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Alejandro Toledo

Alejandro Toledo

The former President of Peru, Alejandro Toledo – a man of Indigenous Andean heritage who began as a shoeshine boy and rose to become a respected economist – served as President of Peru from 2001 to 2006.

Capitalism With A Human Face
During his tenure, Toledo was committed to building a country based on “capitalism with a human face,” with an emphasis on job-creation, poverty reduction and decentralization. During the five years of his presidency, the Peruvian economy grew at an average rate of six percent, creating one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America.

Era of Political Reforms
Toledo inherited a challenging assignment as President, and he worked tirelessly to lessen poverty and bring stability to his country. Most importantly, Toledo ushered in an era of political reforms that nurtured free and open democratic elections in Peru, and he handed over power to his successor in peace.

A Shoeshine Boy
One of 16 children, seven of whom died, Toledo was born in a poor village. His father was a bricklayer and his mother sold fish at markets, and he himself worked as a shoeshine boy. With help from members of the Peace Corps, Toledo secured partial scholarships to attend the University of San Francisco and completed his PhD in economics and education at Stanford. From 1991 to 1994, he was a fellow at the Harvard Institute for International Development. Prior to entering the presidential elections, Mr. Toledo was a professor of economics in Peru and acted as a consultant for the United Nations and the World Bank.

After his presidential term, Toledo left Peru and went to the USA where he was invited by Stanford University to be a fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies.