• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Claudia Sheinbaum: Scientist with Lithuanian root who became Mexico’s first female President

ClWILAN Global celebrates Claudia Sheinbaum, first female president of Mexicoaudia Sheinbaum: Scientist with Lithuanian root who became Mexico’s first female President

Claudia Sheinbaum has made history in Mexico as the first woman to be elected President in the South American country. Preliminary results from the National Electoral Institute show she polled 60 percent of the votes.

The Mexican politician was born on June 24, 1962, to Jewish parents who migrated from Lithuania in the 1920s to Mexico.

Sheinbaum was raised by parents who were scientists. Her mother was a biologist and a professor emeritus and her father was a Chemical engineer.

The 61-year-old earned her first degree in Physics in 1989. She got her Master’s degree in 1994 and a PhD in energy engineering in 1995.

For her PhD program, she attended Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory California where she researched and wrote papers that analysed the use of energy in Mexico’s transport sector.

The same year, she joined the Institute of Engineering under the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) as a researcher. Four years later, she received the prize as the best UNAM young researcher in engineering and technological innovation.

In 2007, she was part of the group which won the Nobel Peace Prize for the topic ‘Mitigation of Climate Change’ which she co-authored when she joined the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) at the United Nations in the field of energy and industry.

Sheinbaum’s first political appointment came in 2000 when she was appointed as Secretary of Environment in Mexico City. During her term, she facilitated the construction of electronic vehicle registration for Mexico City and the introduction of a metro bus with dedicated lines.

In 2015, she was elected the Mayor of Tlalpan, an administrative district, before resigning to occupy a higher political position as the Mayor of Mexico City.

A position she held till 2018 when she became the first female Head of Government in Mexico City 2018 in a keenly contested election in which she polled 15.8 percent vote ahead of other male contenders.

As head of government, she reduced the homicide level in Mexico City to 8.6 per 100,000 against the former rate. Also, under administration, 1.2 million students were awarded scholarships from Preschool to University level.

With her background in science, during her administration, Sheinbaum carried out policies that led to air pollution reduction by 30 percent, the banning of plastic and promotion of recycling, and the installation of solar water heaters and panels in the city.

Due to her effort in handling the COVID crisis in Mexico City, she was nominated for the World Mayor Prize in North America in 2021.

Sheinbaum identifies as a feminist and her principles border on gender equality and women’s rights. She’s also a supporter of LBGT.

She has been married twice, first in 1987 to Carlos Imaz the marriage produced a daughter but she divorced him in 2016. She later got married again in 2023 to Jesus Maria Tarriba, who works as a financial risk analyst at the Bank of Mexico.