Sergio Bitar

Chile  |  Non-Resident Senior Fellow & Project Director, Global Trends & Future Scenarios

Former Minister of Chile

+1-202-822-9002 ˙ sbitar@thedialogue.org

Sergio Bitar is a member and non-resident senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue, vice president of the board of advisers of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Stockholm, and president of the Consejo Chileno de Prospectiva y Estrategia 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. He was member of the board of the University of Chile, representing the president of the republic, from 2015 to 2018.

Bitar has published dozens of books and articles, including Democratic Transitions: A Conversation with World Leaders, co-edited by Abraham Lowenthal (Editorial John Hopkins University, 2015; published in Spanish, French, Dutch, Arabic, Burmese, Portuguese, and Vietnamese); Prisoner of Pinochet: My Year in a Concentration Camp (Editorial: University of Wisconsin Press, 2017); Isla 10 (14th edition, Editorial Pehuén, 2018; published in Arabic, Albanian, Italian, English, and French); El Gobierno Allende (Editorial Pehuén, 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 (4th edition, Editorial Pehuén, 2016); La Caida de Allende y la Huelga del Teniente (2nd edition, Editorial Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, 2017); Chile Bolivia Perú: Un futuro común (Editorial Aguilar, 2011); and, Chile Mas Allá del Bicentenario (Editorial Planeta, 2009).

Bitar has also received numerous awards, including the national honor of “Engineer of the Year” by the Chilean College of Engineers Guild Association in 2016, the gold medal of the Institute of Engineers in 2017, and the O’Donnell Democracy Leadership Award in 2017. 


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