Business & Finance Awards

Mario Draghi to receive the 2019 Sutherland Leadership Award

By Business & Finance
17 June 2019
Mario Draghi
Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank

Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), has been announced as the 2019 recipient of The Sutherland Leadership Award, recognising outstanding international leaders who have embodied the values of one of Ireland’s and Europe’s finest leaders, Peter Sutherland.

The Sutherland Leadership Award was established in 2018 with the support of the Sutherland Family recognising its inaugural honouree José Manuel Barroso former President of the European Commission. The Sutherland Leadership Award is now an integral part of the Business & Finance Awards Programme which is now in its 45th year.

Mr Draghi is widely credited with stabilising the Euro during one of the most turbulent periods for the Eurozone, declaring in July 2012 that he would do “whatever it takes” to save the single currency. Throughout his term at the helm of the ECB, Mr Draghi was renowned for navigating the complex political landscape within the European Union’s institutions and he succeeded in promoting growth in the Eurozone through an aggressive course of quantitative easing, while championing negative interest rates.

mario draghi

Mr Draghi is widely credited with saving the Euro.

Remarking on the significant contribution of Mr Draghi to the ECB and wider financial system, Roberto Gualtieri, chair of the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee said that Draghi has helped the ECB to “broaden its toolbox” to bring it in line with more established structures such as the United States Federal Reserve.

Having served as President of the ECB since November 2011, Mr Draghi’s eight-year term will come to to an end in October 2019. Mr Draghi was previously the Chairman of the Financial Stability Board from 2009 to 2011 and Governor of the Bank of Italy from 2005 to 2011.

Prior to this, Mr Draghi worked at Goldman Sachs. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Bank for International Settlements, the G7 forum, the G20 forum and the Group of Thirty Consultative Group on International Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Announcing of The Sutherland Leadership Award and its second recipient, Ian Hyland, said:

Peter Sutherland made a significant contribution to life in Ireland and Europe through value-based leadership and a vision that was ahead of his time. In establishing this award we look to leaders who share and illustrate the values that Peter Sutherland displayed over his exceptional career. Mario Draghi embodies so many of these qualities and over a distinguished career has shown what it means to lead in the face of adversity, while keeping an eye to the future.

Mr Hyland continued, “With the support of Peter’s family, we are delighted to recognise a leader who has been instrumental in shaping the European financial landscape for the best part of a decade, with his legacy being the sustained survival of the single currency and wider stability the Eurozone as a whole.”

Remembering Peter Sutherland

Peter Sutherland had strong ties to the Business & Finance Awards Programme, having been recognised for his achievements in 1994 and 2007.


Peter Sutherland on the cover of Business & Finance

His contribution to all facets of Irish and European life includes serving as the 19th Attorney General of Ireland from 1981 to 1982 and taking over the role again from 1982-1984. For four years he served as the European Commissioner for Competition (1985-1989); he was also the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (1993-1995), Chairman of Goldman Sachs for 20 years (1995-2015) and the UN Special Representative for International Migration (2006-2017).

The Sutherland Leadership Award was established in Mr Sutherland’s honour in 2018, with the inaugural award presented to the 11th President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso in December 2018.

Jose Manuel Barroso, Mary McAleese and Joe Schmidt, Ian Hyland, Business & Finance.

Honourees Jose Manuel Barroso, Mary McAleese, Joe Schmidt at the 2018 Business & Finance Awards.

The Business & Finance Irish Business Awards

The Business & Finance Awards (est. 1974), in association with KPMG Ireland, has previously recognised some of outstanding leaders of our time across business, politics and wider society. Previous honourees include President Clinton, Sir John Major, former President Mary Robinson, Kofi Annan, President Michael D. Higgins, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Senator George Mitchell and Sir Bob Geldof among others.

Mr Draghi will accept The Sutherland Leadership Award at the Business & Finance Awards on Thursday, December 12th 2019.

For more information on the 45th annual Business & Finance Awards see