A political newcomer, Daniel Noboa, M.P.S. ’22, has won the presidency of Ecuador. As a student at GW’s Graduate School of Political Management within the College of Professional Studies, Noboa studied political communication and strategic governance.
Noboa is the heir to one of Ecuador’s richest families. His father, Álvaro Noboa, was an unsuccessful presidential candidate in five previous elections. Daniel Noboa will become the youngest president in Ecuador’s modern history.
Liesl Riddle, dean of CPS, lauded Noboa’s electoral success and praised him as an inspiration for other students.
“Daniel Noboa, a testament to the caliber of leaders our program produces, has not only made history as Ecuador's youngest-ever president but has also exemplified the essence of successful strategic governance and political communication,” Riddle said. “His remarkable journey from our GSPM classrooms to the highest office in the land is a testament to his dedication, courage, vision and the transformative power of education. He stands as a beacon of inspiration for current and future GSPM students, showcasing the limitless possibilities that await those who are equipped with knowledge, passion and a commitment to positive change.”
In a runoff election on Oct. 15, Noboa received about 52 percent of the vote based on a nearly complete count, according to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP). He won a surprise victory over frontrunner Luisa González, a lawyer and former Ecuadorian national secretary of public administration backed by former president Rafael Correa.
Noboa, aged 35, comes from a family known for its banana empire. He began his political career in 2021, when he was elected to a seat in Ecuador’s national congress.
With rising rates of violent crime a major concern for voters, Noboa wore a bulletproof vest to his polling place, AFP reported. Another presidential candidate, progressive journalist and labor leader Fernando Villavicencio, was assassinated in early August.
A new political alliance in Ecuador, Acción Democrática Nacional (National Democratic Action), supported Noboa’s presidential campaign. Noboa has suggested anticorruption measures and called for more jobs, foreign investments and lower taxes. His running mate, Verónica Abad Rojas, is a conservative entrepreneur.
With political ideas ranging over the spectrum, Noboa can be hard to categorize, according to political analysts.
Noboa and Gonzalez were the top two vote-getters in the August election. Because neither candidate won more than 50 percent of the votes in August, the election moved to a two-person runoff.
Social media played a role in his political success, AFP reported, with his supporters posing with life-sized carboard figures of Noboa in various settings in a series of viral videos.
In addition to his master’s degree from GW, Noboa holds a degree in business administration from New York University and two other master's degrees (from Harvard and Northwestern, according to AFP).