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Biography

Alicia Bárcena took office as the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on 1 July 2008.

She had previously served as Under-Secretary-General for Management at United Nations Headquarters in New York and acted as Chef de Cabinet, and before that as Deputy Chef de Cabinet, to Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations.

At ECLAC she held the post of Deputy Executive Secretary and Director of the Environment and Human Settlements Division. At the United Nations, she served as Coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Coordinator of the Environmental Citizenship Project at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

She also founded and ran the Earth Council in Costa Rica, a non-governmental organization responsible for following up the agreements reached at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1992.

Alicia Bárcena has taught and conducted research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and published numerous articles on sustainable development, public policy, environmental issues and public participation. A Biology graduate, she holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. She has completed the courses for a master’s degree in Ecology and begun studying for a doctorate in Economics at UNAM. She has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Oslo in Norway (2014) and the University of Havana in Cuba (2016).

Alicia Bárcena

Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)