Marta Lucía Ramírez Blanco
Marta Lucía Ramírez Blanco
Designation: Vice President
Marta Lucía Ramírez Blanco (July 4, 1954) is a Colombian lawyer and politician who currently serves as the country’s Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was elected as Colombia’s first female Vice President in 2018, after running on a ticket with Iván Duque Márquez.
Ramírez was born in the Colombian city of Zipaquira. She is a lawyer with a specialization in Legal Sciences and Socioeconomics from the Pontifical Xavierian University and postgraduate specializations in Financial Law from the University of the Andes and Business Management from La Sabana’s INALDE Business School. She was awarded a fellowship by Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs in 1996 to study the internationalization of Colombia’s economy in the context of regional blocs and economic and commercial integration.
Ramírez returned to Colombia in 1997 as the campaign manager for Noemi Sanin, who campaigned for office in 1998. After Sanin lost the election, Andres Pastrana, the new president, named Ramírez as Minister of Foreign Trade from 1998 to 2002. Several polls around this time identified her as the best minister in Pastrana’s cabinet. Her most notable accomplishments included creating and implementing a 10-year Strategic Plan for Colombia’s exports, competitiveness, and entrepreneurship policy.
Ramírez was then chosen as Colombia’s ambassador to France for a few months in 2002. Ramírez returned to Colombia following the election of Álvaro Uribe as President. She was also the 20th Minister of National Defense, and after Michelle Bachelet, the second woman in Latin America to hold this position. From 2002 to 2003, Ramírez became Minister of Defense. Her most important contributions to Alvaro Uribe’s government were the creation and implementation of a 10-year Democratic Security Policy and her emphasis on civilian control of the military to retain the military’s effectiveness and legitimacy.
Ramírez was elected President of the Colombian Senate’s International Affairs and Defense Commission. She authored Law 1253/08 for Colombian competitiveness, Law 1286/09 for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Law 1190/09 for displaced people, and various bills for public universities, women’s protection, and bilingual education, as well as presenting political control debates to the executive branch as a senator.
Ramírez was elected as Colombia’s first female Vice President on June 17, 2018, alongside former Senator Iván Duque Márquez. She took office on August 7, 2018. She is married to Álvaro Rincón, a Colombian architect and they have one daughter, María Alejandra.
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