Patricia Eugenia Cárdenas Santamaría is a Colombian diplomat, businesswoman and engineer. She is the current Ambassador of Colombia to Brazil. In the past, she served as Ambassador of Colombia to Japan and Non-Resident Ambassador to Singapore, and the Non-Resident Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand. An industrial engineer, she was President of the Banking and Financial Institutions Association of Colombia from 2000 to 2006.BackgroundShe was born on 1 April 1958 to Jorge Cárdenas Gutierrez, former President of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, and his wife Cecilia Santamaría Botero. She married, and later divorced, Ricardo Sala Gaitán and together had three children: María Paula, Ana Daniela, and Juan Felipe.Cárdenas is a qualified Industrial Engineer from University of Los Andes, Bogota. She obtained a Diploma in Economic Development from the University of Oxford in June 1985.CareerFrom 1982 to 1984, Cárdenas was the Administrative Director of the Research Institute SER. She became Head of the Planning for the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit's Economic and Fiscal Analysis Office in 1985 and from 1989 Advisor to Minister, Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.In 1996, Cárdenas became Commercial Director, Naturandina Ltda, International Trading Co. She then entered politics from 1998 to 2000 as a City Council Member of Bogota D.C. In 2001 she became President of the Banking and Financial Institutions Association of Colombia, ASOBANCARIA.