2017: Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

Juan Manuel Santos is a Colombian politician, former president of Colombia, and winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Early in his career, he worked as an economist and journalist—and was recognized as a Nieman Fellow for his award-winning columns and reporting. In addition, he was a member and vice chair of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, DC–based think tank. Santos also served as president of the Freedom of Expression Commission for the Inter American Press Association.

Colombia’s President Cesar Gaviria Trujillo appointed Santos as the country’s first minister of foreign trade. In this role, Santos focused on expanding Colombia’s international trade and, in the process, established several agencies to support this objective. After also serving as defense minister, Santos was elected president of Colombia in 2010.

In 2017, Juan Manuel Santos received the Great Negotiator Award for his efforts to help end Colombia’s 52-year civil war by establishing a peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

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