Coune is a former employee of Belgian National Railways (SNCB) where her roles included secretary to the management board and head of international affairs. Coune then worked for the Belgian Ministry of Transport and was appointed director general for land transport in 2005 and president of the management board in 2008.

Short worked for the Irish ministries of transport and finance before joining the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) in 1984. He was appointed deputy secretary general in 1993 and secretary general in 2001. Short played a key role in 2006-07 in transforming the ECMT into the global ITF.

The ITF also published at the Leipzig meeting its "Transport Outlook 2011" which sets out the challenges facing transport, the biggest of which is the expectation that the world's population will soar from 6 billion in 2000 to 9 billion by 2050. In addition, it was announced that China will join the ITF.