The diplomatic career: a view from the experience of the newly appointed Ambassador to Senegal, Dolores Ríos Peset

Dolores Ríos Peset, a former law student at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Valencia and member of the Association of Spanish Diplomatic Women (AMDE), returned to the classroom last Monday to explain to students what it is like to enter the diplomatic career.

Dolores Ríos, who has been a member of the Diplomatic Career since 1991 and Ambassador-at-Large for Migratory Affairs since 2022, has recently been appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to a new post as Ambassador of Spain to the Republic of Senegal. This appointment is preceded by a long professional career in which the Ambassador has served in the Spanish embassies in Bolivia, Colombia, Namibia, Paraguay, Mexico and Ecuador, countries in which she has held various positions as consul, general consul, cultural counselor, political and cooperation counselor and second-in-command. In Cape Verde she was ambassador between 2018 and 2022.

Ms. Ríos Peset came to her alma mater as a member of AMDE and as part of the “Back to University” program promoted by the association, in which diplomats visit educational centers throughout Spain to share their personal experience and to inform about the competitive entrance examination process.

Ambassador Dolores Ríos, together with the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Business and Political Sciences of the CEU Cardenal Herrera University Esperanza Ferrando, Vice-Dean Beatriz Hermida and Professor of International Public Law Susana Sanz.

In her speech, the Ambassador emphasized that her period of training at the university was essential to pass the entrance exams to the diplomatic career, something she achieved in 2 years.

Dolores Ríos encouraged the students of law and political science at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University to consider the diplomatic career as a professional option, due to the great opportunities that this profession can offer; a profession that she considers to be vocational in nature. The Ambassador also conveyed to the students the need to make the most of their time at university, and advised them to strengthen their knowledge of foreign languages, especially English and French, if they wish to dedicate themselves to the world of diplomacy.

Likewise, the Ambassador explained to the students the 4 eliminatory phases that currently make up the competitive examination system to access the diplomatic career: from a test exam, a language phase and the development of an essay on a political, socioeconomic or cultural statement of current affairs, to the “cante”, also known as an oral presentation of 4 topics that are randomly selected.

Finally, Dolores Ríos pointed out that, although the number of women opting for this professional path has increased, unlike what happens with other competitive examinations, women are still a minority, and she was optimistic that, in the not too distant future, the reality in Spain may approach that of other European countries in which women are no longer a minority in the diplomatic career.

Ambassador Dolores Ríos, with several students of Law and Political Science of the UCH-CEU University.


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