Former president of Chile to teach at Berkeley

The former president of Chile will teach a number of seminars this year at UC Berkeley. Michelle Bachelet, who is currently serving as the United Nations’ undersecretary general for women’s rights, will talk about the challenges she faced as the president of Chile and the issues she will address in her new position at the United Nations.

Her first seminar will be on Friday and it will be open both undergraduates and graduate students, according to UC Berkeley News.

“Michelle Bachelet is an exceptional political leader and a remarkable person,” said Harley Shaiken, a UC Berkeley professor and chair of the Center for Latin American Studies.  “She reflects the values of UC Berkeley, and we are honored to have her as part of this community.”

Bachelet is a pediatrician and epidemiologist. Her father was a general who died after Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 coup. She was appointed in 2000 to the position of minister of health and later became the minister of defense. She was elected president of Chile in 2006.

Bachelet left the presidency in 2010. She is now spearheading a drive to raise $500 million for UN Women, created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 by pulling together four existing U.N. groups dealing with women’s advancement.

The agency will focus on promoting the leadership of women in political and economic decision-making, ending violence against women, and creating a broader role for women in peacekeeping efforts,

Bachelet was president when an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile. More than 500 people died in the quake and its aftermath, including some who were struck by a tsunami after the quake. Bachelet is being sued for authorizing the government to lift the tsunami warning.

Read more about Bachelet’s class here.

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