Daniel Bessa was born in Porto, Portugal, in 1948.He is married and has one daughter.
Daniel Bessa has a degree in Economics from University of Porto, 1970, and a PhD in Economics, from Technical University of Lisbon, 1986.
He is Board member of Amorim Turismo and  chairman of the Auditing Boards of Bial - Portela e Companhia, Galp Energia and Sonae SGPS.
He is member of the Investment Committee of PVCI – Portuguese Venture Capital Initiative (an initiative of EIF – European Investment Fund).
He has been a professor at the University of Porto School of Economics from 1970 to 2009. His main research and teaching area is Macroeconomics (Monetary and Financial Policy).
He has been Dean of EGP - University of Porto Business School from July 2000 to March 2009. From June 2009 to February 2016 he has been CEO of COTEC Portugal (a private association of Portuguese companies to promote innovation supported by the Portuguese University system knowledge and technologies).
He has been board member of AICEP, Celbi, Efacec, Finibanco, Finibanco Holding and INPARSA. He also has been member of the General and Supervisory Board of BCP.
He has been Minister for the Economy of the Portuguese Government from October 1995 to March 1996.