Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, front left, and the top commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Rodrigo Londono, known by the alias Timochenko, shake hands after signing the peace agreement between Colombia’s government and the FARC to end over 50 years of conflict in Cartagena, Colombia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. Behind, from left, are Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Cuba's President Raul Castro, and Spain's former King Juan Carlos. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) Image Credit: AP

Sharjah: The ninth edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) has announced that Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia, will be the keynote speaker at the forum’s opening proceedings on March 4. His interactive speech will offer attendees key global insights into effective reputation management.

The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize winner will highlight reputation management as a key tool for driving business across public and private sectors globally, and will share his insights and expertise on ways reputation can be managed in today’s technology- and media-driven world.

The two-day global summit will be held on March 4–5 under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and is organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), a subsidiary of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB).

Santos is recognised as one of the most influential leaders in the world. In January 2017, he was featured by the World Economic Forum as Statesman of the Year. TIME magazine has featured Santos on its ‘100 most influential people in the world’ list twice.

The former Colombian president began his public service career as head of Colombia’s delegation to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) in London. He was Colombia’s first Foreign Trade Minister, and led the nation’s economic liberalisation movement. He also served as finance and public credit minister, successfully handling the worst economic crisis in Colombia in 80 years. As national defence minister, Santos brought the FARC guerrillas to the negotiations table.

On June 20, 2010, he was elected president of the Republic of Colombia by a sweeping majority of votes – the highest cast in favour of any presidential candidate in the country’s history. In June 2014, he was re-elected for a second four-year term. During his administration, Colombia became the region’s leader in economic growth, job creation, reduction of extreme poverty, sustainable development and advancemnent of the ICT sector. For his tenacity and determination to achieve peace and reconciliation in Colombia, the Norwegian Nobel Committee honoured him with the Peace Prize “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end”, in 2016.

President Santos was born in Bogota. He studied Economics and Business Administration at the University of Kansas and pursued graduate courses at the London School of Economics and Political Science and at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was also a Neiman Fellow of Harvard University.

The key pillars of the opening speech will highlight how a proactive and integrated culture between various departments drives reputation within an organisation, and how good customer experience leads to stronger, positive reputation.

The 2020 edition of IGCF will focus on four main pillars: ‘Embedding a culture of engagement in government’, ‘Technology as a community enabler’, ‘Communication through culture’ and ‘Holistic well-being’.