Juan Manuel Santos Speaker Profile:
Juan Manuel Santos is a Colombian politician and the President of Colombia, in office since 2010. He was the sole recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize
An economist by profession and a journalist by trade, Santos is a member of the wealthy and influential Santos family, who from 1913 to 2007 were the majority shareholders of the newspaper El Tiempo until its sale to Planeta DeAgostini in 2007. He was a cadet at the Navy Academy in Cartagena. Shortly after graduating from the University of Kansas, he joined the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia as an economic advisor and delegate to the International Coffee Organization in London, where he also attended the London School of Economics. In 1981, he was appointed deputy director of El Tiempo newspaper, becoming its director two years later. Santos earned a mid-career/master’s in public administration in 1981 from Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and was a 1988 Nieman Fellow for his award-winning work as a columnist and reporter. Santos was a Fulbright visiting fellow at Fletcher at Tufts University in 1981. Santos served as a member and Vice Chair of the Washington-based think tank the Inter-American Dialogue and was president of the Freedom of Expression Commission for the Inter American Press Association.
In 1991, he was appointed by President César Gaviria Trujillo as Colombia’s first Minister of Foreign Trade. Santos worked in expanding international trade with Colombia, and worked in creating various agencies for this purpose including: Proexport, Bancoldex and Fiducoldex. In 2000, he was appointed by President Andrés Pastrana Arango as the 64th Minister of Finance and Public Credit.
Santos rose to prominence during the Administration of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. In 2005, he co-founded and led the Social Party of National Unity (Party of the U), a liberal-conservative party coalition that backed the policies of President Uribe, successfully supporting his attempt to seek a Constitutional reform to be able to run for a second term. In 2006, after Uribe’s re-election, when the Party of the U won a majority of seats in the two chambers of Congress, Santos was appointed as Minister of National Defence, and continued defending the security policies of President Uribe, taking a strong and forceful stance against FARC and the other guerrilla groups operating in Colombia. Santos also created the Good Government Foundation.
On October 7, 2016, Santos was announced as recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for his efforts negotiating a peace treaty with the FARC-guerilla in the country, despite the unsuccessful referendum held over the deal. The Colombian government and the FARC signed a revised peace deal on November 24 and sent it to Congress for ratification instead of conducting a second referendum. Both houses of Congress ratified the revised peace accord on November 29–30, 2016, thus marking an end to the conflict. Juan Manuel Santos has been named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.
For availability and speaker fees, please contact Juan Manuel Santos’s speaking agent at Chartwell here, or call +1 972 385 1021 for U.S. inquiries or +44 207 293 0864 for international inquiries.
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