10 Things You Didn’t Know About Clelia Haji-Ioannou

Some people manage to bring meaningful contributions to the world in a multifaceted way; Clelia Haji-Ioannou is a prime example of such individuals. Daughter of the Greek-Cypriot businessman Loucas Haji-Ioannou and a prominent figure in her own right, Clelia continues to make her mark in the fields of philanthropy, business, and fine art. Here, we uncover ten intriguing facts about Clelia that help shed light on her many achievements.

1. Clelia’s Formidable Business Backdrop

Clelia Haji-Ioannou comes from an illustrious business dynasty rooted in Greek-Cypriot culture. Her father, Loucas Haji-Ioannou, became an international business magnate with investments and businesses spread over several continents. He started by venturing into the shipping industry and later diversified into the aviation industry, setting up the well-known low-cost airline, easyJet.

Being brought up in this entrepreneurial environment has largely shaped Clelia’s career. Being vested with the responsibility to continue the family legacy, she learned the ropes of the business world early on, which she later used to carve out a successful career of her own.

2. Her Introduction to Philanthropy

Philanthropy runs deep in Clelia’s family roots. Her father, realizing the importance of giving back to society, started the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation in 2009 in Monaco. Devoted to supporting education, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability and inter-community relations, it’s through this foundation that Clelia began her journey into philanthropy.

Clelia serves as one of the executives of the foundation and plays an active role in all its initiatives. Her commitment to giving back to the community is evident in every project she undertakes, making her a significant figure in global philanthropy.

3. The Artistic Side of Clelia Haji-Ioannou

An artist at heart, Clelia Haji-Ioannou possesses a deep appreciation for modern and contemporary art. She is known for amassing a unique collection of artworks from various renowned artists from across the world, tastefully adorning her residences and offices. Apart from being an art collector, Clelia is also known for commissioning art projects and supporting young and upcoming artists.

Her love for art is not just a personal interest; she actively contributes to art organizations and institutions. Her involvement in promoting the art scene, particularly in her home country Cyprus, is noteworthy.

4. Clelia’s Involvement in the Shipping Industry

Following her father’s footsteps, Clelia Haji-Ioannou ventured into the shipping sector. She played an integral part in setting up Stelmar Shipping, a shipping company that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and enjoyed immense success. The company was eventually sold in 2005 to the OSG group.

Even after the sale of Stelmar Shipping, Clelia’s name remains linked with the shipping industry. She invested some of the proceeds of the sale into a new venture within the same industry, showing her continuous dedication to this sector.

5. Her Educational Accomplishments

Clelia is not only a successful businesswoman and philanthropist; she also has an impressive educational background. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and subsequently, she pursued a Master’s Degree from New York University.

Her educational accomplishments reflect her commitment towards seeking knowledge and understanding the world around her. This, coupled with her hands-on business experience, has made her an influential figure in various industry sectors across the world.

6. Transparency Advocate

Clelia is a strong advocate for transparency in business and charity operations. She believes that visibility and accountability are key in instilling trust and strengthening relationships with stakeholders. Therefore, she always works towards promoting transparency in all her endeavors.

This can be seen in the way she runs the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, where she ensures that the allocation and use of funds are open and above board, making it an organization that epitomizes transparency and good governance.

7. Environmentalist

One of the notable things about Clelia is her commitment to preserving the environment. To promote environmental sustainability, she actively funds several initiatives through the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation.

From investing in renewable energy to backing environmental charities and initiatives, Clelia consistently demonstrates her dedication to conservation. Her efforts are geared towards ensuring future generations inhabit a healthier, sustainable planet.

8. Award-winning CEO

During her tenure as Stelmar Shipping’s CEO, the company made significant strides in the shipping industry. In 2002, Stelmar Shipping was awarded “Tanker Company of the Year” award at Lloyd’s List Maritime Awards event. It was a testament to Clelia’s leadership and business acumen.

This wasn’t her only achievement during her leadership tenure. Under her guidance, Stelmar Shipping also was awarded the “Greek Shipping Newcomer Award” at the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards in 2001.

9. Promoting Inter-community Understanding

Clelia believes in the power of harmony and co-existence. Being involved in the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, she promotes inter-community understanding and cooperation, particularly between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots.

Through initiatives like bi-communal business awards, she seeks to strengthen relationships between the two communities, contributing to peace-building efforts in her homeland.

10. Her Quest to Support Young Entrepreneurs

Understanding the potential of young minds, Clelia has always been a supporter of entrepreneurship, especially among the youth. Through the Stelios Foundation awards, she encourages young entrepreneurs to bring their innovative ideas to the table, supporting them with needed resources and mentorship.

Her commitment to nurturing future industry leaders is evident in the success stories of individuals who have been transformed by the entrepreneurial programs she has initiated through the foundation.

In conclusion, Clelia Haji-Ioannou’s legacy is more than just assuming the responsibilities of her family’s ventures. She’s built her reputation as a kind-hearted philanthropist, a refined art collector, a savvy businesswoman and a champion for societal cohesiveness; making her contribution to society truly noteworthy.

Useful Links:

Stelios Philanthropic Foundation


Lloyd’s List Maritime Awards