Costa Rican economist José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs has been chosen to replace Mexican diplomat Alicia Bárcena at the helm of the ECLAC after 14 years on the job, it was announced. Salazar took the oath of office before UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
An enthusiast for public policy and economic development, Mr. Salazar brings to the position a deep knowledge of development and a lifelong interest and passion for the analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation of policies to promote economic, social, and political development, said Guterres in a public statement.
Salazar will succeed diplomat Alicia Bárcena Ibarra of Mexico, who on March 31 ended her nearly 14-year tenure at the helm of the regional Commission, and whom the UN Secretary-General thanked for her commitment and dedication.
Guterres also thanked Mario Cimoli, ECLAC's Deputy Executive Secretary, who will continue to serve as Acting Executive Secretary until Mr. Salazar assumes the post.
Salazar has been regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the International Labor Organization (ILO) between 2015 and 2018. He joined the ILO in 2005 as executive director of the Employment Sector and served as assistant director general for Policy from 2013 to 2015.
Prior to joining the ILO, he served from 1998 to 2005 as director of the Trade Unit of the Organization of American States (OAS). Mr. Salazar was Costa Rica's Minister of Foreign Trade from 1997 to 1998, executive president of the Costa Rican Development Corporation from 1988 to 1990, and chief economist and then executive director of a Central American private sector think tank (FEDEPRICAP) from 1990 to 1996.
He also wrote numerous articles and books on development, trade, economic integration, competitiveness, and employment. He has taught at the University of Costa Rica, the National University of Heredia, Cambridge University, and Georgetown University.
He holds an M.A. in Development Economics and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Costa Rica.
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