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FACTBOX-Key figures in Mexico's new government

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 30 Nov 2012 22:41 GMT
Author: Reuters
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MEXICO CITY, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Mexico's incoming president, Enrique Pena Nieto, who takes office on Saturday , appointed a mix of technocrats and career politicians to his Cabinet on Friday. Here are some of his key government appointments:

FINANCE MINISTER - LUIS VIDEGARAY

Videgaray is Pena Nieto's right-hand man and combines blue-chip academic qualifications with experience in the private sector, local government and Congress.

He studied law and economics in Mexico alongside current Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade. He then worked briefly at the Finance Ministry under then-minister Pedro Aspe before winning a scholarship to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

On his return, he worked for seven years at Aspe's investment bank, Protego, when he met Pena Nieto - then a young congressman from the state of Mexico - during talks on a debt restructuring.

When Pena Nieto was elected governor of the state of Mexico in 2005, he named Videgaray as his finance minister, a post he held until 2009 when he became a federal congressman and led the lower house's budget committee.

Videgaray, 44, ran the campaign for the current Mexico state governor, then took charge of Pena Nieto's presidential campaign.

INTERIOR MINISTER - MIGUEL ANGEL OSORIO CHONG

A former state governor like Pena Nieto, Osorio Chong governed the central state of Hidalgo from 2005 to 2011, and Pena Nieto named him to the trusted post of political dialogue coordinator during his election campaign and government transition period.

The 48-year-old Osorio Chong studied law in his home state and is considered a strong negotiator and problem solver, although critics say he was sensitive to criticism during his time as governor and often locked horns with the media.

ENERGY MINISTER - PEDRO JOAQUIN COLDWELL

A lawyer, former minister and one-time ambassador to Cuba, the 62-year-old Coldwell was named president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, almost a year ago to steady the party after his predecessor quit amid a corruption scandal. He was also a senator until August. The PRI, which governed Mexico from 1921 to 2000, reclaimed the presidency this year after 12 years of rule by the conservative National Action Party.

Seen as a member of the PRI's old guard, he is a former governor of the southern state of Quintana Roo, and was tourism minister during the 1988-1994 government of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

FOREIGN MINISTER - JOSE ANTONIO MEADE

Meade, 43, built his career in Mexico's Finance Ministry and served as both energy minister and finance minister under outgoing President Felipe Calderon.

Meade is a member of the cadre of technocrats who rebuilt the Finance Ministry and central bank following Mexico's devastating financial crisis in 1994 and 1995, contributing to the country's current reputation as a model of prudent management.

He holds a doctorate in economics from Yale University and is the son of a politician from the PRI.

Meade served previously as deputy finance minister as well as in the posts of deputy minister of revenue and deputy minister for banks and savings.

ECONOMY MINISTER - ILDEFONSO GUAJARDO

An economist who cut his teeth in the federal government in the Foreign Ministry under President Ernesto Zedillo in the 1990s, Guajardo is one of the most reform-minded politicians from the PRI's older generation.

Twice serving as a federal congressman, the native of the northern industrial state of Nuevo Leon chaired the economics committee in the last lower house of Congress. He was not part of Pena Nieto's inner circle until the election campaign.

Guajardo, who studied in Pennsylvania and Arizona, helped oversee Mexico's adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, in 1994 and previously worked at the International Monetary Fund as an expert on Brazil.

Serving as Pena Nieto's coordinator for the business community during the election campaign, Guajardo, 55, has called inefficiency in public spending one of Mexico's main weaknesses and is a strong believer in fostering greater competition in key industries.

HEAD OF STATE OIL MONOPOLY PEMEX - EMILIO LOZOYA

A close Pena Nieto aide, the 37-year-old Lozoya was the vice-coordinator for international affairs of Pena Nieto's transition team. He holds degrees in law and economics, and received a masters in economic development from Harvard.

Before joining Pena Nieto's presidential campaign team, Lozoya, who has lived in Manhattan, founded an investment fund in 2009. It has more than ${esc.dollar}1 billion in assets under management.

Before that, Lozoya, who has never held public office but worked as an analyst in the central bank's international reserves and foreign exchange department in his 20s, was director and head of Latin America at the World Economic Forum.

NOMINEE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL - JESUS MURILLO

A lawyer, lawmaker, former Hidalgo state governor and regarded as a member of the PRI's old guard, Murillo, 64, is currently speaker of the lower house of Congress. His is the only Cabinet position that must be ratified by Congress.

Murillo defended Pena Nieto's presidential election triumph in Mexico's electoral tribunal against accusations of campaign irregularities leveled by the main leftist challenger. (Reporting by Mexico Newsroom; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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