Her Excellency Ivonne Baki, USA/Ecuador
Her Excellency Ivonne Juez Abuchacra de Baki is an Ecuadorian politician, diplomat, peace negotiator and painter, currently serving her third term as Ecuador's Ambassador to the United States. She is most known for her time as the Ecuadorian Minister of Industries and Productivity and as the President of the Andean Parliament. She also served as Ecuador's Ambassador to Qatar. Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador of Arab Lebanese parents, in 1990, Ambassador Baki became an artist in residence at Harvard University, creating the Harvard Arts for Peace Foundation and the Beyond Boundaries Foundation to improve the health of Ecuadorians living in poverty.
On October 26, 1998, Ambassador Baki helped to negotiate a Peace Agreement between Ecuador and Peru, which led her to the realm of diplomacy and politics. During he first term as Ambassador to the United States, she successfully procured the extension of the Andean Trade Preferences (ATP) for fighting the trafficking of drugs in the western hemisphere. She also promoted regional integration through commerce and cultural exchange, and, in 2001, after the spill from the oil tanker Jessica in the Galapagos Islands, she created the Galapagos Conservancy Foundation which has achieved important goals towards protecting the environment and fragile species in a number of countries. In 2002, shei was a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Ecuador.
Ambassador Baki has also spent her career working to advance the cultural and economic integration of Latin America. As Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, Fisheries, and Competitiveness, she initiated the negotiation of Trade Agreements with the United States and the European Union, and in 2007, was elected President of the Andean Parliament, increasing the integration and unity of the Andean Nations through education, cultural exchange, trade, science, technology, tourism, peace and regional security. She was also served as Chief Negotiator for the Yasuni-ITT Initiative that aims to keep 846 million barrels of oil from being exploited to preserve the most biodiverse place on the planet, the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador.
Ambassador Baki is the host and a featured speaker of the LAD | Design Talk: "Designers & Artisans: Partnerships for a Sustainable Future" to be held at the Embassy of Ecuador on Wednesday, October 11th, from 6:30-8:30 pm. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee of LAD | Latin American Design Week.