Mexican president to speak at graduation
President Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico will be the speaker at MIT's commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 28.
"We are delighted that President Salinas has accepted our invitation to address our graduates and their guests," said MIT President Charles M. Vest. "As a world leader, and as president of our great neighboring nation to the south, his experiences and views on issues that will be of critical concern to the generation of professionals just beginning their careers are most suitable for this occasion."
Dr. Salinas, a Harvard University-trained economist, was elected constitutional president of the United Mexican States on July 6, 1988, and took office on December 1 that year for a term that will conclude on December 1, 1994.
He has been widely credited for astute leadership and for economic and social reforms that have energized his nation. As part of his plan to liberalize and expand Mexico's economy he played a key role in formulating the North American Free Trade Agreement linking Mexico, the United States and Canada.
President Salinas has been deeply involved in his nation's economic and political affairs since his days as a student, starting in 1966, at the National School of Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He became a militant member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party's youth cadres and, in 1970, he taught at the party's Political Training Institute.
Two years later he studied for a master's degree in public administration at Harvard and, in 1974, he was appointed Head of the Department of Economic Studies of the International Finance Affairs Office of the Mexican Secretariat of Finance.
In 1974 he took a second master's degree in political economy and government at Harvard, and was awarded a PhD by the university in 1978.
In 1976 he joined the Office of the Subdirector of Economic Studies of the Office of Finance Planning; he became Subdirector in 1978 and General Director in 1979. Later that year Dr. Salinas became General Director of Economic and Social Policy at the Programming and Budget Secretariat, where in 1982 he was named Secretary.
On October 4, 1987, he accepted his party's nomination as candidate for President of the Republic.
A version of this article appeared in the January 13, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 18).