Griselda Janeth Restrepo Gallego has been named as Colombia’s new minister of labor. President Juan Manuel Santos made the appointment official today following the resignation of Clara López Obregón, who served in the cabinet-level position for just over a year before stepping down on Thursday.
Restrepo, who hails from Palmira in Valle de Cauca, comes to the post after leading the Superintendency of Family Subsidy, the Ministry of Labor agency that administers social benefits. She has also served in the Colombian Senate and House of Representatives in addition to holding various local political positions in Valle de Cauca.
Photo: President Juan Manuel Santos formally appointed Griselda Janeth Restrepo Gallego as Minister of Labor today. (Credit: Presidencia de la República)
“Griselda Janeth Restrepo will be the new minister of labor,” said Santos on Twitter. “With her we will continue to promote employment and guarantee workers’ rights.” He added that Restrepo has “magnificent relations with the private sector.”
The president also thanked López for her service in the position, saying that her departure is “sad news for me” because she had helped the nation “make great progress in employment and peace-building.”
López did not announce her future plans when she stepped down. Before becoming minister of labor, she ran for president in 2014 as the leader of the left-wing Polo Democratico party, challenging an incumbent Santos during his re-election bid.
López, a Bogotá native, has also previously ran for mayor of the capital. She served as acting mayor for seven months during 2011 while leadership in Bogotá was in transition after former mayor Samuel Moreno Rojas was stripped of his position on corruption charges.
“It gives me much sadness to accept her resignation and I thank her for all her work,” said Santos about the outgoing minister. “I am sure she will continue to be a promoter of peace.”