Esmeralda Berghen was born in Leuven on 22 October 1975. After completing her secondary studies at the Royal Atheneum of Aarschot (Flemish Brabant), she studied marketing. Following her studies, she worked for several years in the private sector, in the field of marketing and sales.
 
She started her military career in 2006 and graduated from the Royal Military Academy with the 146th Promotion Social and Military Sciences in 2011. After her training at the CIS school in Peutie (Vilvoorde, near Brussels), she was assigned to the 6th Group Communication and Information Systems (6 Gp CIS) in Peutie, where she served as platoon commander of a CIS module. One year later, she became the second-in-command of the company and, again a year later, HR officer (S1).
 
At the end of 2016, she opted for the position of director Coordination Events at the Department Productions, Public Relations and Support of the Royal Higher Institute for Defence, which marked her return to the world of marketing.
 
Esmeralda Berghen speaks Dutch, English and French, and has a basic knowledge of German. She has started to study Arabic recently. She usually spends her spare time in the company of her Shiba Inu (a Japanese dog breed), doing photography, or practising yoga.