Weber Shandwick Chairman Jack Leslie Awarded Colombia’s Orden de San Carlos Medal
Weber Shandwick Chairman Jack Leslie was awarded the Orden de San Carlos (Order of San Carlos) by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in a ceremony at Casa Nariño, the offices and residency of the Colombian presidency, in Bogota, Colombia.
The Orden de San Carlos is the highest award given to a non-citizen of Colombia. The honor is awarded to foreign civilians, diplomats and military officers who have made outstanding contributions to the Colombian nation, particularly in the field of international relations.
Leslie was recognized for his significant commitment to instilling peace and security in Colombia. Over more than three decades, he has advised five Colombian presidents and their administrations, including President Santos, on international relations, development, security and terrorism.
“I am so pleased to present this honor to my good friend, Jack Leslie,” President Santos said. “For over 30 years, he has played a critical role in so many of the important events that have shaped Colombia’s recent history.”
Leslie was a leading figure in advising Colombia on the passage and implementation of Plan Colombia, a multibillion dollar U.S. assistance program that transformed security and judicial systems in the country. Plan Colombia will celebrate its 15th anniversary in a ceremony at The White House in Washington, D.C. on February 4, hosted by President Barack Obama.
The Orden de San Carlos ceremony was attended by friends and government officials, including former Colombian President César Gaviria, one of the Colombian presidents that Leslie advised.
“I will always cherish this honor and my deep friendships in Colombia,” Leslie said. “The country has been transformed in the last decade because of the work of so many courageous Colombians. Each of the Colombian presidents I have known and worked with has guided the country on a path to peace.”
Over several decades, Leslie has built an accomplished career as a strategic communications executive, political consultant and international development activist. He is one of the pioneers of stakeholder engagement and political consulting and has been involved as a communications and political strategist in many of the most highly visible campaigns across three continents. Leslie was also instrumental in developing successful reputation and public policy campaigns for the credit card, food, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. As Chairman of Weber Shandwick, Leslie brings a distinguished track record of helping clients integrate global political, economic, cultural and communication trends into innovative, forward-looking strategy and plans.
Leslie was appointed by President Obama in 2009 to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. African Development Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chairman of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, Chairman of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, former Chairman of the Board of USA for UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Duke Global Health Institute and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.