H40 SoaresJoao Soares served as president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly from 2008 to 2010. A long-time member of the PA, he held the positions of Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Transparency and Reform before he was named Portugal's Minister of Culture in late 2015. 

Soares was first elected to his national parliament in 1987. He also served as a Member of the European Parliament (1994-1995), including as a Member of the EP Bureau. From 1995 to 2002, Soares was Deputy Mayor and Mayor of Lisbon, during which time he also served as a Member of the State Council.

In 2003, he published “Travels,” a book that comprises a selection of his articles from newspapers around the world, including the article “Cooperacao Este Oeste” (“East-West Cooperation”). In 2007, he published the book “OSCE.” 

H40 KanervaIlkka Kanerva was elected President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at the 2014 Annual Session. He also heads the Finnish Delegation to the Assembly. Kanerva was also OSCE Chairperson-in-Office during 2008 and is the first person to have served as both OSCE Chairperson and OSCE PA President.

Kanerva has been a member of the Finnish Parliament since 1975 and served as Vice Speaker from 2003 to 2007. He has been member of the parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee for over 20 years and was Chairman of the Defence Committee from 1999 to 2003. Kanerva is currently Chair of the Parliamentary Reporting Group on Defence.

He has held numerous cabinet posts in his home country, including Deputy Prime Minister (1991), Minister of Transport (1990-1991) and Minister of Labour (1991-1995). Kanerva served as Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2008. 

IS-Spencer OliverSpencer Oliver served as the first Secretary General of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, from October 1992 to December 2015.  

Previously, Oliver served 22 years as a staff member in the U.S. Congress, including as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Helsinki Commission from 1976-1985 and as Chief Counsel of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served in several senior diplomatic positions on U.S. delegations to CSCE Review and Expert Meetings between 1977 and 1993.