Guillermo Perry (1945-2019) was one of the most influential political, economic and academic figures of recent decades in Colombia and in much of Latin America.

In an attempt to keep his memory alive, and with it his intellectual legacy, at CAF we have wanted to pay him a tribute, closely linked to one of his greatest passions: the university. For this reason, the CAF Contest of University Essays “Ideas for the Future”, organized in alliance with the central banks of its 19 shareholder countries, awards the Guillermo Perry Prize, which recognizes the best work of students in the region.

Putting his name on an award that reflects the future vision of young Ibero-Americans on key issues for development every year, has a special symbolism. We believe that Perry, a man who loved discussion and the exchange of ideas, would have liked to be part of a regional forum of this nature, which rewards talent, university excellence and good ideas, and encourages serene and purposeful debate.

Guillermo Perry was a member of the Constituent Assembly of Colombia in 1991, Minister of Finance and Public Credit (1994-1996), Minister of Mines and Energy (1986-1988), Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Bank (1996-2007) and advisor to the President of CAF. He was Director of CEDE at the Universidad de Los Andes and of Fedesarrollo and visiting professor at the Universities of Oxford, Harvard (Kennedy School) and Florence (UNIFI). He was also a distinguished professor at the Universidad de Los Andes and a non-resident member of the Center for Global Development and on the Board of Directors of the Global Development Network, the Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Latin American Committee on Macroeconomic and Financial Issues (CLAAF) and Fedesarrollo, as well as several boards and a regular columnist for the newspaper El Tiempo.

He completed doctoral studies in Economics and Operations Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after receiving his engineering degree in 1967 from the Universidad de Los Andes.

He was the author or co-author of more than twenty academic books and numerous articles published in specialized magazines on issues of economic development and macroeconomics, inequality and informality, and fiscal, energy and financial policies, and international consultant in public finance and energy policy for various institutions and Governments in Latin America, Asia and Africa. In 2019 he published his memoir Decidí contarlo [I decided to tell], that had a great reception from the public and critics..