H.E. Juan Manuel Santos
Global Citizen Award
Juan Manuel Santos Calderón was born on August 10, 1951. He was a cadet at the Naval Military School in Cartagena, majored in Economics and Business Administration at the University of Kansas, and then he continued his studies at the postgraduate level at the London School of Economics, Harvard University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
He held the position of Chief of the Delegation of Colombia at the International Coffee Organization in London. He was the last Designee to the Presidency of the Republic and the first Minister of Foreign Trade. He has also held the positions of Minister of Finance and Public Credit and Minister of Defense. In this latter position he led the enforcement of the Democratic Security Policy.
In 2005, he created the “Fundación Buen Gobierno” and the U political party, a coalition that is currently the biggest political force in the country.
He worked as a columnist and Sub Director for the newspaper El Tiempo. He received the King of Spain award and was President of the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Interamerican Press Society (SIP). He has published several books, among them The Third Way, which was written with the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, and Checkmate to Terror, in which he describes the most important actions to the terrorist group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) during his period as Minister of Defense.
On June 20, 2010 – after winning the first round of the presidential election which took place in May of the same year – he was elected in a second round as President of the Republic of Colombia for a period of four years, beginning August 7, 2010 and ending August 7, 2014. He obtained over nine million votes, the highest ever obtained by a candidate in the history of Colombian democracy. In his campaign, he proposed to lead a National Unity Government that would guide the country through the transition between Democratic Security to Democratic Prosperity.
On June 15, 2014, with more than 7.8 million votes, he was reelected as President of the Republic of Colombia for the period of 2014 to 2018, with a policy plan based on three pillars: Peace, Equality, and Education.
President Juan Manuel Santos is married to Mrs. María Clemencia Rodríguez with whom he has three children: Martín, María Antonia, and Esteban.