President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, Vincente Fox will be on stage as Wednesday morning’s keynote speaker. His election in 2000 was a significant event in the history of Mexico: Fox was the first president in 71 years elected from an opposition party.
Fox secured his candidacy representing the Alliance for Change, a political coalition that brought together two previously separate parties and gained new supporters as he campaigned for a better future. A nonprofit fundraising group, Amigos de Fox (Friends of Fox), was instrumental in elicited the support of millions of people who lifted Fox to victory. His platform focused on ending government corruption and improving the economy.
Fox was the second of nine children born to his Mexican father and Spanish mother. Fox grew up on a farm in the state of Guanajuato, and his early life taught him to value the loyalty of people and to appreciate Mexico’s enormous potential to become a successful nation. “What sets me apart from my childhood friends are the opportunities I had that they did not,” he said in a recent interview.
Fox studied business administration at the Mexico City campus of the Ibero-American University and received a diploma in management from Harvard University Business School. In 1964, he joined Coca-Cola de Mexico, becoming its chief executive from 1975 to 1979. He turned down a promotion that would have brought him to the United States, returned to his boyhood home, and turned to politics. He won election for governor of Guanajuato before his successful bid for the presidency.
President Fox easily stood out and became well known for his unique cowboy style and charisma. A gifted speaker, Fox gathered big crowds throughout his six years as president. President Fox worked toward bilateral cooperation with the United States on drug trafficking and illegal immigration, efforts that were not always smooth. Many in the United States thought his policies encouraged illegal immigration while his own countrymen criticized him for aligning himself too closely with their northern neighbor. While political forces hampered his ability to enact reforms, his personal popularity remained high even though he was not eligible for reelection by constitutional law.
After leaving office, Fox worked to establish a privately funded center for the advancement of democracy, including a study center and a hotel, in his home state. He has continued to speak internationally and has written an autobiography, Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith and Dreams of a Mexican President.
Wednesday’s General Session will also focus on ASIS conferences scheduled outside of the United States in the coming year. ASIS President-Elect Eduard Emde, CPP, will introduce highlights of the December conference in Kuala Lumpur, the February conference in Dubai, and the April conference in London.