External Advisory Board

María Fernanda Espinosa

María Fernanda Espinosa was President of the United Nations General Assembly. In Ecuador, she served twice as Minister of Foreign Affairs (2007-2008 & 2017-2018), Minister of Defense (2012-2014), and Minister of Cultural and Natural Heritage (2009-2012).
Espinosa is an academic, diplomat, politician, poet, and linguist with graduate studies in social science, anthropology, geography, and Amazonian studies. Her professional experience spans over 30 years in academia, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, and high-level government positions.
She has a wide range of knowledge and experience in public policy, international relations, and scholarly discussions on peace and security, sustainable development, climate change, gender equality, and the rights of indigenous peoples. She is regarded as an expert in foreign policy, international politics, the United Nations system, and global governance.
Currently, Espinosa performs several advisory and advocacy roles in gender equality, sustainable development, health diplomacy, indigenous affairs, global and local governance, and multilateralism. Her multiple duties include Executive Director of the Group of Global Women Leaders for Change and Inclusion; Chair of the Board of Women in Global Health; Co-chair of the Coalition for the UN We Need; Member of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Member of the SDSN Science Panel for the Amazon; Member of the Board of Patrons at the World Sustainability Forum; Political Advisor for the Universal Health Coverage 2030 Movement; UBUNTU Advisor for United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG);  Councilor of the World Future Council and Member of the High-Level Advisory Council for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and Member of the Advisory Committee for Club de Madrid. Additionally, she acts as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Latin American and Caribbean Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples FILAC and the Common Home of Humanity.