Responding to a Pandemic: the view from Latin America

Hosted by LSE's public event series - COVID-19: The Policy Response

Online public event


Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Laura Chinchilla

Laura Chinchilla

Ricardo Lagos

Ricardo Lagos

Juan Manuel Santos

Juan Manuel Santos

Dr Ernesto Zedillo

Dr Ernesto Zedillo


Professor Andrés Velasco

Professor Andrés Velasco

Latin America is being hit by the virus and by a number of adverse economic shocks. How can the region’s democracies preserve both lives and livelihoods? What will be the impact on the region’s already low economic growth and high inequality?

Five former Latin American heads of state bring their knowledge and experience to bear on these difficult questions.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso served two terms as President of Brazil from 1995 to 2002, having previously served as a senator, Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of Finance. Mr Cardoso has been a member of The Elders since the group was founded in 2007, stepping down from a front line role in 2016.

Laura Chinchilla (@Laura_Ch) is a political scientist, who graduated from college at the Universidad de Costa Rica. She also holds a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University. Her election in 2010 for a four year term as President of the Republic of Costa Rica was preceded by a political career which began with her appointment as Minister of Public Security between 1996 and 1998. Between 2002 and 2006 she was elected member of the National Congress. In 2006 she was elected Vice President of Costa Rica, assuming office as the Ministry of Justice at the same time. 

Ricardo Lagos is the former President of Chile, who held the office from 2000 to 2006. An economist and lawyer by qualification, he worked as an economist for the United Nations from 1976–1984. In the 1990s, R. Lagos served in Chile under President Aylwin and his successor, President Eduardo Frei, as both Education Minister and Minister of Public Works.

Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) is the former President of the Republic of Colombia, serving two terms, from 2010 to 2018. In 2016 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is a member of The Elders and a Honorary Graduate of LSE. President Santos studied for a Master of Science in the Department of Economics at LSE in 1975.

Ernesto Zedillo was President of Mexico from 1994 to 2000. Dr. Zedillo’s was named Under-Secretary of Planning and Budget Control in the Secretariat of Budget and Planning in 1987, becoming the Secretary of Economic Programming in 1988. In 1992, Dr. Zedillo was appointed Secretary of Education.

Andrés Velasco (@AndresVelasco) is Dean of the LSE School of Public Policy.

Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, will introduce the event.

This event is part of LSE's public event series - COVID-19: The Policy Response.

COVID-19 represents an enormous challenge for the social sciences to help governments and non-governmental organisations respond to the economic and societal consequences of the pandemic. Part of LSE's response to this challenge is a series of online public events that will take place over the Summer Term.

Why not visit the School of Public Policy COVID-19 Resource Centre.

This event in the series has been organised by the Institute of Global Affairs and the School of Public Policy.

The next event in this series will take place at 12noon on 26 May on Addressing the Pandemic: the pharmaceutical challenges.

The Institute of Global Affairs (@LSEIGA) aims to maximise the impact of LSE's leading expertise across the social sciences by shaping inclusive and locally-rooted responses to the most important and pressing global challenges.

The School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Our approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSECOVID19

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download at Responding to a Pandemic: the view from Latin America.

A video of this event is available to watch at Responding to a Pandemic: the view from Latin America.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube

LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.