His Excellency Mr. Ricardo Froilán Lagos Escobar
Former President of Chile
Known as Ricardo Lagos. Ricardo Lagos is a social democrat politician, lawyer and economist who served as Minister of Education, Minister of Public Works and President of Chile from 2000 to 2006. He received a degree in Law from the University of Chile and doctorate degree in Economics from Duke University in North Carolina (U.S.A.). First associated with the Partido Radical (PR), Lagos later became a member of Salvador Allende’s Partido Socialista de Chile (PSCh), where, as a delegate with the rank of ambassador, he provided diplomatic services during the XXVI General Assembly of the United Nations. He also served as a delegate in the United Nations’ III Conference on Commerce and Development (UNCTAD) in 1972.
In 1975, he worked as a consultant for the Development Program of the United Nations (PNUD) and became an economist for the United Nations’ Regional Employment Program for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 1982 Ricardo Lagos became a member of the Executive Committee of the PSCh, and from 1983 to 1984 he was President of the Alianza Demócrata (AD). He also headed the Comité de Izquierda pro Elecciones Libres (CIEL) and on December 15th of the same year became one of the founders of the Partido por la Democracia (PPD).
Ricardo Lagos became Minister of Education, initiating an educational reform intended to decentralise Chile’s educational system. He was later appointed Minister of Public Works by President Eduardo Frei, and in this position Lagos created an innovative system of road projects involving the participation of the private sector, which invested nearly two thousand million dollars in different projects. In March of 2000, Ricardo Lagos was elected the new President of Chile. In 2007 he was appointed Special Envoy for Climate Change by UN Secretary-General. Ricardo Lagos worked as a Professor of Economics in the School of Law at the University of Chile until 1972. Between 1971 and 1972, he took on the position of Director at the University’s Institute of Law. During this decade he also served as Director of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences and as a visiting professor to the head of the department, William R. Kenan, of Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the United States.