Cecilia López Montaño

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Cecilia Matilde López Montaño
Senator of Colombia
In office
20 July 2006 – 20 July 2010
Director of FONADE
In office
1 April 1997 – 7 August 1998
Colombian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
In office
8 August 1995 – 1 April 1997
President Ernesto Samper Pizano
Preceded by Gustavo Castro Guerrero
Succeeded by Antonio Gómez Merlano
2nd Colombian Minister of Environment
In office
7 August 1994 – 1 August 1995
President Ernesto Samper Pizano
Preceded by Manuel Rodríguez Becerra
Succeeded by José Vicente Mogollón
Personal details
Born (1943-04-18)18 April 1943
Barranquilla, Colombia
Nationality Colombian
Political party Liberal
Alma mater University of the Andes
Profession Economist
Website www.cecilialopez.com

Cecilia Matilde López Montaño (Barranquilla, Atlántico, April 18, 1943 - ) has been in public service in Colombia for over twenty years thanks to a solid professional background. Senator López is a well-known economist and Colombian politician. She has always been an active member of the Liberal Party and as such, has been appointed to several cabinet positions. Recently, on September 27, 2009, she was a runner up on the primaries of her party, and was the only female candidate amongst six other members of the party.


She began her education at the Parrish and La Enseñanza schools in Barranquilla. Later, she graduated as an economist from University of the Andes in Bogotá. Finally, the Senator received two postgraduate degrees from the Centro de Estudios Educativos, Mexico in Demography and the Economy of Education.

She was Department Head of a key unit at the National Planning Department (1978–1980); Managing Director of Fonade (1981–1982), Vice Minister of Agriculture (1982–1985); Ambassador of Colombia in The Netherlands (1985–1988); Director of PREALC, Regional Employment Program for Latin America and the Caribbean from International Labour Organization -ILO- and United Nations Organization -ONU-, (1988–1990), Director of the Social Security Department (1990–1992), President of Consenso (1992–1994); Minister of Environment (1994–1996); Minister of Agriculture (1996–1997); Director of the National Planning Department (1997–1998); International Consultant (1998–2006); President of Agenda Colombia Foundation, (2002–2006), and Senator of the republic of Colombia with the Liberal Party (2006–2010).

Currently, she is a member the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) board of directors, headquartered in Washington, D.C.; the World Wide Group of experts on Intellectual Property from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Switzerland. She is the president of the Group of Parliamentarian Women of the Americas at the Inter- Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA) in Canada and she plays an active role in the Cartagena's Feminist Initiative. In the past, she was a member of the board of directors with the International Water Management Institutelocated in Sri Lanka with Rawoo, the Advisory Council of the Dutch Government, Globalization for Development in New York, and in Colombia, Fedesarrollo and the Natura Foundation.

The Senator[edit]

At the Senate, Ms. López is recognized for her strong political control on government issues such as: Colombia's economy, debates on the army's Human Rights violations with the Defense Minister, the Carimagua's land situation and its relationship with the displaced people's rights with the Agriculture Minister; the government's management of the financial crisis due to the pyramids case and a thorough study on the convenience for Colombia of the Free Trade Agreements with the United States and the European Union.

Concerning legislatition, her most notable work is the presentation of the Bill for social transformation. This law promotes to redefine the national development model forcing the State to provide access to all Colombian citizens to a minimum amount of good quality services.

To review the complete text of the laws she has presented or to view the presentations of her debates in senate, please visit her Institutional Website.


On July 20, 2008, the Senator was appointed the Colombian Liberal Party's spokeswoman. By the end of that year, she was nominated by her colleagues, and won Senator of the year award. A nationally recognized award presented by Canal RCN. At the same time, she was chosen by Revista Cambio, as the best member of the Colombian Congress.

Throughout her professional career, she has received the Cruz de Boyacá Medal, the most important recognition given by the Colombian Government to the citizens that have served the nation with honor. She also received the highest congressional decoration for her contribution to the country's development, and the Queen Beatrice of The Netherlands decoration for her role as Colombian Ambassador in that country.

Senator Lopez was the only female of seven Liberal Party candidates running for the party's nomination for the President of Colombia in 2009.


Cecilia López Montaño is a well-known writer. She has published and edited 14 books, numerous academic articles, and weekly national or regional newspaper articles. To find detailed information, please visit her blog.

External links[edit]