Just four weeks after his last visit to Yale, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo GRD ’81 returned to New Haven with his family for another campus visit beginning last Saturday.
A senior professor said last week that Zedillo will likely be the new director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, and several sources said Yale has offered him the position.
Zedillo and his family will be checking out of their hotel rooms today, an Omni Hotel employee said.
If Zedillo decides to accept Yale’s offer, he would succeed former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott ’68 as the director of the globalization center. Talbott, who has led the center since its inception last year, announced in January that he will leave his post this August to become the president of the Brookings Institution, one of the nation’s premier public policy research centers.
Yale Center for International and Area Studies Director Gustav Ranis said he had substantive contact with Zedillo yesterday, but did not specify the nature of their meeting.
Both Zedillo and Yale President Richard Levin declined to comment about Zedillo’s activities during his visit.
But Levin said he would be visiting Mexico during reading week, although he did not provide many specifics about the trip.
Sarah Morgenstern ’05 said she gave a private campus tour to two of Zedillo’s sons yesterday afternoon. Morgenstern added that she was not given any special instructions and that it was just a “normal tour on a beautiful day.”
Although history professor Abbas Amanat said he did not know Zedillo was on campus the past few days, he said he believed Zedillo would be a wise choice for Yale. Amanat was one of the authors of “The Age of Terror: America and the World After September 11,” a book published by the globalization center.
“I think he’d be an appropriate choice because he’s coming from a part of the world that’s important to the United States,” Amanat said. “He’s been in a position of political importance and he knows about world politics. Potentially, he could be an interesting figure.”
During his presidency, which lasted from 1994 to 2000, Zedillo dedicated himself to curbing political corruption and fighting poverty. He also departed from Mexican political tradition by appointing a member of an opposition party to his cabinet.
But Zedillo’s presidency suffered from his 1994 decision to devalue the Mexican peso in the hopes of increasing the country’s export levels.
Prior to assuming the presidency in 1994, Zedillo worked for the Bank of Mexico and served as the secretary for programming and budget, as well as the secretary of education.