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IDB launches Juscelino Kubitschek Prize to recognize the work of institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today launched the “Juscelino Kubitschek Latin American and Caribbean Regional Development Prize,” whose goal is to recognize the work of regional institutions in the major areas of economics and finance, and social, cultural and scientific development.

Juscelino Kubitschek was a distinguished Brazilian politician, elected governor of the state of Minas Gerais in 1950 and then president of Brazil in 1956, serving until 1961.

The prize was established to commemorate the IDB’s 50th anniversary in 2009, and will be awarded in Brasilia in August 2009.


The Selection Committee for the prize will be chaired by IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. The committee’s secretary will be Enrique V. Iglesias, the secretary general of the Ibero-American Secretariat.


Moreno called Kubitschek a statesman who “represented, perhaps like no one else, confidence in the capacity of governments to make development possible.”

Apart from Kubitschek’s accomplishments in Brazil, which include carrying out vast highway projects, establishing the auto industry and founding the new capital city of Brasilia—efforts echoed in his slogan “fifty years of progress in five”—he also had a broader vision for the hemisphere as a whole: a north-south effort to raise living standards in Latin America.

 “JK had an idea—an ambitious “Operation Pan America”—and he sent his friend and advisor, the poet Augusto-Federico Schmidt, with a confidential letter containing the proposal to President Dwight Eisenhower in the United States,” Moreno said. “It was a precursor initiative to the Alliance for Progress.”

Kubitschek’s ambitious initiative resulted in the creation of the IDB in 1959, in order to provide financing for economic, social and institutional development, as well as to promote regional integration.

“President Juscelino Kubitschek was an eminent, inspired political leader who left a fundamental mark on political life in Brazil,” said Iglesias. “The city of Brasilia is a vibrant example of this visionary leader’s legacy. By establishing a prize in his name, the Bank is carrying out an act of justice and giving this man the recognition he well deserves.”


Institutions may be nominated for the Juscelino Kubitschek Prize by an individual, an academic institution or research center, or a cultural center. Nominations must be made in writing and must include a detailed description of the merits and regional importance of the work or contribution. Nomination forms are available on the Bank’s website at


Proposals may be submitted by e-mail to or by certified mail sent to IDB headquarters in Washington (1300 New York Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20577, U.S.A. Stop E1205), or to any IDB member country office.


The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2009.



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