Although he was born in Santiago de Chile, we grew up in Medellin, Colombia. He is an academic, economist, writer and engineer. His current position is Dean of the University of the Andes.
He studied Civil Engineering at the Antioquia School of Engineering, but almost his entire professional career path has been as an economist. He completed a master’s degree in Economics at the University of the Andes, and subsequently a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California. At the end of the doctorate he worked as a researcher at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
He was dean of the School of Economics of the University of the Andes and deputy director of the National Planning Department. He was the Minister of Health and Social Protection during the six years of President Juan Manuel Santos administration. He managed the Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Latin America and the Caribbean (CODS), an alliance of universities of Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru, and since August 2019 he is the dean of the University of the Andes. He is a leading researcher of social issues.
In 2006, he received the Juan Luis Londoño award; in 2009, the Simón Bolívar award for the best opinion column, and, in 2010, the Portafolio Award as the best university teacher. He wrote the book of essays Alguien tiene que llevar la contraria (Someone has to take the opposite view) and the testimonial Hoy es siempre todavía (Today is always still) in which he gives an account of how he faced and overcame a lymphatic cancer that affected him when he was minister. Both books have been best-sellers in Colombia for the past three years. He is also the author of several books and essays on economics, development and literature, among others.