Thursday, October 18, 2012

Get to Know a Speaker: Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida

Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida is the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. In this capacity, he represents European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, under the authority of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

Mr. Vale de Almeida presented his credentials to US President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony on August 10, 2010. Prior to his appointment in Washington, he served as the Director General for External Relations at the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body. As the most senior official under the authority of the High Representative/European Commission Vice-President Baroness Ashton, he helped formulate and execute the EU's foreign policy and played a key role in preparing for the new European External Action Service (EEAS) introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon.

From 2004 to 2009 Mr. Vale de Almeida was the Head of Cabinet (Chief of staff and main adviser) for European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. He accompanied President Barroso in all European Council (EU Summit) meetings and ensured coordination with the private offices of Heads of State and Governments in all 27 Member States of the EU. He also acted as President Barroso's permanent Personal Representative ("Sherpa") for G8 and G20 Summits and as his Personal Representative for the negotiations on the Treaty of Lisbon.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Vale de Almeida held several senior positions in the European Commission and worked closely, in different capacities, with former Commission Presidents Jacques Delors, Jacques Santer and Romano Prodi.

Before joining President Barroso's team in 2004, Mr. Vale de Almeida held a senior position in the Directorate General for Education and Culture and served as Deputy Chief Spokesman of the European Commission.

Mr. Vale de Almeida joined the European Commission in 1982 at the European Commission Delegation in Lisbon, after spending seven years as a journalist. He holds a degree in history from the University of Lisbon and has studied journalism and management in the United States, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

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