Leonel Fernández was president of the Dominican Republic from 1996 to 2000 and 2004 to 2012. Fernández has been serving as the president of the World Federation of United Nations Associations since 2018.
Fernández graduated from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo with honors in law before working as a teacher and journalist. He also briefly practiced law before entering politics. Fernández was first elected to the presidency in 1996. At age 42, he was the youngest person ever elected to the office. During his presidency, Fernández worked to end political corruption, broaden the country’s economic base, and improve the nation’s image abroad. Since leaving office, Fernández has been honorary president of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, through which he has remained active in international affairs.
On September 26 and 27, 2019, the 2nd Annual Global Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean took place at the Union League Club in New York City, concomitantly with the United Nations General Assembly. Dialogue Members Leonel Fernández and Laura Chinchilla participated in this year’s forum.