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Concordia is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrés Pastrana Arango, former President of Colombia, to the Leadership Council of Concordia.

Widely recognized for his responsibility in promoting peace in Colombia and for his dedication to combating corruption and narco-trafficking, Andrés Pastrana Arango, former President of Colombia, continues to be a leader in Latin America.

“We are honored to have President Andrés Pastrana join our Leadership Council. As an influential leader in Latin America and strong advocate of democracy globally, we are privileged to welcome his knowledge and expertise on world affairs to advance Concordia’s mission in supporting public-private partnerships for social and economic impact,” said Concordia Co-Founders Matthew Swift and Nicholas Logothetis.

President Pastrana graduated with a Law degree from University of Rosario in Bogotá in 1977 and attended Harvard University as a Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Fellow in 1978. He founded the magazine Guión and the news program Noticiero TV Hoy, where he served as Director from 1980 to 1987. As a news anchor and journalist, he focused on the production and trafficking of cocaine. His press articles on this topic garnered numerous journalistic awards.

He began his political career in 1982 by gaining a seat in the local Bogotá Council. Following his kidnapping by Pablo Escobar Head of the Medellín drug cartel in January 1988, he was elected Mayor of Bogotá – a position he held until 1990. Before becoming President, he was President of the City Council of Bogotá; President of the Latin American Chapter of IULA (International Union of Local Authorities); Vice President of UCCI (Ibero-American Union of Capital Cities); and Founder of the Party Nueva Fuerza Democrática. In 1991, he was elected Senator, and using this platform, he became a presidential candidate in 1994. Running again four years later, Mr. Pastrana won the presidential election, and served as President of Colombia from 1998-2002.

During his tenure, President Pastrana initiated the peace process with the revolutionary guerillas FARC and the ELN. Mr. Pastrana was also responsible for the Plan Colombia aid package and anti-narcoterrorist strategy, in cooperation with the United States. President Pastrana also served as the Colombian Ambassador to the United States from 2005-2006.

President Pastrana was twice awarded the King of Spain Award for journalism, and in 2013, he received the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award by the Prague Society for International Cooperation. He is a member of the board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, a member of the Fondation Chirac’s honour committee, a member of Club de Madrid, and the Honorary president of the Union of Latin American Parties (UPLA). He is also a member of the Board of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Pastrana is currently the President of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI).

On joining the Leadership Council, President Pastrana noted, “Even with all of the efforts of an efficient government, it is impossible for it alone to solve all of a country’s problems. The public and private sectors must work together to achieve our goals of a stable and secure country for generations to come. Concordia is the premier organization for promoting public-private collaboration, and I am proud to be joining them in their mission.”

Watch An interview with PResident Pastrana

at the 2015 Concordia Summit