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Fernando Cardoso

Former President of Brazil to speak at Roosevelt on Sept. 11

Posted: 08/07/2014
Fernando H. Cardoso, president of Brazil from 1995 until 2003 and an internationally known sociologist, will discuss “Reinvention of Democracy: Reconciling Demos and Res Publica” at Roosevelt University’s annual Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Lecture on Sept. 11. 
 
In his lecture, Cardoso is expected to elaborate on his belief that a democratic global order cannot be created until international institutions – the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and other institutions created after WWII – are restructured to allow more democratic processes.
 
A member of the Elders, a group of independent global leaders who work together on peace and human rights issues, Cardoso will receive Roosevelt’s highest honor, a Doctor of Social Justice degree, Honoris Causa, at the event which begins at 4 p.m. on the second floor of the University, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.  The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Cardoso’s political activity is informed by his academic work.  He has a PhD in sociology and was a long time professor of sociology and political science at the University of Sao Paulo, where he is now professor emeritus.  He was president of the International Sociological Association from 1982 until 1986 and he continues to lecture at universities around the world.
 
Cardoso was a progressive president of Brazil.  During his two terms as president, Brazil recorded a decline in infant mortality rates, a fall in the number of child laborers, the attainment of nearly universal primary education, a reduction in poverty levels, a drop in the number of people dying from AIDS and the resettlement of over 500,000 landless families.  In addition, he was the first Brazilian president to start a program to address the inequality issue in Brazil – the enormous gap between rich and poor in the country. 

After leaving office, he established the Instituto Fernando Henrique Cardoso (iFHC), which contains an immense and varied collection of texts, correspondence, books, notes, photographs, objects, and videos that he accumulated during his eight years as president and during his many decades as a sociologist, senator and minister. The Instituto is both a center of historical memory and a forum for debating democracy and development, two causes that have been a constant throughout his career.

The former Brazilian President has been involved in a number of international organizations and initiatives. He is a member of the Club of Madrid and was its president from 2003 to 2006.  He has been a member of Fondation Chirac’s Honor Committee, ever since the Fondation was launched in 2008 by former French President Jacques Chirac to promote world peace and he is a member of the board of directors of World Resources Institute.
 
Cardoso also has a strong interest in drug policy. He served on the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy and also served as president of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.  During his illustrious career, Cardoso has received numerous awards for excellent public service, including the John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity, the Mahbub ul Haq Adward for outstanding contributions to human development and the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for international cooperation. 
Sponsored by the Center for New Deal Studies at Roosevelt University, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Lecture Series was inaugurated in 1992.  Previous lecturers have included Ambassador William vanden Heuvel; journalist Cokie Roberts; Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, M.D.; Allida Black of the ER Papers Project; and author and historian Studs Terkel. For further information about the Sept. 11 lecture by Fernando Cardoso, contact Margaret Rung, associate professor of history at Roosevelt University, mrung@roosevelt.edu.