Alicia Bárcena

Mexico |  Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mexico

Former Executive Secretary of UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

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Alicia Bárcena is currently the secretary of foreign affairs of Mexico. She is the former Mexican ambassador in Chile and was previously the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Bárcena has a long history of public service with the UN. She has previously served as under secretary general for management at headquarters in New York, chef de cabinet and deputy chef de cabinet to former Secretary General Kofi Annan, deputy executive secretary of ECLAC, director of ECLAC’s Environment and Human Settlements Division, coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Program of the UN Development Program (UNDP), and director of the Environmental Citizenship Project at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Additionally, Bárcena was the founding director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica, a non-governmental organization in charge of follow-up to the agreements reached at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Bárcena has taught and conducted research at the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico. She has published numerous articles on sustainable development, public policy, environmental issues, and public participation.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology as well as a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. In September 2014, Bárcena was awarded an honoris causa doctorate by the University of Oslo, Norway.

Bárcena is currently on leave from the Dialogue until the end of her appointment. 

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Alicia Bárcena receives Order of the Merit from Chilean Foreign Minister

Member in the News: Alicia Bárcena

Alicia Bárcena, Mexican Ambassador to Chile and newly appointed Foreign Minister, received the Order of Merit in the degree of “Grand Cross” by the Foreign Minister of Chile, the highest distinction Chile grants foreign citizens. 

Photo of Alicia Bárcena

Member in the News: Alicia Bárcena

On June 13, 2023, Inter-American Dialogue member and Mexican Ambassador to Chile, Alicia Bárcena, was appointed as Mexico’s Foreign Minister by President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador.  

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