Alejandro Gaviria graduated in civil engineering from the School of Engineering in Antioquia; he has a master’s degree in economics from the Universidad de los Andes, and a PhD in economics from the University of California in San Diego. The new President is an associate professor at the Universidad de los Andes.
He was the director of the Center for Sustainable Development Objectives for Latin America. Between 2012 and 2018, he was Minister of Health and Social Protection after having been Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Los Andes for six years. He was subdirector of the National Planning Departmentand Fedesarrollo. He has also worked as a researcher for the Inter-American Development Bank, the National Federation of Coffee Growers, and as a consultant for the World Bank.
The new President has had a broad career as a researcher, professor, and civil servant. He has taught as a professor in the Universidad de los Andes, Rosario, Javeriana, Nacional de Colombia and California, San Diego. He has written several books, and has been a columnist for the El Espectador newspaper, and a panelist for the Hora 20 radio program.
In 2005, he was awarded the Juan Luis Londoño Medal. In 2009, he won the Simón Bolívar journalism award for the best opinion article, and in 2010, Portafolionamed him the best professor of economics and business administration in the country. Last year he was awarded the Order of Boyacá, which is the highest decoration that the Colombian government awards to distinguished citizens for services to the country.
One of his most outstanding publications is the book he wrote for the Inter-American Bank: Assault on development: violence in Latin America, co-authored with Juan Luis Londoño and Rodrigo Guerrero. His most recent books include Who goes up and down: education and social mobility in Colombia; Who’s In and Who’s Out: Social Exclusion in Latin America with Jere R. Behrman and Miguel Szekely editors; At least we have the words, and Today is still forever.