The European Commission has appointed Maria de Aires Soares as the Head of its Representation in Portugal. She will take up office on 16 May 2014.
Mrs Soares brings to her new role proven leadership and management skills, an extensive knowledge and experience of the European institutions, a track-record of working with a variety of stakeholders and a strong background in political analysis and communicating policy.
Since November 2011 Mrs Soares has (as a Commission official seconded in the interest of the service) been the Head of the Finance and Budget Division at the ITER Organization in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, France.
Prior to this appointment she served as Minister-Counselor, Head of the Research, Technology, Innovation and Education Section at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States in Washington DC.
Mrs Soares joined the European Commission in 1989 in the Directorate General for Research and Innovation, holding different management positions in areas ranging from administration and finance to researchers' mobility and energy.
In particular she promoted and developed an energy cooperation strategy between the European Union and Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US.
She was admitted to the Lisbon Bar in 1980 and started her professional career at a law firm in Lisbon. Immediately before joining the European Commission she held a senior position in the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.
She is a Law graduate from the University of Lisbon and holds a Ph. D. in Law from the University of Montpellier.