Blog 04: Maria Neira

An inspiring woman to me, is anyone who goes out of their comfort zone to make a change. In this case Maria Neira has done a lot for the environment in terms of tracking process on health and climate change. Maria P. Neira was born in 1962 and is a Spanish physician and international civil servant and diplomat. She is commonly known as the director for the department of Public Health, Environment and social determinants of Health, World Health Organization. She also worked with refugees for “Doctors Without Borders” for those who were underprivileged in Salvador and Honduras. Today she encounters the lengths that society must go to, to protect the environment from climate change. 

Maria Neira is like me in the sense where we both come from European backgrounds and are women with aspirations in life to become the greatest versions of ourselves. Although our aspirations may be different, I believe that when I put my mind to something, I can get it done just as well as she can. Maria Neira is different than me because she has the courage to stand up and voice her opinions regarding the environmental issues. Regarding her accomplishments it demonstrates how she’s a very outgoing person, while on the other hand I’m more reserved. It takes a lot of power to be a great speaker, therefore that’s where we differ. She also has the tendencies to inspire so many individuals all over the world while fighting against making the environment into a better place. She gives the message that she is a powerful and inspirational woman that can influence many into making a change.

I decided to choose Maria Neira simply because I knew nothing about her, and I wanted to learn why she was nominated for being an inspirational woman. I learned how, “Maria has been spearheading the global fight against air pollution as director at the World Health Organization” (Wyns).  In her Ted talk, I enjoyed the way she linked climate change to the simple action of breathing because it reminds people that if the earth becomes over heated, we won’t even be able to do the basic necessities of living. She states how, “Seven million premature deaths a year caused by exposure to the bad quality of the air we breathe,” and that if we want it to stop we should consider, “reducing traffic in cities or investing in public transport and engaging in promoting cycling in cities, investing in renewable energy, promoting cleaner energy for cooking, cooling and transportation and heating are solutions.” I think people like her are crucial to have considering we need someone to look up to when it comes to making the right decisions. 

Ultimately, I seem to find her quite inspirational because she’s knowledgeable on the topic, she has a big heart and takes interest in regarding the health of the environment and of many individuals. She inspires people to make the right decisions and to cut down on bad habits because it only come as drawbacks for the environment and for our health. Due to the fact that she’s persistent in her field, she won the Inspirational women working towards protecting the environment, International Women’s Day Celebration in Geneva, by UNEP in 2016. It takes one person to inspire all and I truly believe that Maria Neira has the power to do so.

By: Julianna Noto 


“Dr Maria Neira Nominated an ‘Inspirational’ Women.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 14 Apr. 2016,

“Maria Neira.” NewCities, 19 Mar. 2018,

“Maria Neira.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Feb. 2020,

Neira, María. TED,


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