Economics & Trade Policy

Published on November 15th, 2015 | by Jon Brandt

From the National Bank of Argentina: Delfina Rossi Talks About Her Appointment, Argentinian Elections

Last year, Delfina Rossi was a first year student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She came to the program with a Masters in Economics from the European University Institute, and previous work experience in the European Parliament. After finishing her first year at the LBJ School, Delfina accepted an appointment from the President of Argentina – Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner – to the position of Director at the National Bank of Argentina. The appointment makes Delfina – a 26 year old Argentine native and daughter of that country’s Defense Minister, Agustin Rossi – the youngest of her colleagues at the National Bank.

Delfina’s appointment also comes at a decisive point in Argentinian politics. The left-wing Peronist party, Front for Victory, has been in power in the country since 2003. But the right-wing Let’s Change party now threatens to upset the political order in the country’s upcoming presidential election. The Let’s Change party is led by Mauricio Macri, whose recent rise to challenger status against the established Front for Victory candidate Daniel Scioli is largely a surprise, and has forced the country’s first ever runoff election. That runoff will occur on November 22, and the showdown between Scioli and Macri will have important implications for Delfina, the National Bank, and the nation at large.

We sat down with Delfina to get her perspective on the work she does, the upcoming Argentinian presidential elections, and how she has dealt with criticisms that her appointment is the product of nepotism. Check out the interview below.

Interview highlights:

(0:10) For those of us who are unfamiliar with the Argentinian government, can you tell us a little bit about your new position and the organization you work for?

(1:10) What was it like transitioning from grad student to public figure in Argentina?

(1:50) If the opposition party led by Mauricio Macri wins the upcoming presidential election in November, would you still want to work at the National Bank?

(3:10) How do you think policies at the National Bank would change if the opposition party wins?

(6:40) Some of your critics label your assignment to your position at the National Bank as nepotism. They claim that the political connections of your father (Agustin Rossi) in Argentina are the reason for your appointment and that you are in reality unprepared. How do you respond to that?

(8:50) Have you been able to apply what you learned at the LBJ school to your work in the bank?

(9:55) What would you say to LBJ students considering work in international politics?

(10:25) Do you eventually see yourself running for an elected office in Argentina?

Correction: An earlier version of this article implied that the Republican Proposal (PRO) party would be on the ballot in the runoff elections. In fact, Macri will be on the runoff through the Let’s Change party.   

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About the Author

Jon Brandt

is the previous Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Baines Report and a 2nd year MPAff student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He graduated from Austin College and has mainly worked in the field of public health policy.



16 Responses to From the National Bank of Argentina: Delfina Rossi Talks About Her Appointment, Argentinian Elections

  1. Otro Letravaladna says:

    Delfina is shameless but you should be ashamed of counting her as an alunmi. She has no credentials to be a director of the Banco Nacion. Imagine a 26 year old daughter of the US Secretary of Defense with virtually no experience being appointed to the Board of the Fed…

  2. Pablo says:

    Thanks for uploading the interview. What Ms. Rossi doesn’t mention in 5:15 is that her own party (Peronist) was the one that privatized public pensions in 1992. Then, in 2008 her same party, nationalized the same pension system back.
    I’m glad she talked about rampant nepotism in Argentina governmental appointments. There’s no other way to have a 26-year old would be appointed, specially since she hasn’t lived in the country for a long time.

  3. Juan says:

    I really hope one day we have a cultural change in Argentina and we stop shameful cases of nepotism like this one

  4. Tomás says:

    Nice interview. Unfortunaly, looks like you guys dont even know who’s the father of this girl.
    Is she good doing what she does? Who knows… maybe we should give her a chance. She’s young and probably has lot of strength as a young women. But, why she wont work under a new goverment? Thats not open mind AT ALL. Where are her “National” thoughts? In my country we are trying to push forward and all the people to the same direction, for a change. But it looks like she talking from her dad’s desk and the old president’s office.

    from Argentina with love,
    Tomas.

