United Nations Secretary-General appoints Mr. José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs of Costa Rica as Executive Secretary of CEPAL

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The Costa Rican economist will replace Mexican diplomat Alicia Bárcena, who concluded her mandate on March 31 after nearly 14 years at the helm of ECLAC.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs of Costa Rica as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Mr. Salazar will succeed Alicia Bárcena Ibarra of Mexico to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her commitment and dedicated service to the United Nations. The Secretary-General also wishes to extend his appreciation to the Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Mario Cimoli, who will continue to serve as Acting Executive Secretary until Mr. Salazar assumes this position.         

A public policy and economic development enthusiast, Mr. Salazar brings to the position deep development knowledge and a life-long interest and passion for the analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of policies to promote economic, social and political development.

Mr. Salazar served as Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Labour Organization (ILO) from 2015-2018.  He joined the ILO in 2005 as Executive Director of its 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.  Mr. Salazar was Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica from 1997 to 1998, Executive President of the Costa Rican Development Corporation from 1988-1990 and Chief Economist and then Executive Director of a Central American private sector think tank (FEDEPRICAP) from 1990-1996.  In the academic sphere, he is the author of 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 a master’s degree in Development Economics and a doctorate in Economics from Cambridge University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Costa Rica. (https://www.cepal.org/en/news/united-nations-secretary-general-appoints-mr-jose-manuel-salazar-xirinachs-costa-rica-executive)

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