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. Presently, Ms. Espinosa is Bosch Academy Fellow. Ms. 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). Currently, Ms. Espinosa is acting as Commissioner to the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, member of the Global Women Leaders Voices for Change and Inclusion, member of the High Level 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 advisor on biodiversity, climate and indigenous peoples’ policies. 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 has vast experience in intergovernmental negotiations and is recognized as an international advocate on multilateralism and women’s rights and empowerment. Ms. Espinosa is recipient of numerous scholarships and acknowledgements from the Latin American Studies Association, the Ford Foundation, the Society of Woman Geographers, the Rockefeller Foundation, the German Agency for International Cooperation. The BBC listed her as one of the 100 inspiring and influential women in 2019. For her works of poetry, she was awarded with the National Poetry Prize of Ecuador in 1990. Ms. Espinosa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the Catholic University of Ecuador, a Master's degree in Anthropology and Social Sciences from the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO) with a specialization in Amazonian Studies, and completed doctoral studies in Geography at Rutgers University, USA.