Andrés Allamand is a longtime Chilean politician and current senator who helped maintain peace during the country’s transition from dictatorship to democracy in the late 1980s.

A former student activist, Allamand co-founded and led Renovación Nacional, or the National Renewal Party, in 1987 in advance of a national vote on whether to extend dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s rule.

Renovación Nacional supported Pinochet, but after the vote was lost, Allamand played a key role in building consensus and arranging agreements during the shift from Pinochet’s 17-year regime to democratic governance.

Allamand, a former presidential candidate, served as a national deputy representing Las Condes, Vitacura, and Lo Barnechea from 1994 to 1998 and was elected senator for the Los Lagos region in 2006. He served as Chile’s defense minister in 2011 and 2012 under President Sebastián Piñera. He has served again as senator since 2014.

Allamand studied law at the University of Chile and taught in the MBA program at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez. He is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank.