As a graduate in Political Sciences with extensive experience in Colombian foreign policy, Maria Angela Holguín- Cuellar spans two decades of activity in the public and private sectors. She has held high positions in the Government of Colombia at institutions such as the Office of the President of the Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Inspector General of the Nation. She has ample political and administrative experience, fields in which her commitment and responsibility have yielded successful results.
As a qualified diplomat, Maria Angela Holguin has a vast multilateral experience in coordinating conferences and summits and recently, as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations she has, from this position, shown a high level of commitment and respect for multilateral projects.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is a graduate in Political Sciences of the School of Political Science of the Universidad de los Andes (1988), with a Specialization in Diplomacy and Strategy from the Centre d´Études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques – CEDS, in Paris, France (1999). Likewise, she holds a Specialization in Public Administration and Administrative Institutions from Universidad de Los Andes (1992), where she also completed a High Government Course in 2007.
Moreover, she studied Theory and Tools of Negotiation Processes at Harvard University (1997) and Civilization and French Literature at Université Paris X-Sorbonne in 1983. As part of her broad professional experience in the diplomatic field, Maria Angela Holguin has held, among others, the positions of Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia and Acting Minister (1998), Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations (2004 – 2006), Ambassador of Colombia to Venezuela (2002 – 2004) and First Secretary of the Embassy of Colombia in France (1992).
In addition, Ms Holguin was Coordinator for Colombia of the IADB Assembly and Inter-American Investment Corporation (1997), and Executive Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Conference on Early Childhood (1997).
Between 1995 and 1997, she served as Technical Secretary of the Ministerial Meeting on Cultural Affairs and of the XI Summit of Chiefs of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Between 1999 and 2002, she was the Regional Director for Latin America of the Worldview International Foundation and has been an Advisor to the President of the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) in 2006, and its Representative in Argentina between 2008 and 2010. This was her last position before she was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia by President Juan Manuel Santos.
Holguin has held the position of Head of the Cabinet of the Vice-President of the Republic from 2006 to 2008, as well as Coordinator of the Committee of International Affairs in the Presidential Campaign of Alvaro Uribe-Velez (2001-2002) , Assistant Director of the Administrative Department of the Office of the President of the Republic (1996), Private Secretary of the Office of the Inspector General of the Nation (1991) and Director of the Democracy Strengthening Program of the Universidad de Los Andes, in 1988.