​Colombian National Security Advisor Honored with Prestigious Gus Hart Fellowship

June 20, 2011
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has awarded the 2011 Gus Hart Fellowship to Sergio Jaramillo Caro, national security advisor to the President of Colombia. Jaramillo will visit Chicago the week of June 20-24, 2011, to discuss security, politics, and foreign policy in Colombia and Latin America with government, business, and civic leaders in Chicago. He will deliver the Tenth Annual Gus Hart Lecture on the evening of Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

Jaramillo, an intellectual visionary in the Colombian government, was nominated for this fellowship by the current Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. His security strategy and international experience in nation-building has enhanced peace and reconciliation in a country that has been plagued by drug cartels, insurgents, political disorder, and human rights abuses.

“My goal is to help resolve Colombia’s conflicts and project its strengths into the international community,” said Jaramillo.

His expertise in counterinsurgency, transitional justice, human rights and the Armed Forces, the demobilization of former combatants, and drug control policies earned him this newly created position in October 2010. As National Security Advisory, Jaramillo is responsible for aligning interagency work to ensure a coordinated security strategy.  In order for Colombia to resolve nongovernmental challenges and be a leader to other nations, it needs to first “get its own house in order,” he stated in a November 2010 Newsweek article.

The Gus Hart Fellowship, named after Gus Hart, former vice chairman of Quaker Oats and former chairman of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, is awarded annually to an emerging Latin American or Caribbean leader. Jaramillo was selected from a competitive pool of impressive candidates nominated by ambassadors, diplomats, business and civic leaders, and government officials from throughout the region.
“We are delighted to honor Jaramillo as the 2011 Gus Hart Fellow,” said Marshall M. Bouton, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “His commitment to strengthening governance through security and to shaping a new future for his country is what we seek to celebrate with the Hart Fellowship.”

A native of Bogotá, Jaramillo was most recently the vice minister of defense for policy and international affairs in the Ministry of Defense. In that capacity, he was a key architect of the strategy against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the author of the Ministry’s Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Policy. Through his work as cochairman of Colombia’s Coordination Center for Integrated Action, Jaramillo was instrumental in restoring security and building citizen confidence in conflict and post-conflict zones most affected by the Colombian drug war, and increasing a state presence to all of Colombia’s municipalities.

He also served as the executive director of Fundación Ideas Para la Paz (Ideas for Peace Foundation), Colombia’s premier public policy institute specializing in conflict analysis and prevention, and worked at the Colombian Embassy in France. He spent sixteen years living abroad, studying in Canada, England, France, Germany, and Russia.

Jaramillo says that his experience overseas gave him fresh insights into Colombia’s real problems and the perceptions others have of his country. He earned his bachelor of arts with high distinction in philosophy and Greek from the University of Toronto in Canada and his master of philosophy from Cambridge University in England.