New Chief of Brazil’s Petrobras, Born in Favela, Picked Up Recyclables in Trash as a Kid

President's chief Maria das Graças Silva Foster Brazil’s state-controlled oil and gas multinational Petrobras, the sixth most profitable company in the world in 2009 and one of the fifty biggest, is going to have a new president. And for the first time, the president will be a woman.

Maria das Graças Silva Foster, presently the director of Gas and Energy at Petrobras, will take over from José Sergio Gabrielli at the beginning of February, according to a note released by the corporation. With the announcement of her appointment, Petrobras stock rose over 3.5%.

Silva Foster, 58, is married and has two children. She has degrees in chemical and nuclear engineering from public universities in Rio de Janeiro, as well as an MBA from Getúlio Vargas, and is a career employee at Petrobras where she started as an intern in 1978.

She has a powerful sponsor and ally: president Dilma Rousseff – they have known each other since 1998. At that time, Dilma was state Secretary of Energy in Rio Grande do Sul and Foster worked in a Petrobras subsidiary on the Brazil-Bolivia gas pipeline.

They worked closely together between 2003 and 2005, when Foster was the secretary of Petroleum and Gas at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and Dilma Rousseff was the minister.

At the end of last year, Foster was one of the few aides who accompanied president Rousseff at meetings in Brussels with European officials on political and economic issues.

Although Foster was born in Minas Gerais, she grew up in a Rio de Janeiro slum and started working at the age of eight as a trash picker, collecting used newspapers, cardboard, bottles and tin cans that she sold to buy school supplies.

Foster’s appointment is considered much more “technical” than political. Just last week, Dilma substituted Aloizio Mercadante, who is the new minister of Education, at Science and Technology with another “technical” appointment: the mathematician Marco Antonio Raupp.

Gabrielli, 62, has headed Petrobras since 2005. He is the longest serving president of the corporation, after being the director of Finances and Investor Relations.

He is from Bahia, where he studied economics and is a professor at the Federal University. He also has a Ph.D. from the University of Boston and studied at the London School of Economics.

Gabrielli is a member of the Workers Party (PT) in Bahia and is expected to occupy a position in the administration of the governor of Bahia, Jacques Wagner.

ABr

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Gives Argentina the Ice Treatment Blaming Argentinean Bad Faith

Brazil has virtually frozen political and economic relations with Argentina following serious discrepancies that ...

Brazil’s Ex-Minister Pans Lula for Bush Bashing and Third World Mentality

Former Brazilian Finance Minister Mailson da Nóbrega says President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva ...

Bitter and Isolated Dies Anselmo Duarte, Brazil’s Only Cannes Winner

Brazilian actor, screenwriter and filmmaker Anselmo Duarte died at dawn this Saturday (November 7), ...

Brazil Boosts Military Spending by 50% But Tells Neighbors Not to Worry

The Brazilian government has announced plans to boost Brazil's military spending by more than ...

After 24 Years of Wait for Court Decision, Brazilian Indians Invade Land

Two groups of Indian Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe families reoccupied four farms in the municipality of ...

‘You Need Balls to Take the Argentineans,’ vents Brazil’s Lula

Argentina reacted coolly to an alleged critical expression from Brazilian President Lula da Silva ...

Brazil Has 96.6 Million Cell Phones, 80% of Which Are Prepaid

There are 96.6 million celular phones in operation in Brazil. The figure was disclosed ...

Brazil's Embraer Super Tucano training airplane

Brazil’s Embraer Shortlisted by Emirates’ Armed Forces

The Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates are evaluating the purchase of airplanes ...

Sí£o Paulo, Brazil, Gets Honorable Mention as World’s Robbery Capital

A new United Nations report reveals that fear of crime is driving investment away ...

Brazilian Seeks Foreign Partner for His Organic Hibiscus Goodies

It took four years of research on hibiscus flowers, a plant of African and ...