Augusto Santos Silva, who was born in 1956, studied history at the University of Porto. He earned a doctorate in culture and communication sociology in 1992 in Lisbon. Since 1981 he has been teaching at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Porto. From 1996 to 1999 he was a member of the National Board of Education, and from 1997 to 1999 the Portuguese representative in the civic education project of the European Council. From 1998 to 1999 he served as Vice-Rector of the University of Porto, where he is a member of the Academic Board.
As a member of the Portuguese Socialist Party (PS), he served in the second Cabinet of António Guterres as the Secretary of State in Education Administration (1999-2000), the Minister of Education (2000-2001), and the Minister of Culture (2001-2002). In 2005 he was appointed Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, and in 2009 Minister of Defense. Since October 2015 he has held the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs.