Nobel Prize Finalist Hernando De Soto to Speak at Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center Sept. 26

Hernando de Soto, president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Peru and a Nobel Prize finalist, will appear at Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center on Tuesday, Sept. 26, as part of a campaign to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the College of Business.

He will speak from 7:30-9 p.m. in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. The talk is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. To register for this event, visit the Web at

De Soto has been recognized internationally for his economic reforms to help poor, developing nations. Former President Bill Clinton once said of de Soto’s institute, based in Lima, Peru: "The most promising anti-poverty initiative in the world is that being advanced by the (ILD)." Of de Soto, he said, "The great Peruvian economist …  is doing some of the most important work in the world today."

De Soto is the author of several books, including the bestseller, "The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else," which explores why some countries succeed at capitalism while others fail. He founded the institute in 1983 and served as President Alberto Fujimori’s personal representative and principal advisor, helping to modernize Peru’s economic system. He later duplicated that effort for El Salvador at the request of its president and has assisted many other countries, including Russia, Haiti, Algeria and Ghana.

He is the former governor of Peru’s Central Reserve Bank and a member of the World Commission on the Global Dimension of Globalization.

De Soto is the recipient of several major international awards including the 2004 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, Cato Institute; the CARE Humanitarian Award; and the Templeton Freedom Prize.

"His message on economics and capitalism will be significant, and I think we’re very fortunate to have him here at Colorado State University," said Larry Kendall, chairman of The Group Inc. and a member of the college’s Global Leadership Council, an advisory group. "He is a very compelling speaker. He’s one of the most brilliant economists in the world."

As part of efforts to expand globally, the Colleges of Business and Engineering at Colorado State formed the Global Innovation Center for Energy, Health and the Environment. The center helps license technological advancements developed at Colorado State to address key global problems, including the health and welfare of the Third World. The Global Innovation Center focuses on the developing world’s chronic environmental needs that often do not capture the attention of relief organizations.

The center has worked with Envirofit International Ltd., a non-profit corporation that is selling a retrofitted two-stroke engine to address taxi pollution in the Philippines. The next project of the Global Innovation Center is under way, currently targeted at Nepal and Honduras, to develop and market an improved cookstove that reduces indoor air pollution and also generates electricity for lights while it is being used. In the developing world, indoor air pollution from fuels such as wood and dung is the leading cause of death for children under age 5 and the fourth leading cause of premature death for women.

De Soto’s visit to Colorado State University coincides with a "50-40-30" milestone campaign underway at the college that celebrates three anniversaries:

– the 50th anniversary of the undergraduate business degree at Colorado State,

– the 40th anniversary of the College of Business, and

– the 30th anniversary of the accreditation of the graduate program.

"The College of Business continues to raise the bar of education for tomorrow’s leaders and expand the scholarship that drives tomorrow’s business decisions," said Dean Ajay Menon. "Much has changed in the world and our classrooms, but our core values in the college have not."

"Our faculty, staff and students continue to bring national attention to our programs," Menon said. "The College of Business is on its way to being a world leader among its peer institutions."

The College of Business has more than 2,000 undergraduate students and over 500 graduate students. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the college among the best business colleges in America in its 2007 "America’s Best Colleges" edition. The business college at Colorado State also made the list of 237 best business colleges listed in the 2006 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual guide, featuring two-page profiles on the school’s academics, student life, admissions and career/placement programs.