Emília Pires

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Emilia Pires
Head and shoulders portrait of Minister of Finance Emilia Pires
2nd Timor-Leste Minister of Finance
In office
7 April 2007 – 16 February 2015
President Taur Matan Ruak
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao
Personal details
Born Rairobo, Timor-Leste
Nationality Timorese
Alma mater La Trobe University
University of Melbourne
London School of Economics

Emília Pires was Timor-Leste's Minister of Finance since April 2007 until 16 February 2015.[1] Ms. Pires was sworn in as the Minister of Finance of the V Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste on August 8, 2012[2] under the leadership of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

In July 2012, Ms. Pires was appointed by the Secretary-General of United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, to the 26-member High-level Panel of Eminent Persons advising the United Nations on the post 2015 global development agenda.[3]

Early life[edit]

In 1975, as a teenager, Emilia Pires left Timor-Leste (then Portuguese Timor) for Australia as a refugee, with her parents, brothers and sisters.[4] At the time, she and her family believed they would be able to return after only a few days. However, exile lasted for 24 years before Pires was able to return to Timor-Leste.[5]

Pires began her professional career as a junior public servant in the Victorian Government in her early 20s. She then rose to senior management level.[6]

Before becoming Minister of Finance, Ms. Pires held senior positions with:

  • World Bank, Senior Aid Management Specialist in West Bank and Gaza, where she advised both the Ministries of Finance and Planning of the Palestinian Authority and donors on aid coordination to the economic sector[6]
  • United Nations, UNMISET’s Senior Advisor to the Timor-Leste Ministry of Planning and Finance[7]
  • UNTAET’s Head of the Planning Commission Secretariat as well as the Chief of the National Development and Planning Agency (NPDA), and
  • Chief of the National Development and Planning Agency (NPDA).[8]

Minister of Finance (2007-current)[edit]

Some of Pires' main achievements are:

  • Timor-Leste Transparency Portal was launched in early 2011,[9] enabling the public to search, evaluate and analyse State expenditures in real time. The reforms helped lead to the reduction by 19 countries of the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index[10]
  • Emilia Pires was selected to be the first Chair of the g7+, the first forum of its kind giving fragile and conflict-affected countries a voice and place to share issues and ideas.[11][12] Pires held the role until May 2014, when Minister Kaifala Marah of Sierra Leone took over.
  • Until June 2014, Pires co-chaired the International Dialogue of Peacebuilding and Statebuilding with Denmark and later with Finland,[13] and
Emilia Pires addresses an audience at the Statebuilding, Equity and the Political Economy of Tax Reform panel discussion, 2011 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings
  • To improve service delivery, Pires corporatised the Ministry of Finance increasing decentralisation of some functions to line Ministries, like parts of the procurement process.[14]

Emilia Pires led the planning process for the first Timorese National Development Plan and East Timor’s Vision 2020, as well as chairing the UNDP Working Group to produce the first East Timor National Human Development Report.[15]

Appointment to United Nations High-level Panel of Eminent Persons[edit]

In July 2012, Pires was appointed by the Secretary-General of United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, to the 26-member High-level Panel of Eminent Persons advising the United Nations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.[3]

The co-chairs of the Panel are the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron.[16]


  • Co-authored "How will the Macroeconomy be Managed in an Independent East Timor? An East Timorese view" with Timor-Leste President of the Republic, H,E. Jose Ramos-Horta in 2001, published in the IMF’s Finance and Development Magazine.[17]
  • Co-authored "National Ownership and International Trusteeship: the Case of Timor-Leste", with Mr. Michael Francino in 2007, published in Boyce James K. and Madalene O’Donnell (eds) in the Peace and the Public Purse: Economic Policies for Postwar Statebuilding.[18][19]


Her educational qualifications include


Pires has also been invited to act as Keynote Speaker at various high level forums:

  • the Senior Level Forum on Development Effectiveness in Fragile States in London organized by DFID, OECD, World Bank, UNDP and European Union[21]
  • the "Deepening Voice and Accountability to fight poverty" Dialogue sponsored by the Communication Implementers in Paris[22]
  • the 3rd High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Accra, Ghana where she co-chaired the session on "New Development Challenges and New Development Partnerships: the Relevance and Urgency of Aid Reform"


  1. ^ Government of Timor-Leste. "Structure: Government of Timor-Leste". Government of Timor-Leste. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Government of Timor-Leste. "Tomada de posse do V Governo Constitucional". Government of Timor-Leste. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b United Nations. "Note to correspondents - UN Secretary-General Appoints High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda". United Nations. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Forbes.com. "Power women: Emilia Pires". Forbes. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Foreign Policy. "The Revolutionary: Minister of Finance Emilia Pires is leading a global movement". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Timor-Leste Ministry of Finance. "Biography of Minister of Finance, Ms. Emilia Pires" (PDF). Timor-Leste Ministry of Finance. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Pacific Fellows. "Past Fellows: Emilia Pires". Pacific Fellows. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  8. ^ ABC News. "Talks: Who should get what and why". ABC News. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Government of Timor-Leste. "Government launches the first transparency website". Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Transparency International. "Corruption Perceptions Index". Transparency International. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  11. ^ g7+. "History of the g7+". Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Foreign Policy. "Timor-Leste Emerges as The Voice of g7+". Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  13. ^ The World Bank. "World Bank Annual Meeting" (PDF). Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  14. ^ International Monetary Fund. "Staff Report for the 2010 Article IV Consultation" (PDF). International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  15. ^ RMIT University. "East Timorese Minister speaks at RMIT". RMIT University. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  16. ^ United Nations. "Note to correspondents - UN Secretary-General Appoints High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda". United Nations. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  17. ^ IMF. "Finance and Development: A quarterly magazine of the IMF". IMF. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Lynne Reinner Publishers. "Peace and the Public Purse: Economic Policies for Postwar Statebuilding". Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  19. ^ Thomas W D Davis. "Reconstructing Timor-Leste: The World Bank's Trust Fund for East Timor" (PDF). Timor-Leste Studies Association. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  20. ^ The Age. "Ten years on, East Timor looks to the future". The Age. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Overseas Development Institute. "Senior Level Forum on Development Effectiveness in Fragile States: Harmonisation and Alignment in Fragile States". Overseas Development Institute. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  22. ^ OECD. "Summary Note: Deepening Voice and Accountability to Fight Poverty: A Dialogue of Communication Implementers" (PDF). OECD. Retrieved 11 April 2012.