Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

A headshot of Natasa Pirc Musar.



World Leaders Forum: Dr. Nataša Pirc Musar, President of the Republic of Slovenia
Reserve Your Seat (CUID Only)



Please join the World Leaders Forum, the Center for Global Economic Governance, and the Harriman Institute for a conversation with Dr. Nataša Pirc Musar, President of the Republic of Slovenia and Jan Svejnar, Richard N. Gardner Professor of Economics and International Affairs; Director of the Center on Global Economy and Governance, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. Welcome and introduction by Wafaa El-Sadr, Executive Vice President, Columbia Global; Director, ICAP at Columbia University; Director, Columbia World Projects; University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine; Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health.

What are the legislative differences between the pioneering role of the European Union in data protection and Artificial Intelligence (AI) regulation? Is Chit Chat a new quantum leap compared to the Internet Revolution? How do we address hate speech and disinformation, and the role they have in society? Are whistleblowers friends or foes of democratic processes and can we ensure a human rights friendly use of AI?

Nataša Pirc Musar was born in 1968 in Ljubljana. She graduated from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Law (1992) and holds a doctorate from the University of Vienna, Law Faculty (2015) with the thesis titled How to strike the right balance between access to public information and personal data protection – using a public interest test. She has had a diverse career, working both in the public and private sector, devoted to human rights, gender equality, rule of law, data protection, and hate speech. She began her career as a journalist and news presenter on Slovenian national television and later on POP TV, the largest Slovenian commercial television broadcaster. She has also written newspaper articles and worked on radio. She gained additional experience in journalism at CNN and studied at the Media Department of Salford University in Manchester in the UK for two semesters. During her studies, she did professional internships at BBC, Granada TV, SkyNews, Reuters TV, and Border TV. She has also written newspaper articles and worked on radio. In 2004, the National Assembly elected her as the Information Commissioner of the Republic of Slovenia, a position she has held for two consecutive terms (until 2014). In October 2009, she was elected Vice President of the Europol Joint Supervisory Body, and in March 2013 President of the JSB Europol. Members of this supervisory authority are representatives of national supervisory authorities for the protection of personal data from all Europol member states; i.e. the EU Member States. In accordance with the Europol Convention, the mission of the joint supervisory authority is to conduct independent reviews of the activities of Europol in order to ensure that individual rights are not violated by the storage, processing, and use of data held by Europol. The joint supervisory authority monitors the permissibility of the further transfer of data originating from Europol. In December 2014, she took an oath as an attorney at law at the Slovenian Bar Association, where she was a member of the Executive Board (2021–2022). Until December 2022, she was the director and owner of the Law Firm Pirc Musar & Partners. From 2015 until 2019, she was a member of a jury at the Journalism Fund in Brussels, evaluating grant proposals for journalistic investigative stories. On November 22, 2022, she was elected the President of the Republic of Slovenia. On December 23, 2022, she took office. Nataša Pirc Musar is the first female to hold this position in Slovenia.

Source: Office of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, March 2023.

Columbia University students are invited to participate in a moderated question and answer session following the discussion.