Tasha de Vasconcelos was born in Beira, in Mozambique, her father an engineer, Fernando João de
Vasconcelos Mota e Cunha, a member of one of Portugal’s oldest families, a descendant of King Alfonso III of
Leao, and a British mother Jacqueline, a King of Scotland of the XI century, and of a family from the north of
France. Tasha and her sister Pamela – two years her junior – enjoyed an idyllic life by the side of the ocean, in
one of Portugal’s oldest colonies. They grew up amongst the animals of her grandfather’s farm: not least the
horses ‐ a particular passion of this highly accomplished horsewoman.
However at only 8 years old, Tasha had to face the cruelty of the civil war and revolution which tore her
country apart, followed just five years later by that of Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe – where they had fled. At 13
she and her family moved first to Portugal, and then on to Canada.
A Heritage of Beauty
There she embarked on a new life. She joined the University of British Columbia where she studied
international relations. She was spotted at 19 and quickly signed up by Elite Models, and subsequently joined
the Marilyn agency in Paris.
She became the model of choice of some of the greatest photographers in the world of fashion, such as
William Klein, Peter Lindbergh, Michel Comte, Albert Watson, Patrick Demarchelier ‐ and Steven Meisel. He
took her under his wing and offered Tasha her first cover spread in the prestigious Italian Vogue. She grew into
a model of international renown, a member of a small elite group who graced the covers of fashion’s major
magazines, amongst them Vogue, Elle, and Tatler.
She worked too for some of the worlds most prestigious brands, such as Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Escada,
Ralph Lauren, Van Cleef & Arpels, Dolce & Gabbana and appeared on the catwalks of such celebrated
designers as Armani, Dior, Lacroix, Ungaro, Valentino, Versace, and Yves Saint Lauren. Meanwhile she
continued to pursue her studies, and in 1998 received her Diploma in International Strategy from the Centre
for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies in Paris.
In 2008, she was the muse of great beauty brand in 165 countries.
In 2009, Louis Vuitton, aware of Tasha’s humanitarian work, and sharing the same values of social
responsibility and sustainable development, leant their support to AMOR’s Malawi project, while Tasha helps
bring visibility to their own humanitarian causes.
In the World of Film
1998 she was cast in the role of Inès in the film ‘Riches, Belles etc.’ playing alongside Claudia Cardinale and
Anouk Aimée. She enjoyed the experience so much that she decided to take further steps into the world of
With perseverance and determination, and wanting to be more than a glossy image on a page, she studied at
the Cours Florent in Paris, at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and at the Actors’ Studio in
In 1999 she landed the role of Lauren, the liberated female lead in the BBC sitcom, ‘Perfect World’.
Appearances followed in the series ‘Relic Hunter’ and ‘Sunburn’ – again both for the BBC.
In 2001, Tasha performed in the CBS TV remake of the Agatha Christie classic, Murder on the Orient Express,
alongside Alfred Molina and Leslie Caron, and then returned to cinema in ‘Largo Winch’.
That same year she was on stage in Tennessee Williams’ ‘Camino Real’ at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London.
2002 found her cast in the fantasy film ‘Dinotopia’ before playing opposite the Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal
in ‘Dot the I’ which was warmly received at both the Deauville and Sundance festivals.
2003 saw her involved in the big‐budget Anglo‐American film ‘Johnny English’ directed by Peter Howitt. Tasha
acted alongside Rowan Atkinson, the singer Natalia Imbruglia and John Malkovich in this film about a very poor
substitute for James Bond, played by Atkinson (otherwise known as Mr Bean).
In 2008 she acted alongside French actors Richard Berry and Cristina Reali in the TV comedy ‘Une Suite Pour
Deux’ made for TF1.
A humanitarian to the core
With a natural generosity, Tasha has always had a heart for helping and supporting others, but it is on the
ground that she finds her true calling, her raison d’être. Born herself in Africa she has always been involved in
supporting children, and has a ten‐year record in humanitarian work. Like her inspiration, Audrey Hepburn,
Tasha knows how to use her contacts and reputation in the cause of humanitarian concerns. Alongside her
physical resemblance to this 50’s icon, she shares her altruism and generosity of heart, especially for children
for whom she has a particular affection.
In 1996 she decide to reacquaint herself with her roots, by going back to the land of her birth, and found
herself in South Africa working for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, followed by a further visit the
1999 saw her working as a UNICEF Goodwill Volunteer supporting children suffering from malnutrition in
2001 she went to Algeria on a mission with UNICEF to help Algerian children victims of the war.
In 2005 in Mozambique with UNAIDS, as ‘Special Campaigner for Children’ against HIV/AIDS in Africa she again
made a further mission to Africa.
In this same year she received an honorary award from UNESCO for her humanitarian commitment.
The AMOR Organisation:
In 2006, she created her own organisation AMOR –(Aide Mondiale Orphelins Réconfort) supported by Prince
Albert II de Monaco. She received particular support from the American actor Paul Newman.
AMOR’s aim is to see significant reductions in global infant and maternal mortality rates, through working
both with trusted local agencies and international partners. In achieving this AMOR has two particular goals: to
provide medical services to mothers at risk, and appropriate care for orphans.
On the 15th
April 2009 Tasha opened Amor’s first project, a maternity unit in Malawi, financed, built and
equipped entirely by AMOR.
On October 9th
2009 President José‐Manuel Barroso asked her to become the European Union’s public face for
humanitarian causes, just as Bono is for the UN.
2009 saw Tasha invited to contribute to a ‘Speaking Out’ session at the World Women’s Forum in
Finally, on 11th
November 2009, Prince Albert of Monaco inaugurated the special care wing of the AMOR
maternity unit in Malawi. On that visit Tasha was accompanied by Dr. Cécile Delval in her role as official
representative of the Institut Pasteur.
The Institut Pasteur:
On 29th April 2009 Tasha de Vasconcelos was named as the official Ambassador of the Institut Pasteur – a
first for this renowned international leader in medical research. ‘I take on this mission with much humility,’ she
said on the day of her nomination, ‘I appreciate particularly the humanitarian aims of the Institut Pasteur,
whose work has the sole aim of improving the health of human beings.’
Humanitarian commitment is second nature to this young woman of European origins, born in Africa. She is a
perfect of embodiment of today’s modern woman. A citizen of the world, she divides her time between
Monaco, her adopted home, and the rest of the world, which she travels across to accomplish her goals and
awaken consciences. Active and dynamic, committed and generous, she speaks five languages fluently
(English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian). She competes in Pentathlon, is an accomplished rider, and
has been a keen sportswoman since her earliest days. But above all she holds Africa in her heart.
The European Union
On the 8 Mars 2010 the international day of women President Barroso gave to Tasha de Vasconcelos her new
mission as ambassador for Union European to fight against poverty and social exclusion.