João Vale de Almeida

João Vale de Almeida portrait

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.