José López Portillo

AWARD LAUREATES | José López Portillo


José López Portillo

Former President of Mexico

José López Portillo served as the President of Mexico from 1976 to 1982. He studied Law, Political Science and Public Administration at the National University of Mexico before embarking on his political career. In 1959 President Portillo joined the Institutional Revolutionary Party and served in several positions in the administrations of President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz and President Luis Echeverría before being selected as the Minister of Finance in 1973. As Finance Minister he instituted: economic reforms, a modernisation of tax collection procedures, pursued tax evaders and cut public spending. In 1976 he was elected President and instituted a conservative approach to policy making and social reform. One of the most significant political reforms of his presidency was to increase the size of the Chamber of Deputies in order to allow a greater number of minorities to participate in Mexican politics. Two years into his term he reopened diplomatic relations with Spain after a prolonged 38-year hiatus. He also developed a programme for the state owned Mexican oil agency, Pemex, to gain access to newly discovered large amounts of petroleum deposits. It resulted in a significant amount of economic growth for Mexico as well as improved profits for the Mexican oil exportation industry. The wealth, was however, squandered due to corporate corruption and general inefficiency. One of his last significant reforms as President was his controversial order to nationalise Mexico’s banking system. In the aftermath of his presidency he lived abroad for several years, returning to Mexico shortly before his death in 2004.

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H.H. Shaikh Khalifa bin Sulman Al-Khalifa

AWARD LAUREATES | H.H. Shaikh Khalifa bin Sulman Al-Khalifa


H.H. Shaikh Khalifa bin Sulman Al-Khalifa

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain

H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Sulman Al-Khalifa is the Prime Minister of Bahrain, a position he has held since 1971, making him the longest serving Prime Minister in the world. Born in Bahrain in 1935, he became a member of the Education Council in 1956 and was quickly promoted to Chairman a year later,  serving in this position until 1960. He was then appointed Director of the Finance Department, a role he held for six years, whilst also acting as Director of Finance and President of the Electricity Board, Chairman of Manama Municipality and Head of the Bahrain Monetary Council. His many years of experience in diverse  sections of Bahrain’s government led to him being appointed Chairman of the Joint Committee for Economic and Financial Studies in 1967. In 1970 he was elected Head of the State Council and the following year he was chosen to become Prime Minister. He remains Prime Minister today, and over the course of his career he has been granted many accolades and awards including the Gold Mercury International Award, as well as the Order of Khalifa and the Grand Cordon of the Orders of the Renaissance.

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Gulf Daily News

AWARD LAUREATES | Gulf Daily News


Gulf Daily News

Newspaper

The Gulf Daily News is an English language newspaper based in Bahrain. It was founded in March 1978 by the Al Hilal Group and quickly became known as the ‘voice of Bahrain’. The newspaper’s initial aims were to focus on providing news to English speaking residents in Bahrain who were mainly of British, American, Filipino, Indian and Pakistani backgrounds. The newspaper was traditionally pro-government but has since included a number of Islamists and liberals amongst its staff. The newspaper has had many reputable journalists contribute over the years, including Indira Chan, Sara Wickham, Reem Antoon, Eunice Del Rosario, Tariq Khonji and Richard Moore.

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Enrique Batiz

AWARD LAUREATES | Enrique Batiz


Enrique Batiz

Conductor

Enrique Batiz was born in Mexico City on May 4, 1942. His interest in music began at an early age and he went on to study at the prestigious Julliard School. He achieved success as a pianist, before debuting as a conductor in 1969. In1971, under his initiative and in conjunction with the government of the Mexico State, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México (OSEM) was founded, with the purpose of spreading music as an art as a means of creating union and identity among the citizens of the state.

He was the conductor of the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra for 12 years (1971 – 1983), then of the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra for 7 years (1983 – 1989) and resumed directorship of the OSEM from 1990 to the present. Since 1984, he was named “guest conductor” of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and as an invited guest conductor, he has led more than 500 symphony orchestras around the world.

His work is represented with a collection of 145 recordings of which 41 are with the Royal Philharmonic, 9 with the London Symphony, 3 with the Philharmonia, 12 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, 2 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, 19 with the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, 58 with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and 1 with the Toscana Orchestra in Florence, Italy, for the British record companies EMI Records International, Academy of Sound and Vision, Musical Heritage (USA), NAXOS, IMG International Management Group, Pickwick, RPO Records and Arts (German company). The repertory of Enrique Batiz as a conductor ranges from classical to contemporary works. He has been described as an artist who conducts with vehemence and enthusiasm, manifesting a deep understanding, unusual even among the finest conductors.

Photo: Jennifer Taylor for The New York Times

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