Alejandro Gaviria completed his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the Antioquia School of Engineering (Universidad EIA). He also has a master’s degree in Economics from Universidad de los Andes and a PhD in Economics from the University of California San Diego.
The President is an Associate Professor at Universidad de los Andes. After having served as Dean of the School of Economics at Los Andes for six years, he was nominated by former President Santos as Colombia’s Minister of Health and Social Protection, a role which he occupied from 2012 until 2018. After his time working in the national government, he returned to the UniAndes campus as Director of the Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Latin America, until he was elected President of Universidad de los Andes for a four-year period in August 2019.
Alejandro Gaviria has had a broad career as a researcher, professor and civil servant. In addition to teaching at Universidad de los Andes, he has also taught at Universidad del Rosario and most recently Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Outside of academia, he has worked as the subdirector of the National Planning Department and Fedesarrollo, as a researcher for the Inter-American Development Bank and the National Federation of Coffee Growers, and as a consultant for the World Bank. He has written several books and has been a columnist for El Espectador newspaper and a panelist for the Hora 20 program on the Caracol radio station in Bogotá.
In 2005, he was awarded the Juan Luis Londoño Medal by the Foundation for Research and Technology Promotion for his research’s contributions to creating positive social impact for the Colombian public. In 2009, he won the Simón Bolívar journalism award for the best opinion article, and in 2010, Portafolio named him the best Professor of Economics and Business Administration in the country. In 2018, he was awarded the Order of Boyacá, which is the highest recognition that the Colombian government awards to distinguished citizens for services to the country.
One of his most outstanding publications is Assault on Development: Violence in Latin America, a book written during his time at the Inter-American Development Bank in co-authorship with Juan Luis Londoño and Rodrigo Guerrero. His most recent books include Who Goes Up and Down: Education and Social Mobility in Colombia; At Least We Have the Words; and Today is Still Forever.