Lessons from Mexico's COVID-19 Response


Thursday, February 11, 2021, 5:00pm to 6:00pm

This event is virtual, to register click here.

Speaker: Zoé Robledo, Director, Mexican Institute of Social Security
Moderated by: Ricardo Hausmann, Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School; Thalia Porteny, Postdoctoral Fellow, Lab for Research on Ethics, Aging and Community Health (REACH Lab), Tufts University

With daily reported cases reaching approximately 12,000, Mexico is among the top 15 countries with known cases of COVID-19. This high rate of infection has challenged Mexico’s leaders to adapt and respond effectively while also forcing them to spend considerable time countering criticism of their efforts. Zoé Alejandro Robledo, Director General of the Mexican Institute of Social Security, will join Professor Ricardo Hausmann at Harvard Kennedy School to discuss the country’s experience with COVID-19, including both the successes and the many challenges its leaders have encountered as they seek to bring the crisis to an end.

This conversation is part of a year-long, virtual discussion series: Crisis Leadership in a Pandemic: Lessons Learned in the Fight Against COVID-19, sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership and the Ash Center.

Zoé Alejandro Robledo is Director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security. He earned a Masters in Law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and also holds certificates from George Washington University and the Harvard Kennedy School. He holds a BA degree in Political Science from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. He has served in several senior government roles, including Senator for the State of Chiapas and Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior.

Ricardo Hausmann is Director of the Growth Lab at Harvard's Center for International Development at Harvard Kennedy School. Previously, he served as the Director of the Center for International Development (2005-2019). He teaches a capstone course on the MPAID program. Previously, he served as the first Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank (1994-2000), where he created the Research Department. He has served as Minister of Planning of Venezuela (1992-1993) and as a member of the Board of the Central Bank of Venezuela. He also served as Chair of the IMF-World Bank Development Committee. He was Professor of Economics at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) (1985-1991) in Caracas, where he founded the Center for Public Policy. His research interests include issues of growth, macroeconomic stability, international finance, and the social dimensions of development. He holds a PhD in Economics from Cornell University.

Thalia Porteny is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Lab for Research on Ethics, Aging and Community Health (REACH Lab) at Tufts University.  She holds a PhD in Health Policy and Ethics from Harvard University (GSAS) as well as a Master of Science in Global Health and Population from the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH).  Her research interests focus on health disparities, health systems, ethics and migrant health. Previously, she served in the Mexican Ministry of Health as Assistant Director of Migrant Health and as an implementer of prevention programs nationwide.  Dr. Porteny has also worked and collaborated with several institutions such as WHO/PAHO, Doctors without Borders, UCLA, University of Miami and the RAND Corporation.

Presented in collaboration with Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School

See also: Virtual, Mexico