Julio Guzman is an economist and former secretary general under Cabinet chief Juan Jimenez during the government of President Ollanta Humala.
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Guzman was born in Lima in 1970, the 11th of 12 children. His parents moved to Lima from small towns in Cusco and Cajamarca. When his father died, Guzman began working as a courier at 15 to help pay for his school. He later taught math to pay for university.
Guzman studied economics at the Pontifical Catholic University in Lima. He then earned his Master’s degree in Public Policy at Georgetown University before pursuing postgraduate studies at Oxford University and completing his PhD in Public Policy at the University of Maryland.
After completing his studies, Guzman worked for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as an economist in integration and trade. Along with two co-authors, Guzman published the working paper, “The Orientation of Social Spending in Latin America,” in 2006. The paper illustrated that Latin American countries’ social spending outside of primary education had actually been shrinking as a percentage of GDP.
After 10 years with the IDB, Guzman joined the government of President Ollanta Humala as the vice minister of small and medium-sized businesses and industry. He was later appointed as the secretary general in the president’s Cabinet under Juan Jimenez, Humala’s Cabinet chief from July 2012 to October 2013.
Guzman resigned after 18 months in Humala’s government because he was frustrated his proposals were not being executed.
Guzman has also worked as the dean of economics at Lima’s San Ignacio de Loyola University and as a partner on the public sector desk of Deloitte’s office in Peru.
Guzman proposes strengthening the emerging middle class through education and branded himself the anti-corruption candidate. He has criticized previous governments for being obsessed with big investments while ignoring opportunities to invest in human capabilities and talents.