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María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (born September 7, 1964)[1] is an Ecuadorian politician and diplomat. She is the current President of the United Nations General Assembly for the 73rd session,[2] office which started in September 2018. She was Minister of National Defense of Ecuador from 28 November 2012 to 23 September 2014.[3] Previously, she served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Lenín Moreno from May 2017 to June 2018. She also held several other Ministerial posts before. She served as the Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva from October 2014 to May 2017, and held the same position from 2008 to 2009. Besides her political career she is also a poet and essayist.

María Fernanda Espinosa
María Fernanda Espinosa - 2017 (36537168903) (cropped).jpg
Espinosa in 2017
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Assumed office
18 September 2018
Preceded byMiroslav Lajčák
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
24 May 2017 – 11 June 2018
PresidentLenín Moreno
Preceded byGuillaume Long
Succeeded byJosé Valencia
In office
15 January 2007 – 7 December 2007
PresidentRafael Correa
Preceded byFrancisco Carrión
Succeeded byMaría Isabel Salvador
Minister of National Defense
In office
28 November 2012 – 23 September 2014
PresidentRafael Correa
Preceded byMiguel Carvajal
Succeeded byFernando Cordero Cueva
Coordinating Minister of Heritage
In office
19 October 2009 – 28 November 2012
PresidentRafael Correa
Preceded byAlex Rivas
Succeeded byMaría Belén Moncayo
Personal details
Born (1964-09-07) September 7, 1964 (age 54)
Salamanca, Spain
Political partyPAIS Alliance
Spouse(s)Eduardo Mangas
Alma materFacultad Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador
Rutgers University


Personal lifeEdit

Espinosa was born 7 September 1964 in Salamanca, Spain during a stay of her parents in the city. She is fluent in French and English and has working knowledge of Portuguese. She has interests in poetry and ecology. She studied at Lycée La Condamine and graduated in the early 1980s.[4]


She holds a master's degree in Social Science and Amazonic Studies. She also has a postgraduate degree in Anthropology and Political Science from the Facultad Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales in Quito and a licentiate in Applied Linguistics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. In addition to that, she won the "First National Poetry Prize of Ecuador" in 1990.[5]

Political careerEdit

Under President Rafael Correa, Espinosa was Minister for Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Integration from January 2007 to December 2007. She was then Special Adviser to the President of the Constituent Assembly, Alberto Acosta from December 2007 to February 2008 before being appointed as Ecuador's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She presented her credentials as Permanent Representative on March 7, 2008.[1] From October 2009 till November 2012 she was Coordinating Minister of Heritage.[6]

In November 2012 she got the post of Minister of National Defense as incumbent Minister Miguel Carvajal stepped down to run for the National Assembly elections of 2013. She is the third female to lead the Ministry of National Defense after Guadalupe Larriva and Lorena Escudero.[7] In March 2013 some controversy arose after television channel Ecuavisa reported there was unrest in the military concerning the promotion of certain colonels to generals. President Correa ordered Espinosa to take legal action against Ecuavisa, saying that the information Ecuavisa possessed was false. On 18 March 2013 Ecuavisa apologized and confirmed that basic verification procedures had not been followed.[8] She resigned as Minister on 23 September 2014.[9]

In October 2014 Espinosa was named Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva. She succeeded Luis Gallegos.[10] In her capacity as Permanent Representative she defended the case of Julian Assange in a discussion on arbitrary detention in September 2016.[11]

On 24 May 2017 Espinosa was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of President Lenín Moreno.[12]

Other activitiesEdit


  1. ^ a b "NEW PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ECUADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS", United Nations Press Release, BIO/3968, March 7, 2008.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Maria Fernanda Espinosa new Defense Minister Archived 2013-04-13 at on Ecuador Times, 28 November 2012
  4. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish) Poesía y ecología, dos pasiones de María Espinosa on El Universo, 7 January 2007
  5. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish) Hoja de Vida Archived 2014-02-02 at the Wayback Machine on Ministry of National Defense of Ecuador
  6. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish) Maria Fernanda Espinosa es la nueva Ministra Coordinadora de Patrimonio Archived 2013-04-12 at on 19 October 2009
  7. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish) Maria Fernanda Espninosa es la nueva Ministra de Defensa on 28 November 2012
  8. ^ Ecuavisa apologizes to the armed forces for misinformation Archived 2013-04-13 at on Ecuador Times, 19 March 2013
  9. ^ "María Fernanda Espinosa renunció al Ministerio de Defensa" (in Spanish). El Comercio. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  10. ^ "María Fernanda Espinosa is the new Ambassador of Ecuador before the UN in Geneva". Andes. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  11. ^ "María Fernanda Espinosa aboga por Assange ante la ONU" (in Spanish). El Comercio. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  12. ^ "María Fernanda Espinosa fue posesionada como Canciller del Ecuador". 25 May 2017. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017.
  13. ^ Members International Gender Champions (IGC).
  14. ^ Counciller Biographies on World Future Council

External linksEdit

Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Miroslav Lajčák
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Luis Gallegos
Ecuador Ambassador to United Nations in Geneva
Succeeded by
Guillaume Long
Political offices
Preceded by
Francisco Carrión
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
María Isabel Salvador
Preceded by
Alex Rivas
Coordinating Minister of Heritage
Succeeded by
María Belén Moncayo
Preceded by
Sandra Vela Dávila
Minister of Sports
Succeeded by
José Francisco Cevallos
Preceded by
Miguel Carvajal
Minister of National Defense
Succeeded by
Fernando Cordero Cueva
Preceded by
Guillaume Long
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
José Valencia
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ricardo Patiño
Second Vice President of the PAIS Alliance
Succeeded by
Ricardo Zambrano