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School of Business Alumnus Returns to Miami as President of a Nation

April 28, 2010
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 Alumnus Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, the Honduran
 president, speaks with reporters in Miami April 27.

Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, who earned his bachelor of business administration degree from the School of Business Administration in 1970, was back in Miami April 26 and 27 – this time as the president of Honduras. Lobo was elected to the position in November following a coup that threw the Central American nation into turmoil.

Lobo was hosted by his alma mater as the featured speaker for the Annual Latin America Conference, sponsored by the University’s Center for Hemispheric Policy. In his first trip to the U.S. since he was elected, Lobo said he is focused on stabilizing the economy of Honduras and resolving the nation’s political divisions.

When asked how his education at the School of Business helped prepare him to one day lead a nation, Lobo referred to the people skills he developed.

“You learn something very important,” said Lobo. “You learn how to have relationships with other people and that’s a very important part - the most important part - [of leadership]. “If you don’t know how to manage relations with other people, you’re in trouble.”

Lobo with UM

 President Lobo (second from right), with the
 School's director of communications, Jeff Heebner,
 and Mel Maguire, associate dean for external affairs,
 and the University's assistant provost for
 international affairs, Abraham Varghese (l-r).

Lobo greeted members of the audience personally during the luncheon. He spoke for about 40 minutes and then took questions from the news media before concluding his visit.

Lobo is among several School of Business alumni to hold top government posts in Latin America and the Caribbean. In December, Mercedes Araoz, who graduated from the School with a master of economics in 1991, was sworn in as Peru's first female minister of finance. And in January,  Ellison Greenslade, MBA ‘98, took the post of commissioner of police in the Bahamas, where Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, MBA ’80 is the minister of tourism and aviation.

Read more about Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo’s visit in The Miami Herald.

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