Biography of Carme Chacón, the first Minister of Defense of Spain

Carme Chacón, was the first woman in Spain to hold the Defense portfolio in 2008, with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as President of the Government.

Born in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, ​​in 1971, she dedicated a large part of her life to the PSOE, and more specifically to the PSC, until she announced in April 2016 that she was declining to be part of the socialist lists ahead of the general elections on 26 December. June “for personal reasons” was focused on her work at the Ramón y Cajal Abogados law firm as partner of counsel in the public law department at its Madrid office.

Married and mother of a son, Miguel, left the position he had in the Executive of the party in 2016. It was one of the critics with the management of Pedro Sánchez who presented his resignation in September of last year to force the departure of the then socialist leader , something that would finally happen in October. Until then, she had held the Secretary of International Relations.

Chacón was the head of the PSC list for Congress in 2008, 2011 and 2015, achieving in 2008 the best results of the Catalan Socialists in general elections, with 25 seats and more than 1.6 million votes, and also achieving the worst in 2015, with 8 deputies and just over 589,000 votes.

After the defeat of the PSOE in the general elections in 2011, she decided to run for the new general secretary of the PSOE -socialist congress in Seville in February 2012-, but lost the game to former minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba by a narrow margin of votes.

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First woman in Defense

During the governments of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, she was Minister of Defense between April 2008 and December 2011. Seven months pregnant, she was the first woman to review the troops -along with her predecessor, José Antonio Alonso, who recently died- with a speech full of praise for the Armed Forces, with special recognition for the soldiers who died in the line of duty and a declaration of “profound love for a united and diverse Spain, peace and freedom”.

In her inauguration as minister, she ended the speech with her first order as the head of the three Armies: “Captain, stand firm”; and then “Long live Spain! Long live the King!”.

Previously, she had been Minister of Housing from July 2007 to April 2008. In addition, she was First Vice President of the Congress of Deputies from 2004 to 2007 and a deputy to the Cortes for Barcelona between 2000 and 2016.

Between 1999 and 2007, she was a councilor of the Esplugues de Llobregat City Council, where, between 1999 and 2003, she served as First Deputy Mayor for Economic Services, Human Resources and Citizen Security.

Last public act, the tribute to Alonso

The former minister participated for the last time in a public act on March 28, precisely in the tribute ceremony held in the Congress of Deputies in honor of her predecessor at the head of Defense, José Antonio Alonso, who died on February 2 after of a long illness.

Graduated in Law from the University of Barcelona, ​​she has been a professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Girona for eleven years (1994-2004). In the 2013-2014 academic year, she was Professor in Residence at Miami Dade College in Florida, specializing in Comparative Political Systems, Political Science, and Public Administration.

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She has also worked as a teacher at the Mossos d’Esquadra Police School in Mollet, Barcelona, ​​and has been a special advisor to the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy. She was also an academic collaborator of the Ortega-Marañon Foundation.

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