Speaker BIO

Ināra Mūrniece has been the Latvian Minister for Defence since December of 2022. In this capacity, Ms. Mūrniece has been overseeing rapid increases in the defence budget, as well as an increased focus on capability development and civil society’s resilience strengthening in face of ongoing security challenges. 
In her previous roles as the Chairwoman of the Latvian parliament (the Saeima), Member of the Saeima’s Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee and Member of the National Security Council, Ms. Mūrniece was directly involved in the development of Latvia’s defence policy both nationally, as well as representing Latvia within the NATO, the European Union, and other international cooperation formats. 
She became the Minister for Defence after an established career as a member of the Saeima which she had been a member of since 2011. In the period between 2011 and 2014, Ms.Mūrniece was the Chairperson of the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee. In 2014 she was elected as the Speaker of the Saeima. 
Before being involved in politics, Ms. Mūrniece worked in the editorial office of Latvia’s largest daily newspaper, Latvijas Avīze, for 16 years, reporting on internal affairs, defence and foreign policy matters. 
The minister has been awarded the national award of Ukraine—the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, II degree for her role in strengthening international cooperation, supporting state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.