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Ernesto Medina Sandino

Guest Speaker

Professional affiliation

former Rector, Universidad Americana, Nicaragua  

Full Biography

Dr. Cristian Ernesto Medina Sandino obtained a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in León in 1974.  In 1974 he received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to continue his studies in Germany.  In 1976 he obtained the diploma (Diplom) in Chemistry from the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany, where he also obtained in 1980 the title of Doctor of Natural Sciences. In 1991 he completed Post-Doctoral studies in the area of Immunochemistry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. During 1992 he carried out research in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of León, Spain. He has taken courses on Biotechnology and Molecular Biology in Utrecht, Holland, Braunschweig, Germany, Northampton, Massachusetts, United States and in Latin American Universities. In 1997 and 2000 he participated in the Seminar for Latin American University Leaders of the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University.

In the years from 1994 to 1996 he was president of the National Council of Universities of Nicaragua (CNU).  From 1999 to 2006 he was a member of the National Council for Economic and Social Planning (CONPES).  He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Strategic Plan of León.  He has been a member of the Boards of Directors and Boards of Trustees of several international organizations, among others, the Ibero-American Postgraduate University Association (AUIP), the Health Research Council for Development (COHRED), the International Foundation for Science (IFS), the Inter-American University Organization (OUI) and  the Health Research Advisory Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). At the national level he was a member and vice president of the Board of Directors of Covenant House Nicaragua and president of the Nicaraguan Educational Forum EDUQUEMOS.  He is founder and full member of the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Medina Sandino held the position of Rector of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, León from 1994 to 2006.  He was president of the National Council of Universities (CNU) in 1995-1996 and president of the Central American Higher University Council (CSUCA) in 2003-2004.  From June 2007 to December 2018, he held the position of Rector of the American University (UAM) in Managua, Nicaragua.

Dr. Medina Sandino was invited by the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN) to participate in the National Dialogue convened in May 2018 to try to find a way out of the deep crisis caused by the violent repression by the government of the civic protests of the population that demands Justice and Democracy. Although his participation in the National Dialogue was later vetoed by the Nicaraguan government, the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (ACJD) incorporated him into its delegation as an advisor. He participated as an alternate in the negotiations between the government of Nicaragua and the ACJD in February-March 2019.

For his defense of the students who participated in the 2018 protests, especially those who were expelled from public universities for political reasons, he has received threats against his life and that of his family, which merited that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issue precautionary measures "No. 929-18 in favor of Cristian Ernesto Medina Sandino and his family nucleus regarding Nicaragua."  In July 2021 due to new threats received in the framework of the repressive wave of the Nicaraguan government unleashed at the beginning  of the year against opponents and critics, he was forced to leave the country and is currently in Berlin, Germany as guest researcher at the Latin American Institute of the Free University-Berlin.

Dr. Medina Sandino has received several honors among others, the Federal Cross of Merit, awarded in 2010 by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Order "Miguel Ramírez Goyena" awarded by the government of Nicaragua and the Medal of the University of Alcalá de Henares.