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João Vale de Almeida

ODI Europe Chair (commencing January 2024)

Portrait of João Vale de Almeida

João Vale de Almeida is a senior European Union Ambassador who recently retired from active duty after a 40-year international career. He was last posted in London, until November 2022, as the first EU Ambassador to the United Kingdom, after Brexit. Previously he was EU Ambassador to the United Nations after being posted in Washington DC as EU Ambassador to the United States.

The Ambassador is currently a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge , in the United Kingdom. In the first semester of 2023 he was “George W Ball Professor of International and Public Affairs” at the School of International and Public Affairs ( SIPA) of Columbia University, in New York, USA. 

Ambassador Vale de Almeida has a vast experience in European and International affairs, combining political, security, economic and development aspects and has practiced diplomacy at the highest level over the last two decades. 

Between 2004 and 2009, Ambassador Vale de Almeida was the Head of Cabinet (Chief of staff and main adviser) for European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. João Vale de Almeida was the President’s Personal Representative for the negotiations on the Treaty of Lisbon and for several years acted as the EU “Sherpa” for G8 and G20 Summits.

The Ambassador served also as the Director General for External Relations of the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body.