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Member of International IDEA's Board of Advisers receives "Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Award" for his support to democracy in Latin America

June 22, 2017 • By Pablo Schatz
Sergio Bitar, member of the Board of Advisers of International IDEA received the Guillermo O’Donnell Award and Lectureship by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in Lima, Peru, on 29 April 2017. In this photo, Mr. Bitar is joined by the members of the award’s committee, Prof. Gabriela Ippolito-O'Donnell and Prof. Kevin Midlebrook. Photo credit: LASA. 
<p>"I am grateful for the honor of receiving this award that bears the illustrious name of Guillermo O' Donnell. &nbsp;My words of gratitude for all those who decided to bestow this award on me; I note in particular Gabriela Ippolito, who has displayed the persistence and commitment to continue and to disseminate Guillermo’s foundational work. I take it as recognition of so many thousands of Latin Americans who have struggled in times of dictatorship and are devoted now to improving and consolidating democracy"</p>

On 29 April 2017, Chilean politician Sergio Bitar, member of International IDEA’s Board of Advisers was distinguished with the Guillermo O'Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) during the 2017 LASA Congress “Dialogues of Knowledge”, held in Lima, Peru.

The Guillermo O’Donnell Award and Lectureship is a recognition to trajectory and excellence in the promotion of democracy and republican values in Latin America. The award seeks to honor the memory of Prof. Guillermo O’Donnell (1936-2011), an Argentinean academic and one of the most influential intellectuals of political science in Latin America.

LASA is a professional association that brings together individuals and organizations dedicated to the study of Latin America. It has more than 12,000 affiliates from a wide range of disciplines across the globe working on Latin American affairs.

Sergio Bitar was recognized for his extensive career in fighting for democracy and democratic values, both in Chile and Latin America. Mr. Bitar is a reputable Chilean politician with more than 50 years of political experience. He has been a Chilean senator and cabinet minister under different democratic governments and is currently a non-resident senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue.

Upon receiving the award, Mr. Bitar presented the lecture “The challenges facing democracy in Latin America: How to govern better”, where he analyzed the main challenges and risks facing Latin American democracies and addressed the importance of inclusive public policies for the consolidation of resilient democracies across the region.

Sergio Bitar currently serves as President of Foundation for Democracy, a Chilean think-tank; as President of the Chilean Council for Prospective and Strategy; and as senior non-resident fellow and Director of the Global Trends and Latin America's Future Programme at the Inter-American Dialogue. His previous positions in Chile include: Minister of Public Works (2008–10); President Party pro-Democracy (PPD, 1992–94, 1997–2000, 2006–2008); Minister of Education (2003–2005); Senator (1994–2002); and Minister of Mining (1973). He is co-editor, with Abraham F. Lowenthal, of Democratic Transitions: Conversations with World Leaders (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).

Access the full lecture “The challenges facing democracy in Latin America: How to govern better” by Sergio Bitar.

About the authors

Pablo Schatz
Programme Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean
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