Mari Elka Pangestu served as the Minister of Trade Republic of Indonesia from October 2004 to October 2011. In a cabinet reshuffle in October 2011, she was appointed to the newly created position of the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia. She assumed this new responsibility until the end of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono-VP Budiono Administration on October 20, 2014.
Prior to her career as a Minister, Mari Elka Pangestu was a leading staff member of Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a lecturer in the Faculty of Economics, Universitas Indonesia. She was also actively involved in various trade forums such as Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). She is widely regarded as an expert on trade and services issues in Indonesia. She was once nominated by the Government of Indonesia as a candidate for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Currently, she serves on the Board of External Editors of the Asian Journal of Business (University of Michigan) and Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (produced by the Indonesian Project at the Australian National University). She also resumes regular activities at CSIS and serves as a Professor in International Economics, Universitas Indonesia.
Mari Elka Pangestu obtained her Bachelor and Master degree from the Australian National University and her Doctoral degree in Economics from the University of California at Davis, United States. Regarding her achievements as an economist and policy maker in Asia, Mari Elka Pangestu was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Australian National University in December 2013. Besides that, in August 2015, she obtained her Professorship in International Economics from Universitas Indonesia, claiming herself as the 57th Professor of International Economics in Universitas Indonesia’s history.