  5. E Pluribus Unum says:

    Mr. Brandt, Left wing Peronist is a myth. Republican Proposal does not participate on the runoff, integrates the front Let’s Change (Cambiemos), greetings from the Argentine Republic.

  6. Laura says:

    This is ridiculous. At least she admits she got the position because of daddy.

  7. Michael says:

    I think that it would have been of utmost importance to at least mention in the article that this individual is the daughter of Argentina’s Secretary of Defence Agustin Rossi (which IMO is the only reason why she was appointed as a director of Argentina’s National Bank at the age of 26 without having any experience in the financial / economic sector).

    • Jon Brandt Jon Brandt says:

      Although I mention this point in the interview highlights, I think your criticism is fair. As such, I have made an edit in the text to emphasize this point.

      • Michael says:

        Thank you ! I have been utterly disturbed by her appointment. Nepotism is very common in Argentina, but I have observed this case as particularly brazen and obvious.

  8. Fernando Rodriguez says:

    I have no doubts Delfina is a talented young professional. I don’t know her, but am also sure she’s an interesting person who has done a lot of interesting things during her short life. However, she clearly doesn’t have any banking experience to work in an institution such as Banco Nacion. She hasn’t even lived in Argentina in almost 15 years to understand the needs and challenges facing the country.

    Nevertheless, what bothers me the most is how the Argentinian President named someone like Delfina at Banco Nacion which is not an isolated case. She also named a former flight attendant to be the Argentinian ambassdor to Great Britain and an inexperienced economics professor to be the finance minister. Also, I’m surprised by Dr. James Galbraith’s letter supporting her new job ( http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1818960-ex-ministro-de-economia-griego-dice-que-delfina-rossi-fue-una-de-sus-mejores-alumnas ).

    However, I have no doubts Dr. Galbraith would have done the same thing for the 18 or 19 researchers out of 23 who are young foreign female students working on his inequality group. (Here is the list of his current and former inequality group researchers ( http://utip.gov.utexas.edu/group.html ).

    As an Argentinian and LBJ School alum, I’m also bothered by the connection the school has now with the current government of Argentina. The current government has been running a recession for the last 3 years, inflation rate is about 25% and have reported that some of the poorest states in the country have 0% unemployment rates.

    Great job Dr. Galbraith! You know how to pick your friends.

    If it wasn’t clear enough, I think he has some preference to work with young foreign female students. Perhaps, that explains why he married a former student of his from China.

  9. Wilfredo Benitez says:

    This girl, who has been appointed by a Presidente who is almost gone from the office, do not merely her position.
    It is not true what she spoke about the opposition leader.

  10. Nepotism is the keyword in this interview…
    She is shameless, can t understand how nobody explains to her what conflict of interest and nepotism is!!!

    • Juan Pablo says:

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it”, Upton Sinclair, Jr.

  11. Anybody … Nepotism…someone? … any highly trained university graduated can? Because with some college it could be explain easily!!

  12. Juan Pablo says:

    If I were you, I would research a bit more before calling Frente para la Victoria (FPV) a left-wing party and Let’s Change a right-wing party. Personally, I would classify the first as a populist movement and the second as a populist alliance. The FPV is a group of people that, technically, is part of a party called Partido Justicilista (PJ), which is populist. Let’s Change is an alliance formed by several parties: a relative new party called PRO (which is hardly right-winged when they actually spent money in public stuff, are in favor of same sex marriage, etc), the UCR (a very old party that I will not consider right-winged at all) and others. In Argentina, the main “parties” are not neither left nor right. They are opportunists that change accordingly with the median voter. An example of this is that the actual government, FVP, keeps saying that in the 90s the government was neoliberal… the funny thing is that government was the same as them! Yes, in the 90s the same party was in power: PJ. The actual president of Argentina was part of the party in the 90s. So they criticize themselves, as they were not part of it, and just change names in order to get close to the median voter of the moment and win elections. We could discuss for long what the Partido Justicilista is… but one sure thing is that the FPV is not left-winged and neither right-winged… they are whatever is needed in order to win elections.

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