As finance minister, Cárdenas oversaw a successful adjustment program that preserved high investment rates and produced reductions in poverty and inequality during the oil shock of the mid-2010s. He also led a fiscal reform that cut payroll taxes, which was followed by the creation of many new jobs.
In 2015-16 Cárdenas was chairman of the boards of governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. From 2014 to 2016 he served a vice chairman and then chairman of the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four (G-24).
Cárdenas became finance minister immediately after serving for about one year as minister of mines and energy. Earlier in his career he led Colombia’s national planning department, its ministry of transport, and its ministry of economic development.
Cárdenas has twice been the executive director of Fedesarrollo, a think tank in Colombia that conducts research on economic and social policy. He has also been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he led the Latin American Initiative. He is currently serving as a member of a task force on fiscal policy for health chaired by Michael Bloomberg and Lawrence Summers and sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“Our community is fortunate to welcome Mauricio Cárdenas as a visiting professor,” said Dean Merit E. Janow. “His experience as a policy maker and expertise as an academic will be valuable assets in the SIPA classroom, and his distinguished record of public service is a model for our students.”
Cárdenas holds a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from the University of the Andes.
— Alexandra Feldhausen MIA ’19