Leonel Fernandez Reyna
Former President - Dominican Republic
CO-VICE CHAIR - Eminent Persons Group
President Leonel Fernández Reyna the first elected president of the Dominican Republic under the Dominican Liberation Party in 1996, and at the age of 42, he was the youngest person ever to lead the country. During his term in office, Fernández instituted dynamic and aggressive policies that reinserted the Dominican Republic into the international sphere, and brought the country out of its traditional isolation, thus beginning processes of regional integration, open markets, and globalization. A former lawyer and journalist, he vowed to end political corruption, broadened the country's economic base by attracting high-technology firms and re-established ties with Cuba.
Constitutionally barred from running for re-election, Fernández left office in 2000. In 2004 he was re-elected to office with an absolute majority and the second-highest percentage ever in the country’s history (57%). He was elected for a third term in 2008, serving for four more years until 2012.
President Fernández has been awarded honorary degrees from several prestigious universities. The author of numerous books, he is a contributing member of the Spanish edition of Foreign Affairs, and he has collaborated with various international newspapers regarding issues of communication, culture, history, and law. He was also a recipient of the prestigious Chubb Fellowship at Yale University.