The Foundation

Agirre Lehendakaria Fundazioa (ALF) was born with the aim of opening up the work of Agirre Lehendakaria Center (ALC) to the entire population of the Basque Country. It is a project that is a part of the Euskampus (UPV/EHU) network , created in partnership with a number of universities in the USA, such as Columbia University in Nueva York.

The foundation took its name from José Antonio Agirre y Lekube (1904 – 1960), the first Lehendakari (President) of the Basque Government, and the Minister of Defence of that first executive, a role he took up during the Spanish Civil War. During his term of office, the Provisional Government fought alongside the Second Republic. Lehendakari Agirre was also a forerunner of humanist thinking, democratic values, the struggle against totalitarianism and the defence of individual and collective rights. He worked as a professor at Columbia University in New York.


ALF’s main objective is to share ALC’s research and intervention projects with Basque society in general, as well as carrying out complementary initiatives. The foundation also sets out to disseminate the Basque model internationally and drive projects that examine and disseminate themes that will affect Basque society in the future, fostering innovation and ongoing change in society and facilitating the opening up of the country to new social and economic realities, as well as to new governance models.

  • Establish an ongoing partnership with ALC to provide Basque society with the results of its programmes and projects.
  • Share the Basque Case as a model of sustainable human development in countries and regions of the world to provide local and global responses to future challenges, both in advanced and emerging societies, and taking sustainability as the development model.
  • Disseminate the competitive position of Euskadi in the international context, through the creation of a support network for Basque interests to foster and drive a wide range of activities related to sustainable human development.
  • Create a network of prestigious partners with social entities, enterprises, universities and institutions based in Euskadi that specialise in areas related to the objectives of ALF (politics, economics, sustainable development, conflict resolution, self-government, peace-building, the environment, etc.) to carry out a series of projects that emerge from the implementation of the Basque Case on the international level.
  • Identify and attract the most successful experiences at international level that can help us in the search for solutions to the political, social, cultural and environmental challenges faced by the Basque Country and explore new scenarios and strategies that propitiate the growth of Basque society in an equilibrium with sustainable human development.

The Governing Board

Juan Jose Ibarretxe – President

The President of Agirre Lehendakaria Fundazioa (ALF) is Juan Jose Ibarretxe, Director of ALC until 2020 and Lehendakari of the Basque Government from 1999 to 2009. He was previously vice-Lehendakari and Mayor of his birthplace, Llodio, as well as working in the Juntas Generales of Álava. After his time in politics, he focused on the academic area, obtaining his doctorate from the UPV/EHU in 2010. He presently combines the direction of the Agirre Center, founded in partnership with Columbia University, with his work as Professor of Economics in theUniversidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Amaia Agirre – Vice-president
The grand-daughter of Lehendakari Jose Antonio Agirre and Mayoress of Getxo

Gorka Espiau – Secretary
Director, Agirre Lehendakaria Center

Eider Alustiza – Member at large
Director of Innovation in Emun aholkularitza

Jon-Mirena Landa
Professor of Penal Law and Director of the UNESCO Chair of Human Rights and Public Authorities (UPV-EHU)

Pablo Allende – Treasurer
Founder Member, Agirre lehendakaria Fundazioa

Miren Onaindia
Professor of Ecology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU) and Director of the UNESCO Chair of Sustainable Development and Environmental Education

Aritz Otxandiano
Head of Innovation in grupo Fagor and Manager of Gizabidea

Paul Ríos
An expert in peace processes and mediation and a Human Rights activist


Since the start, we have carried out major projects to promote the Basque presence in the world, thanks to the efforts, cooperation and commitment of all our partners.

We wish to continue working on this exciting project, so we invite you to join us and become a member of Agirre Lehendakaria Fundazioa. Become a member by filling in this form.