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José María Figueres was president of Costa Rica from 1994-98, before which he served as the country’s foreign trade and agriculture minister. As president, he created a comprehensive national sustainable development strategy combining sound macroeconomic indicators, strategic human development investments, and a strong alliance with nature.
In the international arena he has pioneered the linkage between sustainable development and technology. He helped create and lead the UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force (ICT), first as the special representative of the secretary-general and then as chairman. In 2000, Figueres joined the World Economic Forum as managing director, becoming the first CEO of the World Economic Forum in 2003, when he strengthened global corporate ties to social and governmental sectors by identifying common long-term interests.
He received a degree in industrial engineering from the US Military Academy at West Point and a masters’ in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[an error occurred while processing the directive]