Dr. Leonardo Valdés Zurita

Dr. Leonardo Valdés Zurita served as President Councillor of the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico, Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE) from 2008 to 2013. During his term, IFE organized presidential and congressional elections. He was a leader in implementing many notable improvements in the electoral process.

He has provided technical election assistance and training for election management bodies in more than 34 countries. Prior to his work at the Federal Electoral Institute he was Councillor of the Electoral Institute of the Federal District and Executive Director of Electoral Organization at IFE. He has been a university professor for more than 20 years, written more than 50 articles in specialized journals, more than 30 chapters in collective works and has given more than 100 conferences and lectures. His papers have been published in Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Great Britain and Venezuela. He belongs to a number of scientific associations. He was a founding member and served as chairman of the Mexican Society of Electoral Studies for two consecutive terms.

He holds a PhD in Social Sciences with a specialization in Sociology from the Centre for Sociological Studies of El Colegio de México with the thesis “The Political Consequences of Electoral Reforms in México (1977-1991)”.

On 2013, Dr. Valdés received the Charles T. Manatt Democracy Award from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) for the implementation of major reforms in Mexico and for fostering international cooperation. He is an honorary member of the Association of European Election Officials a.k.a. (ACEEEO) since 2013 in recognition of his lifetime achievements and for promoting international electoral cooperation. In 2013 he also received an award from the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organs (UNIORE) for contributing to  electoral cooperation in the Americas.