Juan Carlos Varela

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Juan Carlos Varela
Jcvarela.jpg
President of Panama
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Vice President Isabel Saint Malo
Preceded by Ricardo Martinelli
Vice President of Panama
In office
1 July 2009 – 1 July 2014
President Ricardo Martinelli
Preceded by Samuel Lewis Navarro
Succeeded by Isabel Saint Malo
Personal details
Born Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez
(1963-12-12) 12 December 1963 (age 50)
Panama City, Panama
Political party Panameñista Party
Spouse(s) Lorena Castillo
Children 3
Alma mater Georgia Institute of Technology
Religion Roman Catholicism

Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez (born 12 December 1963) is a Panamanian politician who has been President of Panama since 2014. Previously he served Vice President of Panama from 2009 to 2014; he was also Minister of Foreign Relations from July 2009 to August 2011. He has been the President of the Panameñista Party, the third-largest in Panama, since 2006.

On 4 May 2014, Varela won the 2014 presidential election with over 39% of the votes, against the party of his former political partner Ricardo Martinelli, Cambio Democrático, and their candidate José Domingo Arias.[1] He was sworn in on 1 July 2014.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Panama City, Juan Carlos Varela is an entrepreneur, with family roots in the province of Herrera. After graduating from Colegio Javier, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1985.[2]

Career[edit]

In the private sector, Varela has been on the board of Varela Hermanos, a family company, since 1985 and was executive vice president of the company until 2008.

In the political arena, he worked in political campaigns beginning in the 1990s, was chief of the Panameñista Party campaign in 1994 and was the Panameñista Party's presidential candidate during the 2009 election. He joined forces with his rival in the presidential race, Ricardo Martinelli, as the candidate for Vice President, and on May 3, 2009, was sworn in as Vice-President of Panama.[3] Varela won the 2014 presidential election, winning against the ruling-party candidate José Domingo Arias, who was supported by Cambio Democrático, a party led by outgoing President Ricardo Martinelli. Varela won about 39% of the vote against 32% for Arias.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Varela is married to journalist Lorena Castillo and has three children.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Panama's New President: A Boost for Business". Time. May 5, 2009. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Launching of the Center". Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation ahd Research Center. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  3. ^ "Transmision de Mando Presidencial (Spanish)". 
  4. ^ Randal C. Archibold, "Incumbent’s Party Loses Presidency in Panama", New York Times, 4 May 2014

External sources[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Marco Ameglio
President of the Panameñista Party
2006–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel Lewis Navarro
Minister of Foreign Relations
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Roberto Henríquez
Vice President of Panama
2009–2014
Succeeded by
Isabel Saint Malo
Preceded by
Ricardo Martinelli
President of Panama
2014–present
Incumbent