Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

Dr Maria Panayiotou was born on June 5, 1982 in Larnaka.

She studied History and Archeology at the University of Cyprus from where she graduated in 2004 with honors. In 2006 she completed her postgraduate studies at the University of Birmingham where she earned an MPhil (B) in Modern East Mediterranean History. In 2017 she was awarded a PhD in Modern and Contemporary History from the University of Cyprus.

In January 2024, she had the honor of being appointed by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, as Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, handing over the post of Environmental Commissioner of Cyprus which she held since March 2023.

She served as the Head of the Press Office and Spokesperson for the EDEK socialist political party, from March 2016 to February 2023. From 2004 to 2022 she has worked on more than seven excellence research projects, co-financed by the European Development Funds, the University of Cyprus, the Research and Innovation Foundation, and the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation. Her employment as a member of the Scientific Team of the University of Cyprus for the “Cyprus File” project for the period 2007 - 2010, stands out. In the period 2017 - 2022 she has worked as a Specialist Scientist, teaching economic history at the Department of History and Archeology of the University of Cyprus.

Dr Panayiotou's involvement in historical research formed a fundamental pillar in her career, gaining significant experience in archival research and skills in managing European research programs of excellence. In particular, her research into the economic history of Cyprus, the study of Cyprus' agricultural export trade and the analysis of British fiscal policy, strengthened her skills in analyzing quantitative and qualitative data.

Her significant bibliographic contributions to research on Cyprus's ports, port infrastructure, and economic development are significant as they cover an important bibliographic gap. She has published dozens of scientific articles in mixed volumes and international scientific journals (such as the European History Quarterly) on these subjects, and has participated in numerous international scientific conferences, with the most recent being the International Conference of the Modern Greek Studies Association in Toronto, Canada.

Dr Panayiotou hails from Agios Sergios in Ammochostos and currently resides in Larnaka. Her parents are Michalis Panayiotou and Ifigenia Kossifou. She is the mother of a nine-year-old boy, Achilleas Ioannou.