Mauricio Cárdenas is a distinguished non-resident fellow at CGD. He is an economist who served as Colombia’s minister of finance and public credit from 2012 to 2018, and is currently a Visiting Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, and joined SIPA as a part-time visiting professor for Spring 2019. He is teaching a course on economic policymaking in developing countries.
As finance minister, Cárdenas oversaw a successful adjustment program that preserved high investment rates and produced reductions in poverty and inequality during the oil shock of the mid-2010s. He also led a fiscal reform that cut payroll taxes, which was followed by the creation of many new jobs. Cárdenas became finance minister immediately after serving for a year as minister of mines and energy. Earlier in his career he led Colombia’s national planning department, its ministry of transport, and its ministry of economic development.
In 2015-16, Cárdenas was chairman of the boards of governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. From 2014 to 2016 he served a vice chairman and then chairman of the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four (G-24).
Cárdenas has twice been the executive director of Fedesarrollo, a think tank in Colombia that conducts research on economic and social policy. He has also been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he led the Latin American Initiative. He is currently serving as a member of a task force on fiscal policy for health chaired by Michael Bloomberg and Lawrence Summers and sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Cárdenas holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from the University of the Andes.