Currently the President of the Andean Parliament and a candidate for Director General of UNESCO, Ivonne was Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry, Fishing and Competitiveness of Ecuador. Baki, was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador although her parents were originally from the Chouf, Lebanon. She has lived in Lebanon, France, Germany and the United States of America, and is fluent in Spanish, Arabic, English and French, and also speaks German and some Russian.
She trained at the University of Beirut in architecture, graduated from La Sorbonne and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. During her studies, she was Artist-in-Residence at Dudley House, Harvard University.
After graduating from Harvard, she went on to become a Director of their Conflict Management Group, while from 1991-1998 and, as such, participated in several teams to facilitate conflict resolution efforts around the world. During this time she also served as Consul-General of Ecuador in Boston. She has taken part in many international peace conferences for Lebanon such as the Conference of Geneva and the Conference of Lausanne.
Ambassador A-Baki was more directly involved as advisor to Ecuador's President, in the Ecuador-Peru peace negotiations, which led to the resolution of one of the last and most intractable disputes in the Western Hemisphere, with the signing of the Peace Accords on October 26, 1998. In 1998, she moved to Washington to accept her appointment as the Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States, the first woman to ever hold this position. During her tenure as Ambassador, the Ecuadorian residency was filled with her paintings. She resigned as Ambassador to run for the Presidency of Ecuador.
Recipient of awards and honors including among others: Great Seal of the State of Florida; Key to the City of Coral Gables, Florida; Commander of the Lebanese National Order of Cesar; Commendation of the House of Representatives of the Unites States of America.
She and her husband, Dr. Sammi A-Baki, a prominent political figure in Lebanon, have three adult children: a daughter, Tatiana, a Harvard graduate who specialized in German literature, and two sons: Mohammed, a Yale and Harvard graduate who works in an investment bank in New York City and lives with his family in New Jersey, and Faisal, who graduated from Harvard and now works in a securities brokerage firm in Ecuador.
Baki is included in Dr. de La Croix's publication: Twenty Middle Eastern Women Artists of Great Talent and Distinction: A New Who's Who of the Abstract Art in the Middle and Near Eastern World.
Ivonne Baki is the author of Forces of Change: Artists of the Arab World, which explores art that breaks down cultural stereotypes and examines the realities of life for Middle Eastern women. She has also written many articles including “A Life of Art: Searching for Peace,” which appeared in the DRCLAS News: Winter 2001 Newsletter. Harvard University inaugurated the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) on December 3, 1994.
Ivonne A-Baki, an accomplished artist, has displayed her work in galleries and museums throughout Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. Many of her paintings are on permanent display at such institutions as the presidential palaces of Lebanon and Ecuador, as well as in various international museums. Selected solo exhibitions include Keith Green Gallery, New York in 1988; Museo Nacional Benjamin Carrión, Quito, Ecuador in 1989; Dudley House, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA in 1990; Whig Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ in 1990; and The Cathedral of St. John The Divine, New York City in 1992.