Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova was Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to France and Monaco, Personal Representative of the Bulgarian President to the “Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie,” and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO from 2005 to 2009.
Born in 1952, she obtained an MBA from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and studied at the universities of Maryland and Harvard in the USA. During her long and distinguished career, she also served as Bulgaria’s representative to the United Nations and as her country’s Secretary of State for European integration and Foreign Minister. Ms Bokova has long promoted the transition to European integration. As Founder and Chairperson of the European Policy Forum, she worked to overcome divisions in Europe and promote the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and rights.