Álvaro Uribe was born in Medellin, capital of the department
of Antioquia on July 4th , 1952. He is married to Lina
Uribe. They have two sons: Tomás and Jerónimo.
Alvaro Uribe holds a degree
in law from the Universidad de Antioquia and a post-graduate
degree in Management and Administration from Harvard
University. From 1998 to 1999 after being awarded the
Simon Bolivar fellowship by the British Council in Bogotá,
he worked as an associate professor at Oxford University.
During his last two years
of High School, with his excellent academic record, he
was exempted from final examinations, and as an honor
student he was granted scholarships for the greater part
of his university career.
Alvaro Uribe went into public
service at a very young age. In 1976 he became head of
the Real Estate Office of the Public Works Department
From 1977 to 1978 he was Secretary
General of the Labor Ministry and from 1980 to 1982,
head of the Civil Aviation Department. He was the mayor
of his native city of Medellín in 1982 and later, from
1984 to 1986, he was elected city councillor.
Alvaro Uribe was elected governor
of the department of Antioquia for the 1995-1997 period,
during which he developed a model of community participation
in key government decisions such as the creation of new
jobs, education, public procurement and security, which
he called Community State.
During his term as governor,
Alvaro Uribe reduced the number of government jobs by
34% and the number of official vehicles by 35%. Such
savings in government spending meant schooling for 103,000
new students. As governor he also devised a program by
which 40,000 people received training in the peaceful
negotiation of conflict.
Also, 200,000 of Antioquia's
poor became eligible for free health care under the national
subsidized health insurance System.
Alvaro Uribe was also responsible
for the paving of 939 kilometers of roads. More than
double the length which the Department had paved in its
entire history. And extensive repair work was done on
the roads which link Antioquia with the nation's capital,
Bogotá. The number of kidnapping cases in the department,
went down by 60% due to the cooperation of the community
with the local authorities.
He was elected Senator for
the periods 1986-1990 and 1990-1994, terms during which
he received the Star Senator, Senator with the Best Programs
and Best Senator awards.
This year he was elected President
for the period of 2002-2004, with the conviction that
Colombia needs to be governed with moral authority and
a strong sense of leadership.