Luis Carlos Villegas Echeverri
On May 19, 2015, Luis Carlos Villegas Echeverri was appointed by the President of the Republic, Juan Manuel Santos, as Minister of National Defense. He took over his position on June 22 of the same year.
Minister Villegas was born on June 16, 1957 in Pereira (Risaralda). He graduated in Law and Economy at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. He is currently a candidate for a D.E.A. in Public Administration at University of Paris II.
Throughout his career in the public sector, he has served as the Ambassador of Colombia in the United States. He also was the Governor of Risaralda, Senator of the Republic and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, among other positions.
Additionally, he was a member of the board of directors of Ecopetrol and was a leader in the National Federation of Coffee Growers. In 1996, he was appointes as the president of the National Association of Entrepreneurs of Colombia (ANDI), position that he held for 18 years. Furthermore, he was president of the National Guild Council and the Andean Industrial Council. Between 2012 and 2013 he was part of the Negotiating Committee in the peace process with the FARC.
Luis Carlos Villegas has received the Orders of Boyacá and San Carlos, which are delivered by the Colombian Government. Besides, he has received the Order of Democracy of the Congress of Colombia, the Order of Rio Branco of Brazil, and the Order of Isabel the Catholic, granted by the Kingdom of Spain, as well as other distinctions of countries like Argentina, Italy, Peru and Ecuador.