Sergio Bitar

Publicado el lunes 9, septiembre 2013

Sergio Bitar is a Chilean politician and economist. He received the “Gold Medal” from the Instituto de Ingenieros de Chile, 2017. He was also nominated “Engineer of 2016” by the Colegio de Ingenieros de Chile, 2016 for his contribution to Chile´s development. He also received the O’Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship, Latin American Democracy Association (LASA) in 2017.  He currently serves as president of the Chilean Council for Prospective and Strategy; president of the Corporación Museo del Salitre, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Chile; vice president of Fundación Paz Ciudadana; and a member of the board of the University of Chile, representing the President of the Republic. Bitar is a nonresident senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, DC where he heads the Global Trends and Future Scenarios Initiative, and a member of the Board of Advisers of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) based in Stockholm.

Bitar served as minister of mining under President Salvador Allende in 1973. After the September 11, 1973 military coup, he was detained by Pinochet, imprisoned in Dawson Island, and forced into exile, from 1974 to 1984. During this period, he was a visiting fellow at the Harvard Institute for International Development (1974-1976) and a visiting fellow at the Wilson Center, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. (1982-1983). After returning to Chile, he was one of the founders and then president of the Party for Democracy (PPD), a member of the government coalition (1990-2010, 2014-18). He was elected a Senator and served from 1994 to 2002. Later he became minister of education under President Ricardo Lagos (2003-2005) and minister of public works under President Michelle Bachelet (2008-2010).

He has published extensively on topics related to democracy, global trends, and strategic foresight. Recent publications include:

  • How and Why Latin America must think about the Future, Inter-American Dialogue, 2016; Tendencias Globales y el Futuro de America Latina, CEPAL, 2016;
  • Democratic Transitions: Conversations with Political Leaders, with Abraham Lowenthal, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015; also published in Spanish, French, Dutch, Arabic and Burmese, 2016;
  • El Gobierno de Allende, Pehuén, 4rd edition, 2017;
  • Chile, Bolivia, Peru. Un Futuro Común, Aguilar, 2011;
  • Dawson Isla 10, 13 edition, Pehuén, 2010; Italian edition, Teti Editore, 2015; French edition, Tiresias, 2017. English edition, forthcoming, University of Wisconsin University Press
  • Chile Mas Allá del Bicentenario, Planeta, 2009.

Bitar has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Chile. He studied Economics at the Centre d’Études des Programmes Economiques (Diplome, France), and holds a Master degree in Public Administration MPA (Harvard University).

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