About

Welcome to the website of José Antonio Ocampo Gaviria, who since 2007, is Professor and Director of the Economic and Political Development Program in the School of International and Public Affairs, Fellow of the Committee on Global Thought and co-President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University.

In 2008-2010, he was co-director of the UNDP/OAS Project on “Agenda for a Citizens’ Democracy in Latin America”. In 2009, he was a Member of the Commission of Experts of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System.

In the political realm, he served in 2003-2007 as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. As such, he chaired the UN Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs and headed the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), which produces a wide range of research and analytical work on development issues, leads the follow-up to the major UN Summits and Conferences, and provides substantive and organizational support to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the General Assembly. Previously, he was from 1998 to 2003 Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and held from 1989 to 1997 a number of high-level posts in the Government of Colombia, including Minister of Finance and Public Credit, and as such chair of the Central Bank (Banco de la República) Board, Director (Minister) of the National Planning Department, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the academic sphere, he served as Executive Director of FEDESARROLLO, the main think tank on economic issues in Colombia, Director of the Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo Económico of Universidad de los Andes, Professor of Economics at Universidad de los Andes, and Professor of Economic History at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has also been Visiting Professor at Cambridge, Oxford and Yale Universities and lectured in many universities and participated in many policy and academic conferences around the world.

He has received a number of personal honors and distinctions, including the 2008 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, from Tufts University, and the 1988 “Alejandro Angel Escobar” National Science Award of Colombia.

Mr. Ocampo is author or editor of over 40 books and has published some 300 scholarly articles on macroeconomic theory and policy, international financial issues, economic and social development, international trade, and Colombian and Latin American economic history. He has also directed some 20 institutional reports. His most recent books include The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence, with Luis Bértola (forthcoming 2012), the Oxford Handbook of Latin American Economics, edited with Jaime Ros (2011), Time for a Visible Hand: Lessons from the 2008 World Financial Crisis, edited with Stephany Griffith-Jones and Joseph E. Stiglitz (2010), Growth and Policy in Developing Countries: A Structuralist Approach, with Lance Taylor and Codrina Rada (2009), and Capital Account Liberalization and Development, edited with Joseph E. Stiglitz (2008). His past books include Stability with Growth: Macroeconomics, Liberalization and Development, with Joseph E. Stiglitz and others (2006), Regional Financial Cooperation (2006), International Finance and Development (2006), Globalization and Development: A Latin American and Caribbean Perspective (2003), the three-volume Economic History of Twentieth Century Latin America (2000), edited with Enrique Cárdenas and Rosemary Thorp, and more than ten editions of Historia Económica de Colombia (2007), originally published in 1977, and considered to be the best known text on the subject.

Mr. Ocampo holds a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from the University of Notre Dame (1972), and a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University (1976). Born in 1952 in Cali, Colombia, he is married to Ana Lucia Lalinde and has three children (Rocio, Juan Camilo, and Maria José).