Mr. Cárdenas earned his Economics degree in 1985 from the Universidad de los Andes, where he also earned a Master’s degree in Economics. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, United States, in 1991.
Minister Cárdenas began his public service career as General Manager of the Empresa de Energía de Bogotá in 1993, and has held important posts as Minister of Economic Development, Minister of Transportation, and Director of the National Planning Department.
CNN and Time magazine selected him in 1999 as one of the “Leaders of the New Millennium”.
He served as President of Titularizadora Colombiana between 2001 and 2003, and as Executive Director of the Fundación para la Educación Superior y el Desarrollo (Fedesarrollo) between 2003 and 2008.
Thereafter, he led the Latin American Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. until 2011, when he was appointed as Minister of Mines and Energy, post he held until September, 2012.