The Latin American Business Club at Northeastern University (LBC) had the privilege of hosting Ecuador's former President, Jamil Mahuad, for a fireside chat on Thursday, March 28. Supported by the Center for Emerging Markets and organized by the LBC leadership team, the event provided students and faculty with an opportunity to understand the challenges of being an effective and principled political leader in an emerging economy. Mahuad was president of Ecuador from 1998 to 2000, when he had to leave the country following a military coup.

As the 41st President of Ecuador, President Mahuad implemented the dollarization of Ecuador at the turn of the century, a policy widely regarded as one of the most impactful in Latin America over the last 30 years. Additionally, he received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 1999 for his role in signing a definitive Peace Treaty between Ecuador and Peru, resolving years-long border disputes.

President Mahuad's remarks shed light on the personal qualities one must have to be effective at making thoughtful decisions, communicating with the public to mobilize support, and implementing them. His remarks emphasized the value of courage and genuine leadership, resonating with the core values of the LBC.

During the fireside chat moderated by Santiago Forster and Alejandra Almeyda, President Mahuad reflected on the conditions for dollarization in Ecuador in the late 1990s and its relevance in present-day economic discussions, particularly in countries like Argentina that are looking to emulate this policy. He also expressed his good wishes for the current president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa. He then fielded questions from the student audience.

This special and very successful event was organized by Alejandra Almeyda (Head of Logistics), Paulina Madero (emcee of the event and EVP), Sofia Urrutia (Photographer and Videographer, Head of Media Team), and Santiago Forster (President and Co-Founder of LBC).

President Mahuad was welcomed by Professors Chris Robertson and Ravi Ramamurti, who both recalled fondly President Mahuad's first visit to Northeastern University 24 years ago to speak to NU's Executive MBAs.

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