New York, 4 September 2018 - Mr. Luis Felipe López-Calva assumed his new position today as UN Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. He will lead the organization´s work and teams in 40 countries and territories in the region, helping bring governments, civil society organizations and the private sector together to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Mr. López-Calva´s nearly three decades of experience working in academia, advising governments and holding key leadership positions in multilateral organizations make him well-placed to guide UNDP´s work in the region to support countries’ paths towards sustainable development,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “His thought leadership and expertise in the region are a valuable and welcome addition to UNDP’s senior leadership team as we work with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome him warmly back to UNDP.”
Mr. López-Calva´s role is at the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General level.
“I am honoured to be back in UNDP and working for my own region in this decisive moment, as countries face new challenges to enhance growth, inclusion, and resilience to achieve their development goals in a sustainable way,” López-Calva said. “This is a time of challenges and also of opportunities, to rethink traditional development models and institutional arrangements to leave no one behind by 2030. This is crucial for our region, which is still highly unequal in spite of huge advances in recent years.”
Mr. López-Calva succeeds Ms. Jessica Faieta who has taken the post of Deputy Special Representative for Colombia and Deputy Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia. The UNDP Administrator is grateful to Ms. Faieta for her leadership, and to Mr. Lenni Montiel who led the Regional Bureau during this transition period.
Mr. López-Calva has nearly 30 years of experience working in academia, advising government entities in the region and in taking key leadership positions in multilateral organizations, including UNDP and most recently with the World Bank where he served as Practice Manager of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice (Europe and Central Asia). He was also the co‑director and lead author of the World Development Report 2017 on “Governance and the Law” and was a lead economist in several World Bank divisions. From 2007‑2010, he served as Chief Economist for UNDP´s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean in New York, the same division he will now lead.
His research interests focus on labour markets, poverty and inequality, institutions and microeconomics of development, having presented his research at top institutions including: Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, San Diego; and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Centre. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Boston University, as well as a master’s and a doctorate in economics from Cornell University.
Born in Mexico, he is married and has three children.