Sergio Bitar is a member and non-resident senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue and president of Fundación por la Democracia in Chile. At the Dialogue, Bitar directs the Global Trends & Future Scenarios Project.
Bitar served as the Minister of Mining under President Salvador Allende in 1973 and was detained under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, imprisoned in Dawson Island, and then forced into exile until 1984, living in Venezuela and the United States. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Institute for International Development from 1974 to 1976, a Visiting Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s Latin American Program from 1982 to 1983. After his return to Chile, he was elected president of the Party for Democracy in three occasions (1992-1994, 1997-2000, and 2006-2008) and served as a Senator from 1994 to 2002. In addition, he served as the Minister of Education under President Ricardo Lagos and Minister of Public Works under President Michelle Bachelet. He also founded the Latin American Center for International Economics and Politics (CLEPI), serving as its president from 1987 to 1993.
Bitar has published dozens of books and articles, including Chile Mas Allá del Bicentenario (Editorial Planeta, Santiago, 2009), Educación Nuestra Riqueza, Chile Educa para el siglo XXI (Editorial El Mercurio- Aguilar, Santiago, 2005), and Chile 1970-1973 (Editorial Pehuén, Chile, 1996 and 2001). His recent books include: El Gobierno de Allende, 3rd edition, 2013; Chile, Bolivia, Peru. Un Futuro Común, 2011; Dawson Isla 10, 13 ed, 2010; y Chile Mas Allá del Bicentenario, 2009. In 2016, Bitar received the national honor of “Engineer of the Year” by the Chilean College of Engineers Guild Association.