M. Heraldo Muñoz

M. Heraldo Muñoz

Heraldo Muñoz was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile between March 2014 and March 2018, under the government of President Michelle Bachelet.  

He previously served as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), from May 2010 to February 2014.

Mr. Muñoz served as Ambassador-Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations, from 2003 to 2010. During that period, he was the Chairman of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Facilitator of the UN Security Council Reform Consultations (2007-2008), and President of the UN Security Council (2004).

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed him Chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry into the Assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, serving from March 2009 to April 15, 2010. The report submitted by his commission led to the reopening of the Bhutto assassination case in a Pakistani court.

Mr. Muñoz has held several positions in the Government of Chile, including Minister Secretary General of Government (2002-2003) in the cabinet of President Ricardo Lagos; Deputy Foreign Minister (2000-2002); Ambassador of Chile to Brazil (1994-1998); and Ambassador of Chile to the Organization of American States-OAS (1990-1994), becoming the first ambassador to the OAS after democracy was restored in Chile.

He was an active participant in the dissident movement against the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1989), serving as a leading member of the Socialist Party, co-founder of the Party for Democracy, and member of the Executive Committee of the NO Campaign that defeated General Pinochet in a 1988 plebiscite.

As Chilean Foreign Minister, Muñoz led an effort to protect Oceans, advocating for the establishment of Ocean conservation as one of the 17 goals of the UN 2030 Agenda, and organized the “Our Ocean” conference in Chile. At the COP 21 Paris Summit, Mr. Muñoz launched, along with Segoléne Royal and Prince Albert II, the initiative “Because the Ocean”, sponsored by Chile, France and Monaco, to include ocean conservation as a key component to combat climate change.

His leadership in creating 1.5 million square kilometers of marine protected areas in the Chilean seas gained him worldwide recognition. In 2018 he was named Ambassador of the Oceans by the Pew and the Bertarelli Foundations, along with former US Secretary of State John Kerry and others.

In the 1990s, while holding the post of ambassador to the OAS, Muñoz presided over the Environment Committee of the OAS, leading the drafting of the Inter American Plan of Action for the Protection of the Environment. Working along with then-senator Al Gore, he was member of the Executive Committee of a group of personalities known as the Global Environment Partnership, who drafted a document for the Rio 92 Earth Summit. Muñoz was a member of the Chilean delegation to that 92 Rio Summit.

Also, as Foreign Minister, Heraldo Muñoz supervised Chile`s participation in the successful peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas, and oversaw Chile`s role as guarantor of the peace talks with the other Colombian guerrilla, the ELN.

He has written and edited over a dozen books on Latin American foreign relations, environmental issues, democracy and human rights, and multilateral affairs. His book of memoirs, The Dictator’s Shadow (Basic Books, 2008), won the 2009 WOLA-Duke University Book Award for the best current, non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy and social justice in Latin America.

Among his other books are A Solitary War: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of the War in Iraq and its Lessons (Fulcrum, 2008), and Getting Away with Murder: The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the Politics of Pakistan (WW Norton, 2013).

Mr. Muñoz holds a PhD in International Studies from the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. He also holds a Diploma in International Relations from The Catholic University of Chile, and a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Oswego.

Heraldo Muñoz is at present the President of the Party for Democracy (PPD), elected in June 2018.