Alfredo Toro Hardy
|Alfredo Toro Hardy|
|Hardy in Madrid, 2008|
22 May 1950 |
|Spouse(s)||Gabriela Gaxiola de Toro|
|Alma mater||Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas|
|Profession||Diplomat, Scholar, Author|
Alfredo Toro Hardy (born May 22, 1950) is a Venezuelan diplomat, scholar and public intellectual and the current Ambassador of his country to Singapore. He has occupied some of Venezuela's top ambassadorial posts including Washington, London, Madrid and Brasilia, taught in several universities both in Venezuela and abroad, directed academic institutions in the field of foreign policy and written extensively on international affairs. According to renown author and scholar Kishore Mahbubani: "About 12% of he world's population lives in the West and 88% live outside. Yet, the strong, diverse voices of the 88% are rarely heard. Alfredo Toro Hardy provides one such voice that needs to be heard". British historian and politician Robert Harvey on his side has written: "One does not have to coincide with all of Toro Hardy's views in order to recognize that he is one of the most articulated and experienced voices not only from Latin America but from the developing world".
Alfredo Toro Hardy graduated with a Law degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas in 1973. Between 1973 and 1975 he made postgraduate studies in France under a scholarship of the French Government. He acquired a diploma in diplomatic studies from the Institut International d'Administration Publique and a diploma in comparative law from Panthéon-Assas University in Paris, 1975. He received his M.S. from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1977 and his Master of Laws from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He took a course on international negotiations from Harvard University in 1984.
He was a Member of the Advising Committee of the Diplomatic Academy of London (2003–2008). A Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University (1986–1987) and at the School of International Affairs of the University of Brasilia (1995–1996), he served as well as on-line Professor at the Centre for Social Economy of the University of Barcelona (2005–2006). He has been a Fulbright Scholar (1986–1987) and a Bellagio Center Resident Scholar (September, 2011). He was elected by the Council of Faculties of the University of Cambridge as Simón Bolívar Chair Professor for Latin American Studies for the period 2006-2007, but had to decline due to his diplomatic career (holders of this prestigious chair have included leading Latin American figures such as Octavio Paz, Mario Vargas Llosa, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Carlos Fuentes, Celso Furtado and Guillermo O'Donnell). Associate Professor at the Simón Bolívar University from which he retired in 1992, he also taught at the Central University of Venezuela and at the Institute for Higher Studies on the National Defence, in Caracas. Alfredo Toro Hardy was the Director of the Centre for North American Studies and the Coordinator of the Institute for Higher Latin American Studies at the Simón Bolívar University from 1989 to 1992. He was the Director of the "Pedro Gual" Diplomatic Academy of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1992 to 1994. He remains an active lecturer on international affairs, having being invited as speaker by top universities and think tanks of the Americas, Europe and Asia, while participating as speaker in several international seminars.
He has authored seventeen books and co-authored twelve more on international affairs (some of the latter were published by the universities of Westminster, Alcalá de Henares, Brasilia, São Paulo, Simón Bolívar and Católica Andrés Bello as well as by the Venezuelan Chapter of the Club of Rome, the Latin American Parliament and the Venezuelan Presidential Commission for Borders Affairs). He has also published numerous articles in academic journals, including the Cambridge Review of International Affairs. His book El Desafío Venezolano: ¿Cómo Influir las Decisiones Políticas Estadounidenses? pioneered within Latin America the study of the United States institutional permeability as a mean by the countries of such region to influence in their own benefit Washington's decision making process. This work was originally published in 1988 by the Simon Bolivar University with a foreword by Miguel Angel Burelli Rivas, Director of the Institute for Higher Latin American Studies of such university. The book had subsequent updated editions in 1991 and 2005. His book The Age of Villages, with a foreword by Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Director of Chatham House, won the International Latino Book Award (best book by an author whose original language is in Spanish or Portuguese) in the category of contemporary history/political sciences, at the BookExpo America celebrated in Chicago in 2003. His