Philippe Narval was raised in the Austrian Lake District. After receiving a scholarship, he completed his secondary education at the Lester B. Pearson United World College in Canada and holds university degrees from Kings College London and the University of Oxford. He spent several years of his professional life living and working in Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East. Prior to joining Alpbach he worked in the arts and in international development. In March 2012, he assumed the role of managing director of the European Forum Alpbach. In fall 2017 he is on a four month sabbatical leave to complete a book on rethinking democracy in Europe as a guest fellow at the IWM/Vienna.