Milagros del Corral

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Personal data

Born in Madrid, Spain (1945) married.

Nationality : Spanish


Academic background

PhD in Philosophy and Humanities (Complutense University of Madrid), Diploma in Library and Information Sciences (University of Pittsburgh, USA) Piano Professor (Royal Conservatory of Madrid) and State Librarian (Archives, Libraries and Museums Curators)


Academic activities

  • 1975-1977 : Professor of Library and Information Science, Communication Sciences Faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid
  • 1984-1989 : Secretary of the International Publishing Seminars, International University “ Menendez Pelayo” of Santander

Professional career

  • 1968-1972 : Information science expert at the Kabelmetal (Hannover, Germany) 1972-1978 : Deputy Director of the Law Faculty Library, Director of the Communication Sciences Faculty Library and Deputy-Director of the overall Library System (some 80 libraries and documentation centers) of the Complutense University of Madrid.
  • 1978-1983 Chief of the Executive Office of Books and Libraries and Deputy-Director General for Libraries (both at the Ministry of Culture of Spain) also responsible for copyright policy. She actively participated, as the representative of the Ministry of Culture, in the reform and decentralization of the Spanish public administration upon the introduction of democracy in Spain.
  • Member of the Inter-ministerial Commission on the Statute of Political Refugees. and member of the legal Commission that drafted the Spanish Copyright Act (Law 22/1987) that replaced the one of 1879.
  • Elected member to the Legal and Legislation Committee of CISAC (International Confederation of Author Societies Organizations)
  • 1972-1982 : Representative of Spain in numerous international copyright meetings at WIPO, UNESCO and the European Union. Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Committee of the Berne Convention (1979-1981).
  • Coordinator of the Diplomatic Conference that adopted the UNESCO/WIPO Multilateral Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation of Copyright Royalties, held in Madrid (1979).
  • One of the 6 international experts who advised the U.S. Congress to adhere to the Berne Convention, administered by WIPO.
  • 1983-1989: Secretary-General of the Publishers Association, Madrid and of the Federation of Spanish Publishers, a sector with a strong presence in Latin America regrouping more than 700 publishing houses of different orientations and sizes, that went through important restructures and mergers where I became familiar with international business management and working methods.
  • 1990-2005 Appointed by UNESCO as Director of the Book and Copyright Division (D-1) later enlarged to become the Division of Creativity, Cultural Industries and Copyright and later Division of Arts and Cultural Enterprise, responsible of the arts, crafts and design, book, cinema and music industry, and copyright. Major achievements of this Division during this period are the launching in 1995 of the World Book and Copyright Day, since celebrated the 23 April in more than 90 countries; the launching of the UNESCO Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature in the Service of Tolerance (1995- 2003) the organization of the International Symposium on Copyright and Communication in the Information Society (Madrid, 1996 in partnership with Telefonica de España) the World Congress on the Status of the Artist (Paris, 1997) the International Symposium on Culture, the Market and Globalization (Paris, 1999) the International Survey on Cinematography  (1999) the launching of the World Poetry Day (1999) and the concept and implementation of Digi-Arts (interactive Portal of Digital Arts) the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity (2001-on-going) and the Creative Cities Network (2004-ongoing)
  • Active participation in major international Conferences such as the Stockholm Conference on Cultural Policies for Development (1998) in the UNESCO/World Bank Conferences on Culture and Development (Washington, 1998 and Florence, 1999) and the Global Business Dialogue for e-Commerce (Brussels, 2002).
  • During 1991, she also ensured the interim of the Director of the Division of Cultural Identities. From 1992 to November 1999, she was concurrently Director of UNESCO Publishing, entrusted with the design and implementation of the new publishing policy adopted the same year. UNESCO Publishing operated as a semi-commercial publishing house until 2000 when UNESCO’s publishing activities migrated to the web.
  • Member of the Taskforce on Structure, Staff and Management as well as of the Taskforce on Programming, both established by the Director-General Matsuura in the framework of UNESCO’s reform (1999-2000)
  • 2000-2005: Deputy-Assistant Director General for Culture (D-2) as well as Director of the Division of the Arts and Cultural Enterprise and Director of UNESCO’s International Fund for the Promotion of Culture. Since 2000, also UNESCO’s coordinator for the Universal Forum of Cultures (Barcelona-2004). 
  • 2006-August 2007 – national and international senior consultancies.
  • September 2007 – Appointed Director-General of the National Library of Spain
Advisory services
  • Adviser to the Juan March Foundation, Madrid (1979-1980)
  • Adviser to FUINCA Foundation of Telefonica, Madrid (1984-1987)
  • Member of the Board of the Fondation Prince-Pierre de Monaco, Montecarlo (2000-2005)
  • Member of the Board, the September Concert Foundation, New York (2003-ongoing)
  • Member of the Board, SIALE Foundation, Madrid (2000- ongoing)
  • Member of the Board, BLU (Biblioteca Literaria Universal) Foundation, Madrid (2008-ongoing)
  • Advisor to the World Cultural Diversity Organization, Beijing, China (2005-ongoing) 2005 – ongoing)
  • Advisor to AECI (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spain) on cultural diversity issues and to the Ministry of Culture, Spain on the economic potential of the Spanish language (2006-2007)
  • Member of the Jury of the Queen Sophia Prize for Iberoamerican Poetry (2008-ongoing)
  • Member of the Jury of the Prince of Asturias Price for International Cooperation (2008-ongoing)
Areas of expertise
  • Book and cultural industries policies
  • Librarianship
  • Publishing (printed and electronic)
  • Copyright and new technologies.
  • Culture and development
  • Cultural diversity issues
  • Frequent lecturer in the five continents, author of some 50 professional publications translated into 9 languages and an active member of several renowned international and regional professional associations in the fields of copyright, publishing and librarianship and cultural matters in a broader sense.
  • First woman decorated as « Comendador de la Orden del Mérito Civil » by H.M. Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1980.
  • Honorary Board Member of various foundations and institutions such as the Instituto Interamericano de Derecho de Autor, the Hyogi-Kobe Committee (Japan) and Aid to Artisans (USA) Honour Citizen of Popayan, Colombia.
  • Besides Spanish (mother tongue), fluent in French, English, German and Italian. Basic knowledge of Arabic.
  •  Trained musician, also practices painting, sculpture and performing arts on an amateur basis. Reading, gastronomy and horse-riding.