book Hegemonía e Imperio, with a foreword by British historian Robert Harvey, won the same prize at the same category at the BookExpo America celebrated in Los Angeles in 2008. In between the latter two books he published in 2004 ¿Tiene Futuro América Latina? with a foreword by Rubens Ricupero, Secretary General of the UNCTAD, and endorsement comments by James Dunkerley and Bernardo Kliksberg, among others. In 2013 World Scientific published Toro Hardy's most recent book under its Series on Contemporary China. The book was entitled The World Turned Upside Down: The Complex Partnership Between China and Latin America and received endorsement comments by Kishore Mahbubani and Jorge Alberto Lozoya, among other important figures. The forewords of this work were written by Geoffrey Hawthorn, Emeritus Professor on International Politics at the University of Cambridge and L. Enrique Garcia, President of CAF-Latin American Development Bank. Toro Hardy's books have been reviewed, listed or commented by reputed international media and academic reviews of diverse tendencies, among them Foreign Affairs, Financial Times, CNBC, Americas Quarterly, BBC Mundo, RT, Le Monde Diplomatique, Rebelión, Global-is-Asian and The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies. For more than twenty years Alfredo Toro Hardy has also been a weekly columnist at the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal and a contributor in newspapers, magazines and blogs from Latin America and Spain. He regularly contributes with the publications of IGADI, one of Spain's leading think tanks which specializes on international affairs. [dead link]
Diplomatic and public service posts
Alfredo Toro Hardy is currently the ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the Republic of Singapore as of November 19, 2009. His past diplomatic and public service posts are the following:
- Director of the "Pedro Gual" Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1992-1994)
- Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil (1994–1997)
- Ambassador to the Republic of Chile (1997–1999)
- Ambassador to the United States (1999–2001)
- Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas (1999–2001)
- Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2001–2007)
- Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland (2001–2007)
- Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain (2007–2009).
Between 2001 and 2007 he served as Venezuelan Representative to the International Coffee Organization based in London. During his time as Ambassador in Madrid he was in charge of the Venezuelan Pavilion at the Expo 2008, celebrated in Zaragoza, Spain, between June and September of 2008. Between 1985 and 1994 he was Adviser for International Affairs at Venezuela's National Security and Defence Council Secretariat. 
- Rafael Caldera (Caracas, 1983)
- ¿Para qué una Política Exterior? (Caracas, 1984)
- Venezuela, Democracia y Política Exterior (Caracas, 1986)
- El Desafío Venezolano: ¿Cómo Influir las Decisiones Políticas Estadounidenses? (Caracas, 1988, 1991, 2005)
- La Maldición de Sísifo: Quince Años de Política Exterior Venezolana (Caracas, 1991)
- Bajo el Signo de la Incertidumbre (Caracas, 1992)
- De Yalta a Sarajevo: De la Guerra Fría a la Paz Caliente (Caracas, 1993)
- Las Falacias del Libre Comercio (Caracas, 1993)
- Del Descalabro Mexicano a la Crisis Venezolana (Caracas, 1995)
- El Desorden Global (Caracas, 1996)
- La Era de las Aldeas / The Age of Villages (Bogota, 2002)
- La Guerra en Irak (Caracas, 2003)
- Irak y la Reconfiguración del Orden Mundial (Caracas, 2003)
- ¿Tiene Futuro América Latina? (Bogota, 2004)
- Los Estadounidenses (Caracas, 2005)
- Hegemonía e Imperio / Hegemony and Empire (Bogota, 2007)
- The World Turned Upside Down: The Complex Partnership Between China and Latin America (London/New Jersey/Singapore, 2013).
- "Presentation of Credentials Ceremony". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore, http://app.mfa.gov.sg. 19 November 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- "Ambassador Alfredo Toro hardy". Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the United States of America, http://www.embavenez-us.org. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- List of print references:
- Who’s Who, London, A&C Black
- Commission on Globalization, National Sovereignty and Universal Challenges: Biographies of Conference Speakers and Rapporteurs
- Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Volume 17, Number 1, April 2004, Notes on Contributors
- Dictionary of International Biography, Cambridge, International Biographical Center
- Debrett's People of Today, London
- Quienes Escriben en Venezuela: Diccionario Abreviado de Escritores, Rafael Angel Rivas Dugarte, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, 2006
- The International Year Book and Statesmen’s Who’s Who, East Grinstead, West Sussex, CSA