Ernesto Zedillo

Ernesto Zedillo

Former president of Mexico

His career in government began in late 1987 when he appointed undersecretary of the budget for the Mexican federal government. As secretary of economic programming and the budget from 1988 to 1992, Zedillo contributed to the successful economic reforms by the Mexican government in the early 1990s.

Zedillo was appointed secretary of education in early 1992 with a mandate to reform the Mexican basic education system. Zedillo entered the presidential race in 1994 when his party's original candidate was assassinated. He was elected Aug. 21, 1994, receiving 50 percent of the votes cast. More than 78 percent of Mexico's elegible voters participated in the election.

As president, Zedillo pushed for political reforms to help achieve full democracy in Mexico. His government also had to deal with major financial and economic crisis. Under Zedillo, Mexico achieved, from 1996 to 2000, its highest gross domestic product in recent history.

Ernesto Zedillo
Landon Lecture
May 3, 2001