María Juliana Ruiz is committed to promoting integral development for young Colombians, from early childhood into early adulthood. Her engagements include childhood nourishment programs, by strengthening infrastructures and medical assistance, ensuring the consumption of essential micronutrients, and fostering safe socio-emotional environments. Her commitment to young people is embodied through the establishment of the SACÚDETE (“Shake Yourself”) Strategy: a network designed to inspire young people to develop leadership skills, contributing to social and productive change in the country. The initiative aims to create 140 innovative learning centres and reach over 400.000 beneficiaries by 2022.
María Juliana Ruiz obtained a Law degree from Javeriana University, studied at the Catholic Institute in Paris and later obtained a Master's degree in Law, with an emphasis on International Business, at the American University. Upon completion of an internship at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C., she began what would become an ascending career at OAS over 10 years, culminating at the office of the Secretary-General. Back in Colombia, she served as Secretary-General of the Shaio Clinic, before resigning to assume her duties as First Lady of the Nation.
María Juliana Ruiz has been married to President Iván Duque for 16 years. They have three children. As First Lady of Colombia, she has become a Colombian Ambassador to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 17: “Partnership for the Goals”.