Interview by Sarah Gardner Evans, Daniel Nolan
Ricardo Martinelli has served as the 49th president of Panama since 2009. Martinelli has been committed to developing Panama’s infrastructure through an extensive public investment program to advance the country’s position as a global logistics hub and attract foreign direct investment. Prior to his presidency, Martinelli acted as President of the Board of Directors and Minister of Canal Affairs for the Panama Canal Authority from 1999 to 2003, and General Director of the Panama Social Security Authority from 1994 to 1996. Martinelli is also the president and director of the Panamanian supermarket chain Super 99. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and an MBA from INCAE Business School in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1977. President Martinelli visited the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs as a speaker in its Colloquium series on April 11, 2013. As part of his visit, Cornell University and the Republic of Panama signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a fellowship for Panamanian students to study infrastructure policy at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs.