Roderick Esquivel ’49 vice president of panama and leader of a nation

Roderick Esquivel ’49, a doctor, professor and politician, served as the second vice president of the Republic of Panama from his election in 1984 until his ouster by General Manuel Noriega in 1988.

He previously was a member of the National Directory of the Liberal Party; minister of Labor, Social Welfare and Public Health; president of the Liberal Party and vice president of Liberal International. A practicing physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, he earned a degree in biology at Ripon College and his doctorate from the University of Chicago School of Medicine (now Pritzker School of Medicine). He served in prominent roles in several hospitals around Panama, including as professor and chief of the ob–gyn department at the University of Panama.

He was ambassador plenipotentiary to the World Health Organization in 1965; and part of the Expert Committee of Federation of Faculties of Medicine Latin America which developed teaching programs in family planning.

In 1985, Ripon College presented him with an honorary doctor of laws degree. “Whatever I think or whatever I do in the field of medicine or in the field of politics, Ripon College and its very special educational system come forth in my behavior almost as automatically as a conditioned reflex,” he said at the time.

Esquivel died Oct. 27, 2010. His nephew, Juan Luis Correa, is a 1979 graduate of Ripon College.


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