María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés
An academic, diplomat and politician. Ms. Espinosa has held many leadership positions within the Government of Ecuador, serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense and Minister of Cultural and Natural Heritage. She was the first female Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York and Geneva.
Ms. Espinosa was an advisor on biodiversity and indigenous peoples’ policy and regional director for South America of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN. She is an expert in international affairs and the United Nations, defense and security, sustainable development, the environment, climate change, gender equality and indigenous peoples’ rights.
Most recently, she served as the President 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 in 1945.