As Minister of Trade she led all the international trade negotiations and cooperation for Indonesia.  As Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, apart from the tourism portfolio, she was in charge of developing the newly created strategy for developing the Creative Economy in Indonesia.

She obtained her Bachelor and Master degrees in Economics and Doctor HC degrees from the Australian National University (ANU), and her PhD from the University of California, Davis, in 1986 where she specialised in macroeconomics, and international trade.  In 2013 she was awarded a Doctor of Letters honoris causa, College of Business and Economics, Australian National University on the grounds of outstanding contributions in the service of society, and the Bintang Mahaputra, the highest public service award by the President of Indonesia.

Prior to being a minister she was one of Indonesia’s well-known economists attached to Indonesia’s leading think thank Centre for Strategic and International Studies as well as teaching at the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia.  She has  done academic research and policy studies in the areas of international trade, financial sector, macro-economics and reforms. 

She was and continues to be active with the second track fora such as Pacific Economy Cooperation Council (PECC) and other international leadership fora such as Davos World Economic Forum (including being on various Global Agenda Councils), China Boao Forum for Asia, and the Asian Economists Panel.  

Professor Pangestu worked with Jeffrey Sachs on the UN Secretary General Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Review (2003-2005), was the WTO Group-33 Chairperson (2005-2011), nominated as a candidate for the WTO Director General (2013). In December 2014, she was awarded the “lifetime achievement in leadership” award during the World Chinese Enterprise Forum in Chongqing China.

Currently she is a Professor of International Economics at the University of Indonesia and on the Board of Directors, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta. She currently serves on the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN); panel of the UN WHO health initiative, Equal Access Initiative (chaired by Pascal Lamy); distinguished fellow Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong; board member to Australia Indonesia Council; continues to be on the editorial board of Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, ANU and member of Women International Council on Women’s Business Leadership (Chaired by Hilary Clinton).

As for the private sector, Mari Pangestu is a Commissioner on the Board of Astra International; sits on the International Advisory Board of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and McLarty Associates, Washington DC; Board Member of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris and is also active as an advisor to various other social and business organizations.