José Woldenberg

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José Woldernberg
1st President of the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico
In office
Succeeded by Luis Carlos Ugalde
Personal details
Born Isaac José Woldenberg Karakowski[1]
(1952-09-08) 8 September 1952 (age 64)[2]
Monterrey, Nuevo León[2]
Citizenship Mexican
Spouse(s) Julia Carabias (divorced)[3]
Residence Mexico City
Alma mater National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)[3]
Occupation Political scientist, editor and commentator.

Isaac José Woldenberg Karakowski (born 8 September 1952) is a Mexican political scientist and sociologist who served as the first president of the Federal Electoral Institute and currently works as director of Nexos magazine.

Woldenberg was born in Monterrey into a family that had immigrated from Eastern Europe. His father, originally from Poland, arrived to Veracruz at the age of two and lived a few years in San Luis Potosí while his mother had been born in the northern state of Chihuahua into a family originally from Lithuania.[4]

He graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with a bachelor's degree in Sociology (1975), a master's degree in Latin American Studies (1987) and began a doctorate in Political Science (1993-1995), but didn't complete it.[1] During his college years he also studied film-making at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos (1972-1975), but dropped out after three years.[5]

He was drawn into politics in his twenties, spending five days in jail for his involvement in a university strike and becoming a founding member of the Unified Socialist Party of Mexico (PSUM, 1987), the Mexican Socialist Party (PMS, 1987) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD, 1989) which he left in April 1991.

He has worked as a Political Science professor at the National Autonomous University and has authored several books, including Antecedentes del sindicalismo (1981), Memoria de la izquierda (1998) and La construcción de la democracia (2002).

He was previously married to Julia Carabias, former Secretary of the Environment in the cabinet of Ernesto Zedillo, with whom he had a daughter.[3]


  1. ^ a b López Díaz, Pedro (2006). La Clase Política Mexicana: Diccionario (in Spanish). Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. p. 623. ISBN 9789686719918. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Diccionario de escritores mexicanos, siglo XX: Desde las generaciones del Ateneo y novelistas de la Revolución hasta nuestros días (in Spanish). Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 2007. pp. 353–354. ISBN 9789703239986. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Muñoz, Sergio (25 June 2000). "José Woldenberg: Mexico Holds Its Breath and Hopes for Fair Elections". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Biografía: José Woldenberg" (in Spanish). Editorial Cal y Arena. Retrieved 27 April 2012. Sobre su ascendencia extranjera, el escritor recuerda que sus abuelos llegaron a México en los años 20, procedentes de Polonia y Lituania. 'Mi padre llegó cuando tenía dos años de edad de Polonia, y su familia anduvo por diferentes lugares de la República Mexicana, desembarcaron en Veracruz, vivió en San Luis, en Monterrey; y mi madre nació en Chihuahua'. 
  5. ^ Aguilar Valenzuela, Rubén (3 October 2011). "Presidentes del IFE: José Woldenberg". El Economista (in Spanish). Mexico City. Retrieved 27 April 2012.