Maria Folque

Business and Human Rights & Social Innovation

Maria holds a Bachelor´s degree in Law by Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a Master´s degree in Global Legal Studies by Universidade Católica de Lisboa, School of Law.

She attended the 26th Summer Course in EU law at King´s College in 2012 and the Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Course at Fordham Law School, in the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice in 2016.

More recently, in 2023, she obtained her Teaching Aptitute Certificate (Certificado de Competências Pedagógicas) by Instituto de Emprego e Formação Profissional and B-Training Consulting and completed the first edition of the Business and Human Rights Accelerator on behalf of Vieira de Almeida & Associados (VdA), powered by the United Nations Global Compact Academy and SHIFT.

Most of her skills were acquired during her professional experience 10 (2013-2023) + 2 (2009-2011) -at VdA as Lawyer where she mostly focussed on legal advice and training to NGOs and social enterprises as well as providing legal counselling to every company in their journey to become a Human Rights beacon, namely in the context of their value chain. She was a co-Founder of the Social Economy and Human Rights Practice Area of the Firm in 2018 and was also deeply involved in the Responsible Business dimension of the Firm, deeply involved in several of its projects, including as Strategic Advisor for the Vasco Vieira de Almeida (corporate) Foundation of the Firm. She also supports in a personal capacity several NGOs in Corporate Governance matters including by sitting in the governing bodies of several non-profits.

Before joining VdA, she worked at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, at the Spanish Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and at the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission in Brussels.

Her commitment towards supporting organizations in their Human Rights journey along with her passion for social innovation also translates into a deep desire to contribute to meaningful projects in the field of Education that have the potential to be Gamechangers into turning every child and young adult of the next generations into a Changemaker and a force for good.