Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil


Address: Palácio Itamaraty, Esplanada dos Ministérios - Bloco H, Brasília/DF – Brazil CEP 70.170-900

Tel.:) (+55 61) 2030-61604819-7000


The Minister

Minister José Serra

Ministry of Foreign Affairs


José Serra was an engineering student at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (USP) when he was elected President of the São Paulo State student organization, and the following year President of the Brazilian National Student Union (UNE).

After the 1964 military coup, Serra was persecuted and then sentenced to prison by the military government, which forced him into exile. Unable to complete his engineering course, he went on to study economics in Paris and in Santiago, where he obtained his Master's degree and became a professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Chile. During that period, he was also an employee of the United Nations.

After the coup of General Pinochet in 1973, Serra was arrested at Chile's National Stadium in Santiago. He managed to escape and take refuge in the Italian Embassy. He then went to the United States, where he took another master's degree and received a doctorate degree in Economics from Cornell University. Later, he spent two years teaching at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

On his return to Brazil in 1978, José Serra became a professor at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), did research for the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP) and contributed with articles for the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. He was among the founders of the PMDB (former MDB party), and drafted the first program of the party. He was appointed São Paulo's State Secretary for Economics and Planning under the Government of Franco Montoro (1983-1987).

In 1986, he was elected Congressman by the State of São Paulo and then re-elected in 1990, obtaining the largest number of votes in the state and the second largest number of votes in Brazil.

In the National Constituent Assembly, he drafted three chapters of the Constitution and was the Congressman who approved the largest number of amendments, including the one that created the Worker Assistance Fund (FAT) and the Development Funds of the Northeast, North and Center-West (FNE, FNO and FCO). In 1988 he was among the founders of PSDB and drafted the party's program. In 1994 he was elected Senator for the State of São Paulo, receiving the largest number of votes in Brazil. Under the Government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, he served at the Ministries of Planning and Budget and of Health.

In 2002, Serra ran as presidential candidate, and lost in the second round to Luis Inácio Lula da Silva. The following years, he was elected Mayor of São Paulo (2005-2006) and Governor of the State of São Paulo (2007-2010). In 2010, Serra stood again as a presidential candidate, running against Dilma Rousseff. He obtained 44% of votes in the second round and won the election in eleven states.

In 2014, José Serra was elected Senator with more than 11 million votes, having nearly 60% of valid votes of São Paulo State. On May 12th 2016, under the Government of President Michel Temer, José Serra took office at the Ministry of Foreign Affair.


Strengthen the diplomatic relations both with bilateral and multilateral entities.

Promote national interests abroad. Promote gender issues, such as gender equality, empowerment of women, economic inclusion and combating violence against women.

Core Values  

  • Equality: strengthen human rights.
  • Transparency: clear and available information. Open to discussion.
  • Service: offer help and service for Brazilian citizens.