Cristovam Buarque is a mechanical engineer. He graduated from the Federal University of Pernambuco in 1966 and has a doctor’s degree in economics from Université Paris Sorbonne.
From 1973 to 1979, he worked as an advisor for the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) in Washington. Since 1979, he has been Professor of the University of Brasilia. From 1995 to 1998, he was Governor of the Brazilian Federal District. During his term, he was recognized for his commitment to social inclusion and as an administrator able to turn into laws the ideas previously exposed in his books. Among the several creative solutions conceived by the Professor and implemented by the Governor, the most renowned in Brazil and abroad is the Bolsa-Escola, a revolutionary approach to education and reducing poverty.
In 2002, he was elected Senator for the Federal District, with an eight-year mandate. He was designated Minister of Education in 2003, the first year of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s presidential term. Back at the Federal Senate in 2004, he was elected Chairman of the Senate External Relations Committee. From January 2005 to December 2006 he headed the Senate Human Rights Committee. From January 2007 to January 2009 he was Chairman of the Senate Education, Sports and Culture Committee.
In 2006, he was a candidate for the presidency of Brazil, presenting a concrete proposal for a revolution in the Brazilian education system. In 2010, he was re-elected Senator for another eight-year mandate. Presently, he is Vice-Chairman of the Senate External Relations Committee and Chairman of the Special Subcommittee for the 2012 Rio+20 summit. He is an advisor on UNDP’s Panel for the Human Development Report and a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letter and Fine Arts of Belgium. He is the author of several books published in Brazil and abroad, including The End of Economics, The Gold Curtain, and Abolishing Poverty.