George Papaconstantinou was born in Athens in 1961. He is an economist, holding a B.Sc. from the London School of Economics, an M.A. from the New York University, and a PhD in economics from London School of Economics. He worked for ten years (1988-1998) as a senior economist at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris.
In 1998 he was appointed advisor to former Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Information Society issues. Two years later he was appointed Special Secretary for the Information Society at the Ministry of Economy and Finance (2000-2002). Between 2002 and 2004 he served as a member of the Council of Economic Advisors, he was a board member of OTE (Greece’s largest telecoms company), and was the Greek representative to the EU Economic Policy Committee (EPC). In 2003 he coordinated the «Lisbon Strategy» for economic and social reforms during the Greek Presidency of the EU.
Between 2004 and 2007, Mr. Papaconstantinou served as economic advisor to PASOK’s President George Papandreou. He was also a board member of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISTAME), PASOK’s think-tank (2005-2008). In May 2005 he was elected member of the National Council of PASOK.
Between 2003 and 2007, he also taught economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business and advised the European Commission on research and information society issues, participating in various international research projects.
In September 2007, he was elected member of the Greek National Parliament for the Prefecture of Kozani, and was subsequently appointed PASOK’s Press Spokesman in March 2008. In the June 2009 elections for the European Parliament, he headed PASOK’s list of candidates and was elected MEP. In October 2009 he was appointed Minister of Finance in the government formed by Prime Minister George Papandreou after the national elections, until June 2011, when he was appointed Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.
He is married to travel writer Jacoline Vinke. He has two sons, Nicolas and Stefanos.