António Guterres, former prime minister of Portugal (1995-2002) as leader of the Socialist Party, is to be sworn in as the new United Nations Secretary-General. The 67-year-old politician-turned-diplomat is to replace the incumbent, Ban Ki-moon of South Korea. Guterres’ new position will begin on January 1, 2017 and will last at least five years.
Guterres isn’t new to the UN. He was the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for ten years, from 2005 to 2015. Prior to launching his political career in 1974, when he joined the Socialist Party, Guterres was an academic in physics and electrical engineering in Lisbon. Guterres, a practicing Catholic, was married to child psychiatrist Luísa Amélia Guimarães e Melo for 26 years, until her death in 1998 (cancer). They had two children. In 2001, Guterres remarried. His second wife, who is 11 years his junior, is Catarina Marques de Almeida Vaz Pinto, a former Portuguese State Secretary for Culture and more recently Culture Secretary for the City Council of Lisbon.