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Merino, Beatriz

Merino, Beatriz

Defensora del Pueblo de Perú

Beatriz Merino (Lima, November 15, 1947) was the first female Prime Minister of Peru and the first woman Prime Minister in Latin America. She held office from June to December 2003. From 2005 to 2011, she was the National Ombudsman of Peru, President of the Latin American Ombudsman Federation FIO (2009), founding member of the Network of Political Leaders United to Support Shared Societies (NetPLUSS) of the Club of Madrid, and President of the Andean Council of Ombudsmen (2010–2011). Ms. Merino is currently the President of the Peruvian Oil and Gas Trade Association since January 2013. Previously, she was also President the Association of Pension Fund Administrators and member of the Board of Directors of the National Confederation of Private Business, Peru’s largest private industry and business organization confederations.

Before serving as Prime Minister, she studied at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and received a law degree from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. She completed graduate studies in Taxation and Economics at the London School of Economics and graduated from Harvard University with a Master’s degree in law.

After a successful career in the multinational Procter & Gamble, she was elected as Senator (1990–1992) and Congresswoman (1995–2000), serving as president of both the Environmental Committee and the Women’s Rights Committee of the Congress of the Republic of Peru. Later, as head of the National Tax Agency of Peru (2001–2003), she was in charge of its successful merger with the Peruvian Customs Bureau.

Ms. Merino is also widely recognized for her expertise and work with women's issues. She was a member of the Women's Council Leadership Program sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank to promote women’s leadership, political participation and representation in the Latin American and Caribbean region. She served as a member of the board of directors for the International Women's Forum and as a member of the steering committee for the Business Women's Initiative against HIV/AIDS. She is part of the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of current and former women Presidents and Prime Ministers concerned with issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

Ms. Merino also worked extensively on commercial, labor, corporate, and environmental legislation. She was senior partner of Merino & Reano, a corporate law firm; and the first Peruvian woman to serve on the Commission of Andean Jurists. At Lima University, she was the director of foreign cooperation and of the Master’s program in tax revenue and fiscal policies. As a chief economist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., she focused on Latin American and Peruvian economic development.

She has authored two books, "Peruvian Women in the XX Century Legislation" (1997) and "Marriage and Rape: Debate of Article 178 of the Peruvian Criminal Code." (1997). She writes regularly in Peruvian journals and newspapers.

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