María Fernanda Espinosa

María Fernanda Espinosa is a politican, diplomat and human rights advocate with more than 30 years of professional experience in the academy, non-governmental and international organizations, and leadership positions within the Government of Ecuador. She is regarded as an expert in international affairs and the United Nations, defense and security, sustainable development, the environment, climate change, gender equality, and indigenous peoples’ rights.

She currently serves as President of Cities Alliance and is the Executive Director of Global Women Leaders for Change and Inclusion. She also serves as a member of leading international organizations including the International Crisis Group, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and the World Commission on the Economics of Water.

María Fernanda was an advisor on biodiversity and indigenous peoples’ policy and later regional director for South America of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN. 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. She was also permanent representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. Recently, she served as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.