João Vale de Almeida

João Vale de Almeida (born 29 January 1957 in Lisbon) is a senior European diplomat and Portuguese national, who currently serves as the Ambassador of the European Union to the United Kingdom.

João Vale de Almeida
Ambassador of the European Union to the United Kingdom
Assumed office
1 February 2020
PresidentUrsula von der Leyen
Preceded byRole created
Ambassador of the European Union to the United Nations
In office
16 October 2015  2019
PresidentJean-Claude Juncker
Preceded byThomas Mayr-Harting
Ambassador of the European Union to the United States
In office
10 August 2010  31 October 2014
PresidentJosé Manuel Barroso
Preceded byJohn Bruton
Succeeded byDavid O'Sullivan
Personal details
João Vale de Almeida

(1957-01-29) 29 January 1957 (age 64)
Lisbon, Portugal
Alma materUniversity of Lisbon
WebsiteOfficial website

Vale de Almeida was Ambassador of the European Union to the United Nations from 2015 to 2019 and Ambassador of the European Union to the United States from 2010 to 2014. He was appointed “the first head of the future EU delegation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” on 1 February 2020.[1]


Vale de Almeida read history at the University of Lisbon before pursuing further studies in journalism and management in France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. After working as a journalist for seven years, in 1982 he joined the European Commission delegation in Lisbon.[2]

During his time in the Commission he worked under Presidents Jacques Delors, Jacques Santer, Romano Prodi and José Manuel Barroso. Under Santer, in 1995, he became deputy chief spokesman for the EC. In 1997 he was promoted Director for Information, Communication, Culture and Audiovisual.[2][3]

When EC President Romano Prodi took office in 1999, Vale de Almeida was a member of his transition team before being nominated as director for Education and Culture.[2][3]

Between 2004 and 2009, Vale de Almeida was the Head of Cabinet (Chief of staff and principal adviser) for EC President José Manuel Barroso. He accompanied Barroso in all European Council meetings and ensured coordination with the private offices of Heads of State and Government in all 28 Member States of the EU. He was also the President’s Personal Representative for the negotiations on the Treaty of Lisbon and acted as his personal representative (sherpa) for G8 and G20 summits.[2][3]

From November 2009 until July 2010 he served as Director-General for External Relations of the European Commission.[2][3]

Vale de Almeida then served as the first Ambassador of the European Union to the United States of America, from 2010 to 2014, after the Treaty of Lisbon increased the delegation's powers to speak for the whole of the EU (previously, they represented only the Commission).[4] In Washington, he actively engaged in strengthening EU/U.S. relations and was critical to the launching of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement (TTIP).[3]

From 2015 to 2019, Vale de Almeida was the European Union Ambassador to the United Nations.[2]

Since February 1 2020, Vale de Almeida has been the European Union's Ambassador to the UK and has been recognised by the UK as an Ambassador as of 5 May 2021.

Honours and decorations

See also


  1. "European Union names first ambassador to Brexit Britain". Reuters. 2020-01-24. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  2. Ambassador João Vale de Almeida: Biography Archived 2015-11-13 at the Wayback Machine, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations
  4. Rettman, Andrew (11 August 2010 ) EU envoy to US flaunts new powers, EU Observer
  5. Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas