João Vale de Almeida

Former European Union Ambassador to the United Kingdom, to the United States, and to the United Nation

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Senior European diplomat able to decode the most intricate aspects of international affairs
Has a deep hands-on knowledge of global political and economic governance at the highest level
Visiting fellow at Cambridge University and visiting professor at Columbia University

João Vale de Almeida is a senior European diplomat able to decode the most intricate aspects of international affairs in a direct and engaging style.

Having worked at the Brussels headquarters of the EU for over half of his 40-year career, including as Chief of Staff to the President of the European Commission, his expertise in European affairs is unsurpassed. He has met and engaged with many world leaders and has a deep, hands-on knowledge of global political and economic governance at the highest level.

His prestigious career includes positions as European Union Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2020 to 2023, to the United States, and to the United Nations, as well as Chief of Staff to the President of the European Commission.

In New York, he coordinated the EU’s presence in all UN bodies, working closely with the Permanent Representatives of the EU Member States. In Washington, he focused on the strengthening of EU/U.S. relations and the launching of negotiations for TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).

Prior to his appointment in Washington as the European Union’s Ambassador, he served as the Director General for External Relations at the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body. As the most senior official under the authority of the High Representative/Vice-President, he helped formulate and execute the EU’s foreign policy and played a key role in preparing for the new European External Action Service (EEAS) introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon.

Earlier in his career in the European institutions, João held several senior positions in the European Commission and the Economic and Social Committee and worked closely in different capacities with and under the authority of former Commission Presidents José Manuel Barroso, Jacques Delors, Jacques Santer and Romano Prodi.

João joined the European Commission in 1982 at its Delegation in Lisbon, after spending seven years as a journalist. He holds a degree in History from the University of Lisbon and has studied and received training in journalism and management in the United States, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom. João was decorated in 2011 by the President of the Republic of Portugal with the ‘Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique’ (Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator).

He is a visiting fellow at Cambridge University in the UK, a visiting professor at Columbia University in the US, a senior advisor at the leading think tank European Policy Centre, and a trustee of Oceano Azul Foundation.

Suggested Talks:

Where is the Global Order When We Need it the Most? The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is one of the latest illustrations — and by far the most meaningful — of the erosion of post-Cold War consensus and of the serious ongoing challenges to the global order inherited from the 20th Century. As a diplomat active in the international scene at the highest level for the past twenty years, João possesses the hands-on knowledge and experience to identify current risks and challenges and potential ways to redress the situation before it is too late.

Between a Friendly Rock and A Hard Place: How Europe Views the US/China Rivalry: If asked to choose between Washington and Beijing, Europe will not hesitate to stand by its allies and friends, but not without costs. Having served as an Ambassador in the US and the UK for ten years and before that in key positions in Brussels, João is ideally placed to provide an in-depth and insightful perspective of the current diplomatic trends across the Atlantic, the Pacific, and beyond.

Our Man in Washington, New York, and London: A first-person account of an Ambassador’s life in three big diplomatic capitals of the world, with inside views of key events and personalities of the first quarter of the 21st century. João revisits and decodes recent history and ongoing developments, the day-to-day practice of diplomacy, and behind the curtain episodes and personal profiles of world leaders he met.

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