First Lady Margarita Cedeño Fernandez is the first Dominican lawyer to assume the duty of First Lady. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, she is Doctor in Laws, having graduated Cum Laude in 1987 from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. She holds a Master Magna Cum Laude in Business Law and Economic Law from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra from 1995.
She has performed studies related to law, international negotiations, and conflict resolution at the universities of Georgetown, Harvard and Geneva, the first two in the United States and the third in Switzerland. She has experience in the private sector, including at the prestigious Dominican Republic law firms of Dr. Abel Rodriguez del Orbe and Fernandez and Associates.
During the years 1996-2000, she served as legal adviser of the President in the position of Assistant Secretary of State. In addition, she was honorary adviser and director of the Legal Management and Investment Climate of the Office for the Promotion of Foreign Investment in the Dominican Republic.
She is married to Dr. Leonel Antonio Fernandez Reyna, current president of the Dominican Republic. They have a child, Yolanda Maria Fernandez Cedeño America. Dr. Cedeño Fernandez is also the mother of two teenagers, Ramon Emil and Gabriela Angelissa Fiorentino. Dr. Cedeño Fernandez officially took over as First Lady of the Dominican Republic on August 16, 2004, when her husband, Dr. Fernandez Reyna, was sworn in again as President Constitutional for the period 2004-2008.