Irena Šinko was born on 5 January 1964. She graduated in agricultural engineering and law. Following her studies in the Department of Animal Science at the Biotechnical Faculty in Ljubljana, she was employed as a technology officer at a fodder factory in Lendava, and she continued working as an inspector of agriculture in Murska Sobota and as a teacher of livestock at the secondary school of agriculture in Rakičan. In 1995, she assumed the management of the Department for Agriculture and Economy at the Murska Sobota administrative unit, and completed her studies at the Faculty of Law in Maribor. In 2010, she was appointed director of the Farmland and Forest Fund of the Republic of Slovenia, where she remained for two mandates. Following her second mandate, she gained employment as a senior advisor at the Department for the Environment and Spatial Planning at the Murska Sobota administrative unit. Due to her various functions, she gained experience in the field of agriculture and forestry, developed a high level of competencies in leadership and resource management, and gained a deeper understanding of the functioning of the state administration system.