María Fernanda Espinosa

María Fernanda Espinosa

Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces is an Ecuadorian academic, diplomat, linguist and poet, holding a PhD in anthropology, social sciences and geography from Rutgers University. She first worked with indigenous people and women in tropical rainforest stewardship in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and became Regional Director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, specializing in multilateral negotiations on climate change, biodiversity policy, genetic resources, traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights. She has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration, as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN, as Minister of Natural and Cultural Heritage and as Minister of National Defense. In 2018, she was elected President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, the fourth woman in history to preside over this body. Espinosa received numerous awards for her research and academic work in the Amazon, for defending the rights of indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities. In 2019, the BBC named her one of the world’s 100 most influential women. Currently, Espinosa is co-Chair of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, Councillor of the World Future Council, co-Chair of the Coalition for the UN We Need, Member of the Group of Women Leaders for Change and Inclusion and fellow of the Bosch Academy, analyzing alternatives for inclusive and effective global governance and UN reform.

Join the Conversation

Sign up to stay in touch and learn more about the Global Governance Forum.

Stay Up to Date