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Meeting Former Mexican President Vicente Fox

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The opportunity to meet the former president of Mexico, Senor Vicente Fox, was inspirational.  As a result of Senor Fox drawing in such a high number of attendees to the public speaking event for the World Affairs Council, the location which was originally planned to be at the Council was now moved to the well known San Francisco hotel, The
Fairmont.

The students and myself walked into one of the conference rooms and waited for the arrival of Senor Fox.  Within ten minutes Senor Fox entered followed by his oldest son.

He immediately took a seat at the front of the table to introduce himself. He started off by acknowledging his humble beginnings from a family of farmers and noting that his grandfather was an immigrant to the United States.  He then continued to explain that his career in politics was not ever intentional and was actually the result of his drive to help his people and mother country of Mexico. Senor Fox mentioned his numerous amount of friends who would leave Mexico to find better opportunities elsewhere. Senor Fox thought about leaving Mexico and then concluded why not bring the opportunity into the country?

As a result of his new perspective the political sphere seemed only appropriate to increase the economic and democratic opportunities in Mexico, in which Senor Fox stated he worked from the bottom up to attain the success and recognition he has today.

After his introduction Senor Fox then highlighted points to which a good leader has.  Senor Fox mentioned that a strong leader finds their source of inspiration for life and education frequently.  He stated that while for many people a comfortable life may be suitable; however, a good leader will not be sufficed with a comfortable life and will constantly challenge themselves.  As a leader continues to challenge themselves their strengths are improved and their weaknesses are tamed. 

On this topic Senor Fox emphasized that one may challenge themselves through education, and that with education a person puts themselves at a position where they can conquer their dreams and gain greater capacities.  Senor Fox then furthered the statement by stating, “think of big goals but aim higher because it’ll keep you
moving.” New challenges and big ideas are not solely based on knowledge but rather a person’s leadership. 

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Unfortunately, people do not always exercise this trait and Senor Fox felt that it should be.

After his speech we were allowed a brief question and answer period. When he called on me I asked him that as he looked back on his time in office if he would have done anything differently.  Senor Fox laughed but stated it was a good question. 

He then replied that while it is easy for someone to point out what he could have done differently or
better, he did what was the most suitable option at the moment. 

He then continued to say that his decisions were based on the information he was given at the time and his best understanding of the situations. He acknowledged that while currently Mexico has problems of its own, likewise to any growing and changing democracy, he stated that the country has definitely progressed from where it once stood.  He’s appreciative of the opportunities he has now in the political sphere and is impressed that the younger generation is so interested in global matters.  Hence, the reason why Senor Fox highlighted the characteristics of what a good leader is and how we can take his experience to help with our own.
 
Xandy Cimatu, Political Science Major, Class of 2010


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