The 58th President of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe, visits SMU Tuesday, May 7 for the last lecture of the 2012-13 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. He will give the Willis M. Tate Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. The 2013-14 Tate Lecture season will be announced at the beginning of this event.
Uribe had a history of public service and politics before serving as President of Colombia (2002-10). He got his start in 1976 as head of the Real Estate Office of the Public Works Department of Medellín, the following year he was Secretary General of the Labor Ministry and from 1980-82 he was head of the Civil Aviation Department. Uribe served his final positions in Medellín as mayor in 1982 and city councilman from 1984-1986.
Uribe was elected Governor of the department of Antioquia for 1995-97 and was elected Senator for 1986-1990 and 1990-94. His work in Antioquia focused on schooling opportunities for students and healthcare for the poor; he received the Star Senator, Senator with the Best Programs and Best Senator awards.
Uribe was elected President of Colombia in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006; he was the first president to be consecutively re-elected in Colombia in over a century. He is recognized for transforming the “failed state”; while he was in office homicides and kindnappings were dramatically reduced. In 2009, George W. Bush awarded President Uribe a Presidential Medal of Freedom “for his work to improve the lives of (his) citizens and for (his) efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad.”
In fall 2010, after the end of Uribe’s presidency, he came to the United States and spent a year at Georgetown University. He was the Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. During this year he taught students in different disciplines and conducted seminars. In 2012 News Corporation welcomed Uribe to the Board of Directors.
Uribe received his degree in law from Universidad de Antioquia and his post-graduate degree from Harvard University in Management and Administration. He currently lives in Colombia with his wife and two sons.
The evening lecture is sold out, but SMU faculty, staff and students may attend for free (with ID) if seats become available. It is recommended to get to McFarlin at 7 p.m., seats are filled on a first come first served basis.
Uribe will answer questions from University community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.
The Forum is free, but seating is limited. SMU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend; RSVP online to ensure a place. To ask Uribe a question via Twitter, send a tweet to @SMUtate with @AlvaroUrbieVel and the hashtag #SMUtate.