Juan Ramón de la Fuente obtained his MD from the School of Medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México — UNAM) and trained in psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA. Prior to joining the faculty of UNAM’s School of Medicine, he was the founding Head of the Clinical Research Unit of the Mexican Institute of Psychiatry. After becoming a professor at the School of Medicine, he was nominated to Vice-Chancellor of Science in 1989. He became Dean of the School of Medicine in 1991, and Rector of UNAM in 1999. In 2003, he was reappointed to a second term and served until 2007. He was President of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and of the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico. He was Minister of Health in the government of Mexico from 1994 to 1999.
Prof. de la Fuente has served as Vice President of the World Health Assembly, President of the Board of the United Nations Programme on AIDS, President of the Institute for Latin America of the University of Alcalá in Spain, and a member of the Administrative Council of UNESCO’s International Institute for Higher Education for Latin America and the Caribbean. He is currently President of the International Association of Universities and served as Chair of UNU Council in 2010-2011. He has published extensively on health, education and social issues, and is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and honours.