Maria Helena Semedo

Deputy Director-General
Climate and Natural Resources, FAO

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, is an economist and politician from Cape Verde. As leading expert in global development issues, she has worked in public service for over thirty years. Before taking up her current duties in 2013, she was FAO’s representative in Niger, then Deputy Regional Representative for Africa and Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa. She also worked as an economist for the Cabo Verde Ministry of Planning and Cooperation, became Secretary of State for Fisheries, and then Minister for Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Affairs – the first-ever woman Minister in her country. After serving as Minister for Tourism, Transportation and Marine Affairs from 1995-1998, she became Member of Parliament until 2003.