FIU’s Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom will host a group of distinguished public servants to lead seminars on public leadership, decision-making, and free market policymaking.
The semester-long Senior Leadership Fellows program will bring the inaugural cohort of fellows – including a former Latin American president, vice president, and U.S. Congresswoman – to participate in talks and panel discussions, be available to meet with and mentor students, and serve as a resource for the university community.
“I could not be more honored to welcome such an accomplished group of inaugural Senior Leadership Fellows to FIU,” said Carlos Díaz-Rosillo, founding director of the Adam Smith Center. “These fellows will serve as tremendous mentors, teachers, and role models for our students and future leaders.”
The first public event with the Senior Leadership Fellows will be at FIU on Thursday, September 9, at 3-4 p.m. in MARC 290. The three inaugural resident Senior Leadership Fellows will participate in a conversation with the university community about the Adam Smith Center, the fellowship, and the fellows’ vision for their stay at the university.
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Lenín Moreno Garcés served as the 46th president of the Republic of Ecuador from (2017-2021). Prior to his election as president, he served as vice president (2007-2013). He was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for his support of policies that improved the lives of people with disabilities in Ecuador, and also appointed in 2013 to the Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility by the United Nations Secretary General.
“I look forward to this opportunity that the Adam Smith Center has given me to reflect on and share some of the experiences and lessons about freedom and democracy that we promoted in Ecuador,” said Moreno.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen served as a member of the U.S. Congress representing South Florida from 1989 to 2019. She was the first Hispanic woman elected to the U.S. Congress, as well as to the State of Florida House of Representatives and Senate.
Ros-Lehtinen, who holds two degrees from FIU, was the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. She also served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was a member of the CIA Subcommittee and the National Security Agency and Cybersecurity Subcommittee.
“The need for a new generation of motivated leaders dedicated to the public interest has never been greater in our country’s history,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “That’s why I’m so excited to be a Senior Leadership Fellow at the Adam Smith Center — at my alma mater — to interact with that next generation.”
Franciso Santos Calderón was elected vice president of the Republic of Colombia in 2002 and reelected in 2006. He also served as Colombian Ambassador to the United States from September 2018 until July 2021.
In 1990, Santos was kidnapped by the Medellín Cartel and held captive for eight months. After that, he became an advocate for human rights in Colombia, creating the world’s first NGO dedicated to fighting kidnapping and promoting anti-kidnapping law. Santos has also held several editorial positions at major newspapers in Colombia and Spain.
“I am beyond excited to be at FIU to share with students my experience in politics, advocacy, and journalism,” said Santos. “Latin America is currently at a crossroads, and I hope to explore with students effective policies that help us ensure a free, prosperous, and peaceful world.”