María Fernanda Espinosa is an academic, diplomat and politician with more than 30 years of professional experience. She is an expert in international affairs and the United Nations, peace and security, sustainable development, climate change, gender equality, and indigenous peoples’ rights. She has a vast experience in intergovernmental negotiations and is recognized as a champion of multilateralism and women’s rights and empowerment.
She served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense, Minister of Cultural and Natural Heritage and was the first female ambassador and permanent representative of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York and the United Nations in Geneva. Most recently, she served as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, becoming the fourth woman in history and the first from Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over this body since its foundation 75 years ago.
She is currently Commissioner of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission; Councilor of the World Future Council; member of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee of the Generation Equality, Beijing + 25 process and the Generation Equality Forum; the Political Advisory Panel of the Universal Health Coverage 2030 Movement, UHC2030; the Group of Women Leaders for Change and Inclusion GWL; the Strategic Committee of the SDSN Science Panel for the Amazon; and Founder Member of the Board at the Centre for UN Studies, University of Buckingham. M. Espinosa is Goodwill Ambassador of the Latin American and Caribbean Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples, FILAC.