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Joana Balsemão

Joana Balsemão

Deputy Mayor, City of Cascais
Joana, mother of three young adults, is trained in International Relations (BS) and Environmental Change and Management (MSc, Oxford University). She has over 20 years of experience in the field of sustainability, mainly in policymaking, at local level in Cascais Council, at national level at the Ministry for Environment and at international level at the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the EU. Her professional life has also included four years at the Luso-American Foundation and a research job at the Technical University of Lisbon. In all these contexts, the common-thread of her work has been to drive environmental transformation - she believes that a healthy planet sustains healthy people and economies. In this pursuit, Joana has gained much know-how in the application of valuable tools such as policy design, project implementation, communication, leadership strategy, negotiation and participatory practices. Joana advanced her leadership skills as Councillor in a municipality with 200.000 inhabitants, managing a team with over 1.000 employees, and acquired negotiating capacities as the national technical adviser for climate and environmental issues in the European Council. Stakeholder engagement is another essential item in Joana's toolbox. She believes that it is paramount to building trust and resilience in communities and organisations. In Cascais, she coordinates the largest Participatory Budget in Europe.