Ana Palacio is a lawyer by profession, specialising in international and European Union law, arbitration and mediation. She was the first woman to serve as Spain’s Foreign Minister (2002-2004) and, at the time, held the most senior post ever filled by a woman in the Spanish government. As Prime Minister Aznar’s representative to the European Convention and the Convention’s Presidium (2001-2002), she was at the forefront of the debate on the future of the European Union and actively participated in the drafting and legal discussions pertaining to the reform of the European Treaties. As Member of the European Parliament (1994-2002), she chaired the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee and the Justice and Home Affairs Committee, and was elected by her peers to chair in two half legislatures the Conference of Committee Chairmen. She has served as a member of the Spanish Parliament, where she chaired the Joint Committee of the two Houses for European Union Affairs (2004-2006) and she also served as senior vice president and general counsel of the World Bank Group and Secretary General of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (2006-2008).