Jose Maria Figueres
President Jose Maria Figueres is an Investor/Partner and the Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Company. Former President Jose Maria Figueres served as President of Costa Rica from 1994-98, the youngest President of any Central American country in modern times. He is the son of the late Costa Rican President, Jose Figueres (Don Pepe), who became famous when he abolished the country’s armed forces.
President Figueres made sustainable development and technology the cornerstones of his Administration. He led the country into the digital economy, through the implementation of several Information Technology (IT) programs, and by attracting numerous high-tech companies to the country, including Intel, Sawtech, DSC Communications, Microsoft and Acer. He is a renowned “technologist” and will provide critical insight and expertise to IT as the company embarks on its operations in Latin America.
President Figueres, together with Harvard Economist Jeffrey Sachs, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab Director, Nicholas Negroponte, is a director of the Digital Nations Consortium, which is being launched by the MIT Media Lab www.media.mit.edu to develop a new generation of technologies and applications that enable people to design, create, and learn new ways to become more active participants in developing societies.
President Figueres recently moved to Geneva, Switzerland to become the Managing Director of the World Economic Forum which is well known for its annual Davos Conference where it brings together business leaders, government leaders and representatives of society to address the major challenges facing the world.
In 1988 Jose Maria was tapped by Nobel Peace Laureate President Oscar Arias to serve in government, first as Minister of Foreign Trade and then as Minister of Agriculture.
President Figueres has been honored with international recognition from diverse institutions and governments. He has presented speeches on sustainable development and information technology issues to audiences worldwide, including the United States, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Japan, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and United Arab Emirates, among many others. He also serves on the board of directors of the World Resources Institute (USA), World Wildlife Fund (USA), Stockholm Environment Institute (Sweden), Leadership in Environment & Development (LEAD), Terremark Worldwide, Inc. (USA), EGI International and Air Harbour Technologies (England).
President Figueres earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Masters Degree in Public Administration (Mason Fellow) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.