Saturday, August 4, 2012

Felipe Calderón polishes up CV, looking for work in U.S.

Nov. 28 - Harvard names the almost ex-president to prestigious JFK School of Government

President Felipe Calderón, whose last full day in office is Nov. 30, has said several times in recent months that he and his family would prefer to remain in Mexico after his term ends. Calderón said that his wife and three children particularly preferred to stay put, rather than live abroad as some retired Mexican politicians have done.

But U.S. news sources have been reporting over the past several days that Calderón is actively seeking a university teaching position north of the border. The story was broke by the Dallas Morning News on Aug. 2.

At the top of his list is the University of Texas in Austin, due to its excellent reputation and proximity to Mexico. Calderón is also said to have put out feelers with officials at Harvard, Georgetown and Stanford. All rank among America's best universities.

The Mexican president earned economics and law degrees in Mexico, although he would not qualify as an attorney in the United States without further training and licensing. He also holds a master's degree in public administration from Harvard. Calderón speaks fluent English.

Some suggest that another motivation for a move north might be security concerns. That's what the PAN president gets for being the first chief executive of the modern Mexican state who actually tried to do something about narcotics trafficking and organized crime.

Dec. 30, 2011 - Calderón drug war strategy has been the right one
May 17, 2012 - Struggle against drug cartels, organized crime will be Calderón's legacy

Nov. 28 - Mexico's Office of the President today announced that Felipe Calderón Hinojosa has been hired by Harvard University for the 2013 academic year. Calderón, whose last full day in office is this Friday, was named professor in residence at the John F. Kennedy School of Government through December of next year. The school's dean noted that president Calderón is "a living example of a dynamic public servant who has confronted the greatest challenges. He'll bring with him knowledge and experience which will inform and inspire students and faculty alike." Calderón said that he was excited to be returning to Harvard, where he earned a master's degree in public administration in 2000, awarded by the Kennedy School.

Mexico's last PRI president was Ernesto Zedillo (1994-2000). After leaving office he moved to the United States. An economist, Zedillo is a respected professor at Yale.

This ex-prez moved even further away. Carlos Salinas de Gortari led a PRI administration from 1988-1994. Many of his countrymen despise him. The nation suffered severe economic tremors in the last months of his government, leading to a major currency devaluation. Salinas basically fled the country. He visits Mexico from time to time, but his primary residence is in Ireland. Salinas and members of his family have long been accused of corruption and connections to organized crime (in 2004 his brother was found murdered in a car, his head tightly wrapped in a plastic bag; the case was never solved). Carlos is an ol' grad of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, Class of 1994. The world-wide recession hasn't hurt him at all.

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