Leonor Beleza

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Leonor Beleza
Leonor Beleza in 2017
Member of the Council of State
Assumed office
25 June 2008
PresidentAníbal Cavaco Silva
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Preceded byManuela Ferreira Leite
Minister of Health
In office
6 November 1985 – 5 January 1990
Prime MinisterAníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded byAntónio Maldonado Gonelha
Succeeded byArlindo de Carvalho
Secretary of State for Social Security
In office
18 June 1983 – 6 November 1985
Prime MinisterMário Soares
Preceded byAntónio Bagão Félix
Succeeded byJosé Pinto Sancho
Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers
In office
12 June 1982 – 9 June 1983
Prime MinisterFrancisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded byMarcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Succeeded byAlfredo Barroso
Member of the Assembly of the Republic
In office
5 April 2002 – 9 March 2005
In office
13 August 1987 – 26 October 1995
ConstituencyPorto (1987–1991)
Lisbon (1991–1995)
In office
31 May 1983 – 3 November 1985
Personal details
Maria Leonor Couceiro Pizarro Beleza

(1948-11-23) 23 November 1948 (age 75)
Porto, Portugal
Political partySocial Democratic Party (since 1974)
SpouseDiogo de Mendonça Tavares
RelativesTeresa Pizarro Beleza (sister)
Miguel Beleza [pt] (brother)
Alma materUniversity of Lisbon

Maria Leonor Couceiro Pizarro Beleza de Mendonça Tavares GCC (born 23 November 1948) is a Portuguese politician.


She is daughter of José Júlio Pizarro Beleza and Maria dos Prazeres Lançarote Couceiro da Costa. Her brother is former Minister of Finance Miguel Beleza.

Member of the Social Democratic Party, she served twice as Minister of Health in the Portuguese government. She is the 1st President of the Champalimaud Foundation.

Leonor Beleza is a graduate of the University of Lisbon Law School, where she has also worked as an assistant professor. During a distinguished professional career she has held a number of high-profile public offices. Among other positions, she was Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Cabinet (1982–1983), Secretary of State for Social Security (1983–1985), and Minister of Health (1985–1990) in the Portuguese Government. She has been elected as a Member of Parliament on several occasions and on two occasions she has served as Vice President of the Assembly of the Republic (1991–1994, 2002–2005). In addition to her prominent role in public affairs Mrs Beleza has also played an active role in the private sector.

Leonor Beleza is currently the Chairman of the Portuguese League for People with Physical Disabilities, chairman of the advisory board of the D. Pedro IV Foundation, and a member of the General Councils of the CEBI Foundation and of the Gil Foundation. She is also a vigorous campaigner for women's rights, a cause she has supported for many years. In 2004, Leonor Beleza was appointed Chairman of the Champalimaud Foundation by the will of António Champalimaud. Leonor Beleza headed the Banco Totta & Açores Supervisory Board (1995–1998) and member of the BCP's (Banco Comercial Português) General Council and Supervisory Board (2011–2013).

Marriage and issue[edit]

She married Diogo de Mendonça Rodrigues Tavares and had two children:

  • Mariana da Conceição Beleza de Mendonça Tavares (born Lisbon, 4 December 1975); by Bernardo Maria Correia Mendes Pinheiro Torres (born Lisbon, 29 February 1976) she had one daughter Maria Beatriz Beleza Tavares Pinheiro Torres (born Lisbon, 13 October 1999)
  • Miguel Couceiro Beleza de Mendonça Tavares (born 8 March 1979)

AIDS scandal[edit]

In 2001, a Portuguese court indicted Beleza propagating a contagious disease during her time as Health Minister during the 1980s.[1] More than 100 Portuguese haemophiliacs had become infected with the AIDS virus after receiving transfusions of contaminated plasma that had been imported and distributed by the public health service, part of the larger worldwide contaminated haemophilia blood products scandal.[1]


Portuguese National Honours[edit]

Foreign Honours[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Aids scandals around the world". BBC News. 2001-08-09. Retrieved 2006-09-20.
  2. ^ "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Estrangeiras". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 31 July 2017.