President Oscar Arias Sánchez

President Oscar Arias Sánchez, 1997

After studying in the United States, Oscar Arias Sánchez (b. 1940) studied law and economics at the University of Costa Rica and engaged actively in the work of the National Liberation Party. Having completed his degree, he went on to finish his doctorate in England, with a thesis on the subject of “Who Rules Costa Rica?”

Dr. Arias embarked on his political career in 1970, as assistant to José Figueres, a former President. When Figueres was elected in 1972, Arias was given a seat in the government as Minister of National Planning and Political Economy. In 1975 his party elected him International Secretary and in 1979, General Secretary. Dr. Arias was elected President in 1986, and won the Nobel Peace Price in 1987 for his efforts to end Civil Wars raging in several South American countries during his presidency. He is the current President of Costa Rica, and the author of a number of books and articles on political and historical subjects.?

Dr. Arias has received honorary doctorates from Harvard and several other colleges and universities. He has also received the Jackson Ralston Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Liberty Medal of Philadelphia and the Americas Award.


“Demilitarization: A Major Factor for Development.” January 13, 1997. Building 10.
“Latin America Facing New Challenges.” February 24, 1997. Building 10.
“How Much Poverty can Democracy Endure?” April 14, 1997. Building 10.


Small group discussion with students immediately following the first lecture. January 14, 1997.