“It is a pleasure for me to receive a great friend from France and to pass her on an acknowledgment by way of gratitude on behalf of my country,” Ambassador Roland Dubertrand began at the award ceremony to María Elena Boisier, Director of the Research Affairs Office at the Catholic University, where she was awarded the National Order of Merit, and to the astronomer María Teresa Ruiz, with the National Order of the Legion of Honor.
“This award ceremony is in homage to women in science in Chile,” said the ambassador, adding with respect to the UC professional, that “it is a recognition from France to a great professional who throughout her career has promoted research and science of excellence in Chile, valuing the place of women and unconditionally supporting our scientific and university cooperation ”.
The National Order of Merit is a recognition granted by the President of the Republic of France, which seeks to highlight men and women who are considered to have a particularly exemplary career, seeking to “reward and honor the distinguished services rendered to the Nation”, according to to its creator, President Charles de Gaulle, in 1963.
“I am deeply moved to receive this award from the President of France Emmanuel Macron, and given by the ambassador here in Chile,” said María Elena Boisier, who highlighted the values and freedom of thought of Gallic culture. From a family of French origin, María Elena Boisier studied at the French Alliance, Lycée Antoine de Saint-exupéry, then continued her studies in Engineering, later changing to Anthropology at the Universidad de Chile; where she also completed a postgraduate degree and an MBA.
During her professional development, she has been prominent for her dedication to the public world, starting out in a Mapuche organization, contributing to gender issues; then she worked in the Ministry of Planning (Mideplan), to later work in the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (Conicyt), where she remained for almost a decade. Then, she came to UC to lead the Research Affairs Office, more than five years ago. “She has been a great ally for our scientific cooperation, striving to link the Chilean and French research centers”, concluded Dubertrand.