Francisco Rivadeneira S. | 1995
Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Integration, Ecuador
Why did you choose to study at the Institute?
Primarily because I became interested in international relations at an early stage. I wanted to become a diplomatic representative for Ecuador, like the generations of men who preceded me. My great, great grandfather was a government minister in 1894. Almost by destiny, my father was a representative to international organisations in Geneva from 1987 to 1991.
What are the most memorable moments from your years at the Institute?
Far from my family, I had to support myself as a student. I worked at the Institute’s reception for two years. I got to know the teaching faculty as well as the whole staff and enjoyed excellent relations with many of them. At the Institute, I met some of my lasting intellectual influences: Professors Swoboda, Djalili, Abi-Saab and the late Yves Ghebali. It was a wonderful experience and I remain very attached to the Institute to this day.
What did you accomplish after your studies?
After returning to Ecuador in 1995, I wanted to experience university life in my own country. I obtained a master in international economic relations with a specialisation in international negotiation and conflict resolution at the University of Andine Simon Bolivar.
Did the skills and knowledge you acquired at the Institute help you in your professional career?
Absolutely. The fact that I have become a multidisciplinary general practitioner versed in the main areas of international relations (economics, law, history and politics) and grasp the major issues in these fields has helped me make the decisions that need to be made in my position. However it is still necessary to surround oneself with specialists in each area.
What would you suggest to a student who wishes to become a minister of foreign trade in his or her country?
Everything is possible in this life when one has a clear idea about what one wants! One has to have a strategy; this something that the Institute can help students develop. The Institute trains the leaders of tomorrow, the people who will make decisions.