Juan Carlos Varela

Juan Carlos Varela

Juan Carlos Varela
Juan Carlos Varela (2014).jpg
37th President of Panama
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Vice President Isabel Saint Malo
Preceded by Ricardo Martinelli
Vice-President of Panama
In office
1 July 2009 – 1 July 2014
President Ricardo Martinelli
Preceded by Samuel Lewis Navarro
Succeeded by Isabel Saint Malo
Minister of Foreign Relations
In office
1 July 2009 – 30 august 2012
President Ricardo Martinelli
Preceded by Samuel Lewis Navarro
Succeeded by Roberto Henriquez
Personal details
Born Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez
(1963-12-12) 12 December 1963 
Panama City, Panama
Political party Panameñista Party
Spouse(s) Lorena Castillo García (m. 1992–Present),
now styled Honorable Señora Lorena Castillo de Varela
Children Gian Carlo
Alma mater Georgia Institute of Technology

Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez  is a Panamanian politician and the President of Panama since 2014. Varela was Vice-President of Panama from 2009 to 2014, and Minister of Foreign Relations from July 2009 to August 2011. He has been President of the Panameñistas, the third-largest political party in Panama, since 2006.

Varela won the 2014 presidential election with over 39% of the votes, against the Cambio Democrático Party, led by his former political partner Ricardo Martinelli, whose candidate was José Domingo Arias. He was sworn in as President on 1 July 2014.

Early life and education

Born in Panama City, Juan Carlos Varela is a businessman and entrepreneur, whose family hails from Herrera Province.

His paternal grandfather José Varela Blanco emigrated from Bergondo, Galicia in Spain and settled in the district of Pesé, Herrera in Panama. After graduating from Colegio Javier, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering in 1985.


In the private sector, Varela has been on the board of his family company since 1985, serving as Executive Vice-President of Varela Hermanos S.A. until 2008.

Varela entered politics in the early 1990s, becoming chief of the Panameñista Party campaign in 1994 and was the Panameñista Party’s presidential candidate during the 2009 election; Varela joined forces with his rival, Ricardo Martinelli, as vice-presidential candidate, being sworn in on July 1, 2009 as Vice-President of Panama under President Martinelli.

Varela won the 2014 presidential election, winning against the ruling-party candidate José Domingo Arias, who was supported by Cambio Democrático, a party led by outgoing President Ricardo Martinelli.

Varela won about 39% of the vote against 32% for Arias.

Official Bioghraphy

Juan Carlos Varela R., was born in Panamá on 12 December 1963.  Studied primary and secondary in Javier College, under the direction of the Company of Jesus Order. Graduated as Industrial Engineer from the University of Georgia Tech, in the United States.  He is married to journalist Lorena Castillo and is father of three children.

In the private sector he led the growth of a Panamanian company with over 100 years of history that has generated thousands of jobs in our country: Varela Hermanos, S.A. There he served as director since 1985 and was Executive Vice President until January 2008. With a large social view from the private sector, Varela supported and promoted projects in favor of culture, sports, education folklore and environment.

Was elected Vice President of the Republic of Panamá in July 2009, and in just two years in office in the Government, fulfilled his social campaign promises including: the Program 100 at 70, the increase in the minimum salary, the Curundú Project, and the Universal Scholarship among others.  

On 17 March 2013, , Juan Carlos Varela became the presidential candidate for the Panameñista Party and on 25 August of that same year, he was proclaimed candidate of the Alliance “El Pueblo Primero”, formed by the  Panameñista Party and the Popular Party, with the support of the independent sectors of the country.  The past 4 May, Varela was elected President of the Republic of Panamá for the constitutional period 2014-2019. (Taken from presidencia.gob.pa)

Personal life

Cross pro merito Melitensi
Cross pro merito Melitensi

He is the son of José Varela and Beixie née Rodríguez. Varela married Panamanian journalist Lorena Castillo in 1992. They have three sons, Gian Carlos, Adrian and Stefan, and live in the Palacio de las Garzas, the presidential palace in Panama City. From Wikipedia

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