José Piñera, through his International Center for Pension Reform, is fully dedicated to promote free market policies around the world and to share his pension retirement accounts paradigm. He is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, Co-Chairman of its Project on Social Security Choice, Board member of both its Trade and Global Prosperity Centers, Senior Fellow of the Milan-based Istituto Bruno Leoni, and member of the Board of Advisors of the Vienna-based Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe. Therefore he lives in airplanes, although he keeps a secluded refuge in the Pacific Ocean town of Cachagua, Chile.
As Chile's Secretary of Labor and Social Security (1978-1980), José Piñera was responsible for the Social Security Act of 1980, that created a fully funded pension system based on personal retirement accounts and allowed workers to choose a private health option. He was also the creator of the new Labor Code of 1979, that re-introduced trade union democracy and decentralized collective bargaining. As Chile`s Secretary of Mining (1980-1981), he was responsible for the Constitutional Mining Law of 1981 that established property rights in this key sector of the Chilean economy.
José Piñera was one of the architects and signatories of the 1980 Constitution of Chile that established the necessary institutions of liberty (Constitutional Court, independent Central Bank, freedom to establish private universities and private TV stations, etc) and created a full democracy in Chile.
Dr. Piñera was invited by former President Clinton to address the "White House Social Security Summit" (Washington, December 1998) and by George W. Bush, when Governor of Texas, to explain him the Chilean experience and its relevance to the USA (Austin, September 1997). He has also been invited to testify in the UK House of Commons (by its Chairman Frank Field, Labor MP), in the US Senate Banking Committe (by its Chairman Phil Gramm, Republican Senator) and in the US House of Representatives Budget Committe (by its Chairman John Kasich, Republican Representative). He has been invited to explain the Chilean Reforms by many world leaders, among them Presidents Walesa, Putin, Constantinescu, Uribe, Fox, Garcia, Fujimori, Menem, Duran, Fernandez, and Calderon Sol, and Prime Ministers Thatcher and Prodi.
In 2009 he received the "Adam Smith Award", the highest award given by the Association of Private Enterprise Education, based in Atlanta. In 2007, he received the "Golden Umbrella Award for Best Contribution to Free Market Thinking" from the Stockholm Network in London. In 2005, he received the "Freedom Award" from the Liberalni Institute in Prague. In 2003, he received the "Champion of Liberty Award" from the Goldwater Institute (among its previous recipients were Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman). In 2000, he was elected to be introduced to the "Hall of Fame Award" of the International Insurance Society. In 1999 he was given the "John S. Bickley Gold Medal" from the International Insurance Society. In 1998 he received the "Liberty Award for Opportunity" from Americans for Hope, Growth and Opportunity (in the same ceremony, the "Liberty Award for Growth" was given to Milton and Rose Friedman).
He is the author of nine books and numerous essays. Among those essay are: "Will the Pension Time Bomb sink the Euro?" (Cato Journal, Fall 2004), "Liberating Workers: The World Pension Revolution" (Cato Letter No 15, 2002), "Toward a World of Worker-Capitalists" (Boston Conversazioni, April 2001) and "A Chilean Model for Russia" (Foreign Affairs, September-October 2000.)
Dr. Piñera has published articles in many newspapers and has been interviewed by, among others, Niall Ferguson for his PBS documentary "The Ascent of Money" (2009), John Stossel for ABC 20/20, Chuck Scarborough for NBC, and Ben Wattenberg for PBS. A comprehensive interview was broadcasted by the Swedish TV programme Global Axess ("The Man Who Fought for Prosperity and Democracy in Chile, José Piñera interviewed by Thomas Gur", March 19, 2005).
Dr. Piñera holds a Master (1972) and Ph.D. (1974) degree in Economics from Harvard University. He graduated as an economist (1970) from the Chicago-associated School of Economics of the Catholic University of Chile.
(Personal website: www.josepinera.org; Twitter: josepinera).