Since March 2012, António Silva Mendes has been the Director for the Education & Vocational Training at the Directorate-General (DG) of Education & Culture in the European Commission. Of Portuguese nationality, he studied mechanical engineering at the University of Lisbon and was professor at the same University for 10 years. Then he became director at the Ministry of Industry in Lisbon. He began his career at the European Commission in 1990 in DG Enterprise, where he took part in international negotiations in the field of the industrial policy and contributed to the promotion of European industrial competitiveness. He was appointed Head of Unit in the Social policy unit in DG Human Resources. In 2003, he headed the Pensions unit, before joining DG Education & Culture in April, 2006 as Director of Resources.