Jose María Figueres

Institution: Costa Rica Foundation for Sustainable Development



  • Industrial Engineering Degree from US West Point Academy, USA (1979).
  • Minister of Trade and Minister of Agriculture of Costa Rica during the Oscar Arias Administration (1988 – 1990).
  • Masters in Public Administration, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1991).
  • Elected President of Costa Rica in February 1994 for the period 94-98. As leader of his country he undertook important transformations to better prepare Costa Rica for the global economy, by addressing a comprehensive policy of sustainable development combining sound macroeconomic indicators, strategic human development investment, and a strong alliance with nature.
  • International distinctions/awards include Kew Gardens (England, 1995), Botanical Research Institute of Texas (1996), 1998 Global Environment Facility Leadership Award, Freedom Award of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation-U. of St. Gallen, Switzerland (1998).
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the World Resources Institute (Washington DC), World Wildlife Fund (USA), Leaders for Environment and Development (LEAD), Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), and Foundation of Sustainable Development (FUNDES International).
  • President of the Costa Rica Foundation for Sustainable Development (San José, Costa Rica), which promotes technological application initiatives to enhance the quality of life of Central and Latin American people within a framework of sustainability.

Title: "Sustainable development and technology to challenge poverty."

Theme: Keynote Address

Abstract: Pending

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