5/2005-PRESENT Secretary General, ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS)
José Miguel Insulza was elected OAS Secretary General on May 2, 2005, and took office on May 26. The 62-year-old Chilean politician has an accomplished record of public service, most recently serving as his country’s Minister of the Interior. Insulza, who was elected as Secretary General for a five-year term, has pledged to strengthen the Organization’s “political relevance and its capacity for action.”
A lawyer by training – Insulza has a law degree from the University of Chile, did postgraduate studies at the Latin American Social Sciences Faculty (FLACSO) and has a master’s in political science from the University of Michigan – Insulza began his career in academia. Until 1973, he was Professor of Political Theory at the University of Chile and of Political Science at Chile’s Catholic University. He also served as Political Advisor to the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Chile.
Following the coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet into power, Insulza went into exile for 15 years, first in Rome (1974-1980) and after that in Mexico (1981-1988). In Mexico City, he was a researcher and then Director of the United States Studies Institute in the Center for Economic Research and Teaching. He also taught at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, the Ibero-American University and the Diplomatic Studies Institute, and was the author of numerous publications.
In 1988, after Chileans voted against Pinochet’s continued rule in a plebiscite, Insulza returned to his home country and helped to lead a political movement toward democratic elections in 1990. A member of Chile’s Socialist Party – part of a moderate coalition of democratic parties – Insulza has held a number of high-level government posts. Under the presidency of Patricio Aylwin, Insulza served as Chilean Ambassador for International Cooperation, Director of Multilateral Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Vice President of the International Cooperation Agency.
In March 1994, under the administration of President Eduardo Frei, Insulza became Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs and in September of that year was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1999, he became Minister and Secretary General of the Office of the President, and the following year he became President Ricardo Lagos’s Minister of the Interior and Vice President of the Republic. When he left that post in May 2005, he had served as a government minister for more than a decade, the longest continuous tenure for a minister in Chilean history.
Born on June 2, 1943, Insulza is married to Georgina Núñez Reyes, whom he met during his exile in Mexico, and has three children: Francisca, Javier and Daniel.
1/2000-5/2004 REPUBLIC OF CHILE VICE PRESIDENT/MINISTER
Minister of the Interior
6/1999-3/2000 REPUBLIC OF CHILE CHIEF OF STAFF
9/1994-6/1999 (CHL)MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFRS MINISTER:FOREIGN AFFAIRS
3/1994-9/1994 (CHL)MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFRS DEPUTY SECRETARY
1990-3/1994 (CHL)MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFRS DIRECTOR
Multilateral Economic Affairs
1981-1988 VARIOUS ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES
Research & Teaching in Mexico
1974-1980 VARIOUS ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES
1973-1974 DIPLOMATIC ACADEMY OF CHILE DIRECTOR
Also prof of Political Science at Univ of Chile & Ponticifia Univ Catlotica
Education: Masters, University of Michigan; Bachelor's, University of Chile
Born: 6/2/1943 in Chile
Address: 17th Street & Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, USA