The Lebanese Who Became Ecuador’s First Woman Ambassador to the USA

Ivonne Juez Abuchacra de Baki is an Ecuadorian politician and diplomat. She is mostly famous for the time she served as the Ecuadorian Minister of Industries and Productivity as well as for her time as the President of the Andean Parliament.


Ivonne Abuchacra Baki was born in Guayaquil (Ecuador) to Fred Juez and Anan Abuchacra, both Lebanese immigrants to Ecuador. When she was 14, the family relocated to Lebanon where she met her future husband, Lebanese millionaire Sami A-Baki, whom she married at 17, and moved with him to his residence in Lebanon.

Via One Young World

The couple remained in the country until 1982, when Baki moved to Paris in order to study the arts at the Sorbonne, and then went on to study Public Administration at Harvard University in the United States.


Baki’s diplomatic and political career began when she served as Ecuador’s Consul to Beirut in 1981. Between 1990 and 1998, she was an artist-painter resident at Harvard.

Via My Lebanon My Home

During these years, she created Arts for Politics Foundation exploiting art in bringing people together and was a member of the Board of Directors of Conflict Management Group NGO and of Without Borders Foundation.


Throughout her years in the United States, she was Ecuador’s Honorary Consul in Boston, Massachusetts between 1992 and 1998, after which she was appointed by Jamil Mahuad, the then President of Ecuador, the Ecuadorian Ambassador to the United States of America, the first woman appointed to this office in Ecuadorian history. 

Via Mint Press News

Throughout her term in this key position, Baki played an influential role in achieving trade agreements with the United States which still serve the country until today.


After failing to succeed in her Presidential run in 2002, she served as the President of the Commission of the Andean Community of Nations between 2003 and 2004 and as the Minister of Industries and Productivity.

Via El Telegrafo

She was then elected President of Andean Parliament, where she still serves as a member. In June 2017, Baki was proposed as a potential ambassador to Qatar by President Lenín Moreno; a position she currently holds, working on strengthening Ecuador’s bilateral relations with Qatar.


Via Embajada del Ecuador en Qatar

Ivonne is also the International Affairs Adviser to the President of Ecuador, a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO, an appointment that caused her political career to skyrocket, and a member of several international NGOs. Her career and social work have included years of distinction and numerous awards.

Ivonne’s most prominent and awarded publications include Forces of Change: Artists of the Arab World and A Life of Art: Searching for Peace. She continues to speak on her role as a woman in politics as well as her experiences and career in public events around the world, perhaps most memorable was her talk at TEDxHarlem in 2012.


Via TEDx Talks

Ivonne is known as a wise and humble political and public figure; a legacy from her father who used to say, “A tree when it is full, it falls, when it is empty, it stands.”

Until today, Ivonne claims Lebanon as her second home. In an interview with My Lebanon My Home magazine, Ivonne says: “Lebanon has a special touch, a spirit of survival. It’s a mixture of everything, all in one place: the glamour, beauty, intelligence, everything living and working together.”


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