María Fernanda Espinosa is an Ecuadorian diplomat, politician, and academic with more than 30 years of experience in international organizations, the Ecuadorian government, NGOs and academia.
Espinosa served as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (2018-2019), becoming the fourth woman in history and the first from Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over this body. Previously, she was Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration (2007-2008 and 2017-2018), Minister of Cultural and Natural Heritage (2009-2012), and Minister of Defense (2012-2014). She also served as ambassador and permanent representative of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York (2008-2009) and Geneva (2014-2017).
Espinosa is currently acting as commissioner to the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, member of the Global Women Leaders Voices for Change and Inclusion as well as the Advisory Council of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and as Goodwill Ambassador for the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC), among others. Prior to her political and diplomatic career, she worked as academic and advisor on biodiversity, climate and indigenous peoples’ policies.