Factbox: Possible members of Rousseff cabinet in Brazil

SAO PAULO (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil’s president-elect, Dilma Rousseff, is expected to choose some familiar names for her cabinet in the coming weeks after her victory in Sunday’s election.

Following are some key names in her inner circle who could get cabinet posts, based on information from sources close to Rousseff and analysts.


Tipped as chief of staff, political liaison with Congress, or health minister.

Palocci, a radical Trotskyite in his youth, is widely credited for winning investor confidence and stabilizing markets as finance minister during the first year of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s presidency.

A physician-turned-politician, Palocci helped found the left-wing Workers’ Party (PT) in 1980. As a two-time mayor of a mid-sized city in Sao Paulo state, Palocci was among the first generation of PT politicians to gain executive experience. He boosted his managerial credentials as Lula’s campaign manager in 2002.

Palocci, 50, is seen as one of the most market-friendly figures in the PT and has pushed for strict fiscal discipline. There is some opposition within the party to him getting a powerful post such as chief of staff.

He was once tipped as a possible successor to Lula but was forced to resign as finance minister in 2006 over an ethics scandal. He has been one of Rousseff’s closest advisors during the campaign and has often been seen coaching her behind the scenes at televised debates.


Tipped as finance minister or central bank president.

Born in the same poor, northeastern state of Pernambuco as Lula, Coutinho specialized as an academic in industrial and international economics and was Rousseff’s professor in the 1990s when she was pursuing a graduate degree.

Between 1985 and 1988, he was executive secretary for the science and technology ministry, taking part in the structuring of the ministry and conception of policies in areas such as biotechnology and information technology.

Coutinho, 63, is seen as fiscally conservative and believes spending has been rising too quickly, although he has presided over a surge in state-subsidized loans by the BNDES in the wake of the global financial crisis. He has also expressed concern about the effect of the strong real on Brazilian industry and could advocate more restrictions on capital inflows if the currency keeps rising.

He holds a PhD in Economics from Cornell University.


Tipped as presidential chief of staff or planning minister.

Although he has a political background as a student leader, a unionist and later a PT legislator, Bernardo is widely viewed as a technocrat and a pragmatist. As an official at the state-owned Banco do Brasil he became a union activist and was later elected to three terms in Congress.

Bernardo, 58, is not considered a heavyweight in Lula’s cabinet and usually toes the line of Finance Minister Guido Mantega.


Tipped by some to stay on as finance minister, though others think Rousseff will want a new face to lead her economic team.

A longtime advocate of increased development spending in Brazil, Mantega presided over Brazil’s rapid economic rebound from the global financial crisis.

On his watch, the finance ministry took a series of measures to quickly lift Latin America’s largest economy from recession, reducing taxes for key industries as the national Treasury lent billions of dollars to the BNDES.

Mantega, 61, has in the past publicly disagreed with the central bank over the level of Brazil’s interest rates, which are among the world’s highest. More recently, he has been at the forefront of Brazil’s efforts to contain its rallying currency and has urged other countries to take coordinated action against the weak dollar. He grabbed headlines globally by saying the world was in an “international currency war.”

A longtime member of the Workers’ Party, he went to great lengths in 2006 to persuade investors that he was committed to the austere fiscal and economic policies championed by his predecessor Palocci.


Tipped for a ministry, possibly mines and energy, or a potential new role as Brazil’s infrastructure czar. Some say he may struggle to win backing for a high-profile post because he only recently joined the coalition PMDB party.

Brazil’s longest-serving central bank governor, Meirelles has managed to keep price pressures contained by aggressively pursuing an inflation target.

He has resisted pressure at times from the finance ministry and others to bring down borrowing costs, consistently taking a more conservative approach to monetary policy.

His political aspirations raised worries over the direction of monetary policy earlier this year, but he is widely credited for having successfully helped steer Brazil’s economy through the worst global financial crisis in decades.

Meirelles, 65, came from the private sector, where he was president of BankBoston from 1996 to 1999. He could stay at the central bank during a transition period, but is not keen to stay in the job much longer.


Another name that has been floated as a potential central bank president.

Tombini, head of the financial regulation at the central bank, is a seasoned inflation fighter who is seen as unlikely to bend to political pressures and would be widely expected to continue with conservative monetary policy.

He helped set up the inflation-targeting regime that Brazil adopted in 1999.

Tombini, 46, has also been the director of the central bank’s foreign affairs department and the special studies department. He previously worked at the International Monetary Fund and at Brazil’s finance ministry.

He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Illinois.


Tipped for a key role on the economic team, or possibly as central bank head.

A rising star and a top advisor to the finance minister on economic policy, Barbosa is close to Rousseff and also helped Lula during his 2006 presidential campaign.

He has strongly backed Lula’s plan to revamp oil laws regulating massive offshore crude reserves and a popular government program to build affordable housing.

Barbosa, 40, was also involved in Brazil’s massive infrastructure program known as the PAC, which was managed by Rousseff during her time as Lula’s chief of staff.

He called for looser fiscal policy during the global financial crisis, and has criticized the central bank for not lowering interest rates more aggressively.

Barbosa has argued that real interest rates in Brazil could safely fall to 2 percent in the next four years without putting the economy at risk. Real interest rates, or the central bank’s base rate minus inflation, currently hover at around 6.25 percent in Brazil.

He holds a PhD in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York.

(Compiled by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Raymond Colitt in Brasilia and Stuart Grudgings in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Todd Benson and Kieran Murray)

Factbox: Possible members of Rousseff cabinet in Brazil