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Delgado Peralta

Chair, Mexico and Latin America

Martha Delgado is an environmentalist and globally renowned public servant with over 30 years of professional experience in government in Mexico’s federal and state-level administration and NGO sectors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Pedagogy and a master’s degree in Sustainability from Harvard University.

She served as undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from December 2018 to May 2023, where she innovated the diplomatic focus, leading the feminist foreign policy of Mexico. She was in charge of driving the country’s global strategy to attract investment and strengthen the economic promotion of Mexico abroad.

Under her leadership, the Foreign Ministry established the Directorate-General for Global Economic Promotion, launching a new era of economic diplomacy for the country. Initiatives included setting up a Transport Electrification Working Group to create a roadmap to transition Mexico’s automotive industry—already the fourth largest car manufacturer in the world—towards electromobility. In just over a year, despite the pandemic, Mexico attracted almost nine billion dollars of foreign investment, including expanding the BMW plant in San Luis Potosí and Tesla’s landing of their gigafactory in Nuevo León.

Representing Mexico, she was elected the first president of the Assembly of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) from 2019-2023.

During the COVID-19 health emergency, a team under her leadership was responsible for procuring medical supplies, opening the Mexico-China air bridge, coordinating global donations and securing vaccines for the country.

She led the vision for Mexico’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which showcased more than 200 artists and speakers over six months. Over 360,000 people and 1,260 investors visited the Pavilion and were shown the best Mexico offers for artists, artisans, culture, gastronomy, ecology and tourism destinations. The Pavilion won the first golden prize for interior design in its category.

She acted as Sherpa of Mexico’s President in the High-Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy during her tenure. In 2020, she was appointed president of the Board of Directors of the World Smart Cities Economic Development Commission, part of the World Business Angels Investment Forum, where she contributes to global cooperation and strategies for economic progress.

Martha was elected in 2003 as Mexico City’s independent congresswoman, where she founded and directed the Special Commission on Water Management.

From 2006 to 2012, she was secretary of Environment of the Mexico City. Her outstanding role positioned the city as a global leader in environmental matters, with innovative projects on sustainability, such as the Green Plan of Mexico City, the Climate Action Program and the Barter Market, which encouraged community participation through the exchange of clean and separated waste for organic local vegetables in a circular-economy process. Under her administration, she also devised and implemented several strategies for faster, cleaner mobility, such as the bike-sharing system ECOBICI, the first of its kind in the Americas, which improved air quality, better health and low transportation costs for millions of people.