News Release

Mauricio Cárdenas to Direct Latin America Initiative at Brookings

July 24, 2008

Mauricio Cárdenas, a Colombian economist, will join the Brookings Institution in August 2008 as a senior fellow and director of the Institution’s new Latin America Initiative, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Cárdenas will be responsible for leading research efforts on critical issues such as increasing economic ties, international trade, energy, the emerging power of Latin America nations, the immigration debate and poverty alleviation. In this role, Cárdenas will also help direct Brookings’s recently launched Partnership for the Americas Commission and the release of the Commission’s policy recommendations for the next U.S. president this fall.

“Mauricio brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to Brookings, and we welcome his leadership on the Latin America Initiative and the Partnership for the Americas Commission. His contributions will be critical as we prepare for the new U.S. administration, taking stock of the U.S.-Latin America relationship and stimulating new partnerships across a host of critical issues,” said Talbott.

Before joining Brookings, Cárdenas served as executive director of Fedesarrollo, an independent policy-oriented research center in Colombia. He also served as Colombia’s minister of transportation (1998-1999); director of national planning (1999-2000); and minister of economic development in 1994. Between 2001 and 2003, he was the first president of Titularizadora Colombiana, Latin America’s leading private firm specialized in mortgage securitization. Cárdenas was selected by CNN/Time Magazine as one of the “Leaders of the New Millennium” in 1999.

Cárdenas holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently the president of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA). Cárdenas represents the nearly 500,000 minority shareholders in the board of directors of ECOPETROL, Colombia’s largest corporation, and will continue in this role during his affiliation with Brookings.

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