Brende served as chairman of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development 2003–2004. In 2005, he took up the appointment of international vice chairman of the China Council for the International Cooperation on Environment and Development (advisory board to the State Council). In January 2008, Brende joined the World Economic Forum as managing director, particularly in charge of relations with governments and civil society.
In 2009, Børge Brende joined the Norwegian Red Cross as Secretary General.
He re-joined the World Economic Forum in 2011 as Managing Director with responsibility for policy initiatives and engagement of the Forum"s non-business constituents. Brende is married and has two sons.