Galo Plaza Lasso was a politician who served as President of Ecuador from 1948 to 1952. Born in New York in 1906, he completed a range of studies including Economics at The University of California and Diplomacy at Georgetown University. He moved into the political arena in 1938 when he was appointed Minister of War for Ecuador. In 1944 he was chosen to become Ecuador’s Ambassador to the United States and in 1945 he represented Ecuador at the Inter-American Conference on War and Peace and the UN Conference on International Organisation. In 1948 he won the Ecuadorian presidential election, going on to serve a four-year term. He embarked on a programme of economic development and governmental administration that led to the economy showing a significant level of improvement. His continual promotion of democratic rights was one of the defining features of his administration that he is still remembered for. He encouraged freedom of the press and free speech. He also helped to develop Ecuador’s banana boom, which allowed Ecuador to become a key supplier to the U.S market. Following his presidency, Mr Lasso dedicated himself to furthering the work of international organisations, most notably the United Nations. In 1958 he led the Special Committee meetings at the UN, called Economic Commissions for Latin America, which served the purpose of creating a Latin American common market. He also led a successful mission to send UN observers to Lebanon. In May 1964 he began work as personal representative to the UN Secretary General and assisted as a mediator in Cyprus. One of his final notable political acts was his 1968 appointment as the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States.