Ana Palacio is a lawyer by profession, specializing in international and European Union law, arbitration and mediation, and has held many senior positions in the government, business, and academic world. As a Member of the European Parliament she chaired the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee, the Justice and Home Affairs Committee, and the Conference of Committee Chairs. As a Member of the Spanish Cortes, she chaired the Joint Committee on the European Union in the two houses of parliament. She was the first woman to serve as the Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain. Ana Palacio also served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group and the Executive Committee member and Senior Vice-President for International Affairs of AREVA. She is a member of International Advisory Boards of various think tanks and public institutions.