Manuela Carmena

Mayor of Madrid (2015-2019). Member of the General Council of the Judiciary (1996-2001)




Specific topics

Environmental PolicyPoliticsempowermentenvironmental policygender politicspolitics

Manuela Carmena is a Labour Lawyer, former Judge and Spanish Politician who was the Mayor of Madrid from 2015 to 2019. Prior to her incursion into municipal politics, she served as a member of the General Council of the Judiciary between 1996 and 2001.

In her presentations, Manuela overs audiences her insights into tackling change management and the fight against climate change, she has a special interest in the millennial generation that are currently reviving the debate on climate change. The struggle for women's equality and leadership is also a major part of the backbone of her discourse, as a result of her strong feminist convictions. She also offers an in-depth analysis of the structure of the judicial system and its politicization, the mechanisms of the Spanish legislative system and reflects on the political situation and sociological reality behind changes. Manuela Carmena succeeded in the creation of highly functional teams who communicated and overcame challenges such as improving efficiency and setting a common goal in Public Administration. Her ability to reflect on how to improve politics sparked her interest in political ethics.

Manuela Carmena provides her own strategy for managing change through five fundamental steps that she proposes with her characteristic irony: suggesting change, implement change and overcome confrontation, witness how change works and, finally, seeing how others take credit for the success.

In 2015, she became the Mayor of Madrid after leading the citizen candidacy, Ahora Madrid. During her term in office, she managed to reduce the City Council's debt by 54%, carried out a reform of the primary education system and implemented bold and much revered environmental changes in the city, such as the establishment of Madrid Central, an ambitious mobility project.

After a career in the judicial field, first as a lawyer, founding the Labour office of Atocha in Madrid, and for more than 30 years as a Judge, she retired in 2010 but shortly afterwards decide to return to work, developing an important project advocating for the victims of Police abuses, at the Commission of Human Rights in the Department of Justice of the Basque Government. Manuela has represented Spain in the UN working group against arbitrary detentions and has been a Rapporteur for the United Nations. In 2008 she was awarded the Manuel de Irujo Prize.

In 1977, during her time as a Labour Lawyer, a terrorist attack caused the death of several of her colleagues and great consternation throughout Spain.

A staunch defender of the rights of workers and detainees during the Franco dictatorship, she has been the Senior Judge of Madrid and a Prison Oversight Judge. Manuela Carmena graduated in Law from the University of Valencia.

Related speakers

ana palacio speaker

Ana Palacio Vallelersundi

Vice-President of the World Bank (2006-2008), Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs (2002-2004)

michael portillo speaker

Michael Portillo

Former Member of Parliament, and Cabinet Minister


Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley

U.S. Ambassador to Malta (2012-2016), First woman Diplomat to lead a U.S. consulate.

javier solana speaker

Javier Solana Madariaga

Secretary General of NATO (1995-1999), High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU (1999-2009)


Eduardo Madina

Political and economic analyst. ETA terrorist attack survivor


Nemesio Fernández-Cuesta

Secretariat for Energy (1996-98). Expert on climate change

rachida dati speaker

Rachida Dati

Mayor of the 7th District of Paris

pedro solbes speaker

Pedro Solbes

Spanish Minister of Economy and the Treasury (2004-2009). European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs (1999-2004)


Your data will be processed by THINKING HEADS GROUP, S.L. to manage your contact with us. Our registered office is located in Madrid, C/ Velázquez, 24 - 7th floor, C.P.:28001 and our is NIF B-83220475

Adding your email address, means you have read and accepted the policy of How THINKING HEADS GROUP, S.L. treads your data and you consent the processing of your data.

Send this to a friend