Speaker: Beatriz Merino, former Prime Minister of Peru
Beatriz Merino was the first female Prime Minister of Peru and the first female prime minister in Latin America. She held office between June 2003 and December 2003. She also served as Peru’s national ombudsman from September 2005 until March 2011. Before serving as Prime Minister, Ms. Merino served as Senator from 1990-1992 and Congresswoman from 1995-2000. During that time, she served as President of the Environmental Committee and the Women's Rights Committee.
Ms. Merino is widely recognized for her expertise and work with women's issues. She was the Director of the Women’s Leadership Program, now known as the Gender Equality in Development Unit, at the Inter-American Development Bank, which aims to support and finance projects to enhance women’s leadership in Latin America. She was also a member of the board of directors for the International Women Forum and a steering committee member for the Business Women's Initiative against HIV/AIDS. Ms. Merino has authored two books: "Peruvian Women in the XX Century Legislation" and "Marriage and Rape: Debate of Article 178 of the Peruvian Criminal Code."
Ms. Merino studied law at Peru's National University of San Marcos and holds a master's degree in law from Harvard University and an LLM degree from the London School of Economics.