Weber Shandwick Chairman Jack Leslie attended the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2016.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220,000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.
Leslie has been a close advisor to the Colombian Government since 1986, advising five Presidents over three decades on a variety of critical bilateral issues, public opinion research and strategic communications. He has been instrumental in devising strategies to combat terrorism and narcotrafficking in the region and played a key role in helping to pass and implement Plan Colombia, a multibillion dollar U.S. assistance program that transformed security and judicial systems in the country.
In January 2016, Leslie was honored with the Orden de San Carlos (Order of San Carlos) by President Juan Manual Santos for his work in supporting peace and security during incredibly turbulent times in Colombia. The Orden de San Carlos is the highest honor given to a non-citizen of Colombia.
President Santos is the third Nobel Peace Prize recipient that Leslie has directly advised. Previously, he provided media counsel to President Oscar Arias Sanchez in his first campaign for the highest office of Costa Rica in 1986. He also advised the African National Congress on election strategy in the lead up to the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994. Sanchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 and Mandela was presented the honor in 1993.