Network of Men Leaders
Members of the Secretary-General’s Network of Men Leaders
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was President of Brazil from 2003 to 2011. Born in 1945, Lula was the seventh of eight children and grew up in Pernambuco, then a poor region, before moving with his family to a single room home in a neighborhood of workers in São Paulo City. In 1975, Lula was elected president of the 100,000-member São Bernardo do Campo and Diadema Metalworkers Union, with 92 per cent of the votes.
Lula was a founding member of the Workers’ Party (PT in Portuguese) in 1980. In 1984, he was among leaders engaged in the “Diretas Já” campaign for the election of a new President by the direct universal vote. In 1986 he was elected representative to the National Congress, which turned into the Constituent Assembly, charged with the elaboration and approval of a new democratic Constitution, promulgated in 1988. The Workers’ Party launched Lula as its candidate for Brazil’s presidency in 1989.
In October 2002, at the age of 57, Lula was elected President of Brazil, with 52.8 million, or 61.3 per cent of the votes. He was re-elected in 2006. His eight-year presidency was marked with economic growth and a reduction of social inequalities. Lula supported the presidential candidacy of Dilma Vana Roussef, who was first the Mines and Energy minister and then chief-of-staff during his two terms as President. In 2010, she became the first female President of Brazil. Lula was named Honorary President of the Worker’s Party for the second time since February 2011.