Wilson Center Experts
Rodrigo Guerrero Velasco is the mayor of Cali, Colombia. He has spent his life in academia, teaching epidemiology for undergraduate and graduate students at the Universidad del Valle, where he has worked in various administrative capacities such as the Head of the Department of Epidemiology, Dean of Health Sciences, University President and the Secretary of Health of Cali. In 1992 Dr. Guerrero was elected Mayor of Cali and developed an epidemiological approach to urban violence prevention through the Program DESEPAZ, which has been successfully applied in several cities of Colombia and in other countries. After leaving the Mayor’s office, Dr. Guerrero joined the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, where he started the Violence Prevention Program. He is an Honorary Professor and active member of CISALVA, Violence Research Center of Universidad del Valle, and is also a member of the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences). In 2008, Dr. Guerrero was elected city counselor of Cali and, in 2011, he was re-elected for a second term as Mayor of Cali. His academic life has been intertwined with social development work, initially as the head physician in a health center and later as Director of the Fundación Carvajal. More recently, he has dedicated time to the work of Vallenpaz, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping peasants in conflict-ridden rural areas of Colombia. He graduated as an MD from the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia and later received an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Harvard University, Boston, MA.