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FELIPE CALDERON  Former President of Mexico, Economic Leadership Keynote Speaker

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Felipe Calderón obtained a majority of votes in one of the most closely fought presidential actions in the history of Mexico. He was sworn in as President on Dec. 1, 2006.

He was born on August 18, 1962 in Morelia, Michoacán. He was the youngest of five children born to Carmen Hinojosa and Luis Calderón. His father was the founder, director and historian of the National Action Party. The President of Mexico has said that his father’s influence on the formation of his political ideas was so strong that by the age of twelve, he already collaborated with the party to which he has belonged virtually since birth. His political career has already been defined by the quest for the common good and his active participation in the struggle for democracy in Mexico.

Felipe Calderon is married to Margarita Zavala, with whom he has three children: María, Luis Felipe, and Juan Pablo. After graduating as a Lawyer from the Escuela Libre de Derecho, he obtained an M.A. in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, as well as an M.A. in Public Administration, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In his early years with the PAN and at the invitation of Luis H. Álvarez, Calderon founded and directed ‘‘Youth Action’’ in addition to being Secretary of Studies, Secretary General and PAN representative to the Federal Electoral Institute until 1995, when he became gubernatorial candidate for his native state, Michoacán. For the period from 1996-1999, he was elected President of the National Executive Committee. During his administration, the party achieved significant electoral triumphs, such as the increase from three to six governorships, winning the states of Querétaro, Nuevo León and Aguascalientes for the first time.

During his legislative career, Felipe Calderon served as Representative in the Mexico City Legislative Assembly and Federal Deputy in the 55th and 58th Parliamentary Sessions. As Coordinator of the Parliamentary Group, he submitted bills for the Consecutive Election of Legislators, the Law of Responsibilities for Civil Servants, and the Regulations for the Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Government Information. In 2002, he was President of the Board of Political Coordination, where he fought for transparency in the management of resources at the Chamber of Deputies. Calderon proposed the creation of the Secretariat of Public Security, the National Women’s Institute, the Rural Financing Institute and the Federal Mortgage Society.

Throughout his career, Felipe Calderón has received several awards such as the Mexico-United States Chamber of Commerce’s ‘‘NAFTA Congressional Leadership Award’’ and the National Chamber of the Manufacturing Industry’s ‘‘CANACINTRA Eagle for Legislative Merit.’’ At the international level, he was Vice-President of the Christian Democrat Organization of America and member of the ‘‘World Leaders of the Future’’ of the World Economic Forum.

In 2003, Calderon was Director General of the National Bank of Public Works and Services and subsequently, Energy Secretary. As Secretary of Energy, he promoted the modernization of public companies, as President of the Board of Directors of Petróleos Mexicanos, as President of the Board of Directors of Petróleos Mexicanos, of the Board of Directors of the Federal Electricity Commission and of the Board of Directors of Luz y Fuerza del Centro Company.

As presidential candidate, Felipe Calderón drew up a plan of government based on the concept of Sustainable Human Development, organized into five sections: Rule of law and public security, a competitive, job-creating economy, equal opportunities, sustainable development and effective democracy and responsible foreign policy.

During his presidency, he prioritized access to health services for the entire population. The process of affiliation to health insurance took place on an unprecedented scale and promoted the greatest construction of hospital infrastructure in the country’s history, with over two thousand works during the first four years of government. The aim was to achieve universal health coverage before the end of the administration.

Likewise, particular emphasis was given to the development of infrastructure with the dual aim of improving Mexicans’ standard of living and increasing the competitiveness of the Mexican economy. Investment in this area reached record levels of nearly 5% of the GDP, which enabled the construction and modernization of highways, ports, airports, energy plants, water systems, hospitals and schools throughout the country.

In 2009, despite undergoing the world’s most severe economic crisis, President Calderón’s government managed to offset its effects on the national economy, as a result of which it managed to recover lost jobs within a year while in 2010, the highest employment levels in over a decade were registered.

The fight for security and the construction of a country based on the rule of law was another of the priorities of President Calderón’s
Felipe-Calderon1-300x225government. The entire capacity of the Armed Forces and Federal Police was marshaled to deal with criminal organizations in the areas most severely affected by crime. An unprecedented effort was made to strengthen laws and the institutions of security and justice to make the state’s actions for dealing with crime more effective. Likewise, several policies have been implemented to prevent crime and restore the social fabric.

At the same time, Mexico positioned itself as a global leader in fighting the threat of climate change. As a result of President Calderón’s personal commitment in the matter, the fight against climate change has become state policy. Mexico has become an international promoter of this effort, as borne out by the successful organization of the international COP16—CMP6 conferences. Through these and other actions, under the principle of Sustainable Human Development, the administration was working on a daily basis to transform Mexico into a country based on the rule of law, equal opportunities, competitiveness and environmental protection. 

President Felipe Calderon Speaking Topics:

The New Global Economy  During his six years in office, Felipe Calderón made economic reform a top priority of his administration by implementing policies that catapulted Mexico into a powerful player in the global economy. His experience as an influential policymaker, both in Mexico and on the world stage, puts Calderón in a unique position to assess the transforming world economy and how it will impact your organization.

Expansion, Innovation and Transformation: What It Takes to Lead  A leader who helped launch Mexico into the 21st century and improved its competitiveness in the global sphere, President Calderón established himself as a powerful president who could get things done. Named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Calderón confronted issues head on in order to elevate Mexico to a more powerful world player. In this insightful speech, President Calderón offers key insight into strategic policy-making and implementing long-term solutions in this interdependent world.

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