Teresa Simoes-Ferreira was born and raised in Mozambique in East Africa. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in romance languages and literature (French, Italian, and Portuguese) from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She speaks five languages, after graduating from the Interpreters School of the University of Geneva, she worked for the United Nations in New York.
After the tragic death of her husband, Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania, in a plane crash in 1991, she took direction of the family's extensive philanthropic activities.She is now the wife of Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, is the chairman of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies.
She has endowed a professorship in environmental management at the Harvard Business School and a chair in environmental policy at Harvard�s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, she has established the Teresa Heinz Scholars for Environmental Research --- annual awards to provide support for individuals writing doctoral dissertations or a master's thesis, or for project enhancement, for research and solutions on emerging environmental issues. All research must have public policy relevance that increases society's understanding of environmental problems and their solutions. In 1996 she created the John Heinz Environmental Fellows Program for the United Negro College Fund.more » « less