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Margarita Cedeño Lizardo is a Dominican lawyer and has been Vice-President of the Dominican Republic since 2012.

She began her career in the private sector, working at prestigious law firms in the Dominican Republic, and is a founding member of the law practice of Fernández & Associates. She spent the 1996-2000 period in public service as Deputy Legal Counsellor of the executive branch and Pro Bono Adviser and Director of the Legal and Investment Climate Section at the Office for the Promotion of Foreign Investment of the Dominican Republic. She negotiates dispute settlement and foreign investment agreements under the Central American and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) free trade agreements and the bilateral foreign investment and double taxation agreements between the Dominican Republic and other countries. She has represented the Dominican Republic on these matters at the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

In 2003, she married Dr. Leonel Fernández Reyna, President of the Dominican Republic. In September 2004, she represented the President at the United Nations, attending the Summit of World Leaders for Action against Hunger and Poverty convened by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and other presidents from MERCOSUR and the European Union. As First Lady, she has given continuity to an ongoing commitment to the most vulnerable sections of the population through the implementation of national poverty reduction and human development programmes. She has implemented high-impact initiatives in the areas of health care, education and promotion of civic culture that have been acclaimed both in her own country and internationally.

She has been named Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Continental Ambassador for the Elimination of Rubella in the Americas, Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics and member of the International Panel of Eminent Persons of UNCTAD.

In the academic sphere, she taught Constitutional Law at the Catholic University of Santo Domingo from 2003 to 2004. She holds a doctorate cum laude in Law from the Autonomous University of Santiago Domingo, a master’s degree magna cum laude in Company Law and Economic Legislation from Madre y Maestra Catholic University and a master’s degree in Political Science for Development from the University of Salamanca (Spain). She studied Trade Negotiations and Agreements at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C., United States), International Law at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), Conflict Resolution at Harvard University (United States) and Education, Culture and Development at the University of Malaga (Spain).

Margarita Cedeño Lizardo

Margarita Cedeño

Vice-President of the Dominican Republic