João Vale de Almeida

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João Vale de Almeida
João Vale de Almeida 2011.jpg
European Union Ambassador to United States
Assumed office
10 August 2010
President José Manuel Barroso, Herman van Rompuy
Preceded by John Bruton
Director General for External Relations
In office
November 2009 – July 2010
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Eneko Landaburu
Succeeded by David O'Sullivan
Personal details
Born 29 January 1957
Lisbon, Portugal
Nationality Portuguese
Alma mater University of Lisbon
Profession Journalist, European Official

João Vale de Almeida (born 29 January 1957, Lisbon) formally became the European Union (EU) ambassador to the United States (US) on 10 August 2010.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Vale de Almeida studied history at the University of Lisbon and studied journalism and management in France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. After working as a journalist for seven years he joined the European Commission in 1982 at the European Commission delegation in Lisbon.[1]

During his time in the Commission he worked under Presidents Jacques Delors, Jacques Santer and Romano Prodi. Under Santer, in 1995, he became deputy chief spokesman for the Commission. In 1997 he was promoted to Director at the Directorate-General (DG) for Information, Communication, Culture and Audiovisual.[1][2]

When President Prodi took office in 1999, Vale de Almeida was a member of his transition team before being appointed as Director at the DG for Education and Culture.[1][2]

Under President Barroso[edit]

In 2004 he joined President José Manuel Barroso's new team as head of the transition team, then Chief of Staff. He joined President Barroso in European Council Meetings and on overseas visits and acted as his personal representative (sherpa) for G8 and G20 summits as well as negotiations on the Treaty of Lisbon.[1][2]

External Relations of European Union[edit]

In November 2009 he was made the Director General of the external relations department (DG RELEX) of the Commission before appointed EU ambassador to the US in February 2010.[1][2] He remained Director General of RELEX until July 2010. He assumed his post in Washington formally on 10 August 2011 and was the first appointed after the Treaty of Lisbon increased the delegation's powers to speak for the whole of the EU (previously, it represented only the Commission).[3] This appointment is however disputed by some Member States.[4]

I do not wish or will impose myself on the member states' ambassadors ... Where we have a common position, I am the one leading the show. Bilateral matters are the mandate of the 27 (EU member state) ambassadors.

—Mr. Vale de Almeida, 2010[3]

After Washington, he will come back in Brussels "takes up a senior post at the European External Action Service", the High Representative of EU, Catherine Ashton, said.[5]


Vale de Almeida is a Benfica fan. He used to play Handball and Volleyball. He now plays Tennis and Golf on an irregular basis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ambassador João Vale de Almeida: Biography, Delegation of the European Union to the United States
  2. ^ a b c d e EUROPEAN CURRICULUM VITAE: VALE DE ALMEIDA, JOÃO, European Commission
  3. ^ a b Rettman, Andrew (11 August 2010 ) EU envoy to US flaunts new powers, EU Observer
  4. ^ Gros-Verheyde, Nicolas (22 February 2010 ) Le dossier « Vale de Almeida » fait des vagues au Conseil…, B2 Bruxelles2
  5. ^ Gros-Verheyde, Nicolas (8 May 2014) Joao de Vale de Almeida, futur dirigeant du SEAE ?, B2 Bruxelles2

External links[edit]