International Monetary Fund

Regional Advisory Group:
Western Hemisphere


click for more   1st Joint Meeting at the 2010 Annual Meetings in Washington, DC
click for more   Western Hemisphere Advisory Group Meeting
    July 1-2, 2010, in San Jose, Costa Rica

click for more  Photos


Oscar ARIAS, Former President of Costa Rica


Oscar ARIAS, former President of Costa Rica (1986-90, 2006-10), and Nobel Peace Prize 1987. He previously was financial advisor to the president of Costa Rica (1970-72), Minister of National Planning (1972-77), and congressman (1978-82). Has been a stalwart in working for peace in Central America. In 1987, he led a regional peace initiative that called for a ceasefire, the granting of amnesty to political prisoners and the holding of free and democratic elections in Central American countries. He has maintained his nation's historic role as a neutral and demilitarized country.

Arturo J. CRUZ, Professor at INCAE

Arturo J. CRUZ

Arturo J. CRUZ is a Professor at INCAE Business School in Costa Rica and Nicaragua since 1994. Before joining INCAE, he was a Bradley Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC. During 2007-09 Professor Cruz served as Nicaragua’s Ambassador to the United States and Canada. In Nicaragua, Mr.Cruz has served as Counsel to the Ministry of Economy and for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and as Advisor to President Enrique Bolaños. He was also advisor to Salvadoran President Antonio Saca. Prof. Cruz is a graduate of American University in Washington DC and has Doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford.

Andrew DOWNES, Professor of Economics

Mr. Andrew DOWNES

Andrew DOWNES is Professor of Economics and Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. Currently Deputy Chairman of the Barbados Fair Trading Commision (FTC) and a member of the Barbados Council of Economic Advisors. He holds a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and is a graduate of the University of the West Indies. Professor Downes has had a long career in the public sector as former Board Member of the Central Bank of Barbados and Barbados Port Authority, and former Chairman of the Barbados Productivity Board and the Wages Council, among others. He has worked as a consultant for international organizations, including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, and Caricom Secretariat. He has served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Centre for Monetary Studies and is the Technical Coordinator for the Strategic Plan for Regional Development in CARICOM.

Francisco GIL-DIAZ, Former Secretary of the Treasury, Mexico

Francisco GIL-DIAZ

Francisco GIL-DIAZ is the Executive President of Telefónica México and Central America. He was Treasury Secretary under President Fox. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Avantel, a Mexican Telecom, as member of the Board of Governors of Mexico’s Central Bank, Undersecretary of Revenue at the Treasury, as Director of Research at Banco de Mexico, and as General Director of Revenue Policy and General Director of Planeación Hacendaría. His professional career has combined academia with government service. He has taught at ITAM, Universidad Iberoamericana, Colegio de Mexico and the National University. He has a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor’s from ITAM.

Carla A. HILLS, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer, Hills & Company

Carla A. HILLS

Carla A. HILLS is the Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Hills & Company, International Consultants, which advises companies on global trade and investment issues. She currently serves on the International Boards of J.P. Morgan, Chase, Rolls Royce, and the Coca-Cola Company. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chair of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and of the Inter-American Dialogue; member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for International Economics and of the Trilateral Commission, and Co-Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ambassador Hills served as U.S. Trade Representative (1989-93), Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice. Ambassador Hills received her bachelor's degree from Stanford University and her law degree from Yale University.

Enrique IGLESIAS, Ibero-American Secretary General


Enrique IGLESIAS has been the first Ibero-American Secretary General, based in Madrid, Spain, since May 2005. He reports to the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the 22 Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of Europe and Latin America. From 1988 to 2005, he was President of the Inter-American Development Bank. Prior to that, he had been Uruguay’s Minister of Foreign Relations (1985-1988); Executive Secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), (1972-1985); Secretary General of the U.N. Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy; and chairman of the conference that launched the Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations in 1986. Mr. Iglesias served as President of Uruguay’s Central Bank from 1966 to 1968. He graduated from Uruguay’s Universidad de la República in Economics in 1953 and pursued specialized programs of study in the United States and France.

Ricardo LAGOS, Former President of Chile

Ricardo Lagos

Ricardo LAGOS was President of Chile 2000–06. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Lagos was one of the United Nations’ Special Envoys on Climate Change. He is also President of the Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo in Chile and teaches at Brown University (United States) as Professor at Large. During the 1980s he led the Democratic Alliance and the Independent Committee for Free Elections. He was the founder and first president of the Party for the Democracy. In the 1990s, Mr. Lagos was Minister of Education (1990) and Minister of Public Works (1994). Mr. Lagos is a lawyer and has a Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University.

José Luis MACHINEA, Former Minister of Finance, Argentina


José Luis MACHINEA, was Minister of the Economy of Argentina (December 1999-February 2001). Presently he is Dean of the School of Government at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. He is a former Executive Secretary of ECLAC, (2003- 08). In the 1990s he was Director of Research at the Institute of the Industrial Union of Argentina (1992-97). In the 1980s he held various positions including Governor of the Central Bank of Argentina, Deputy Secretary of Economic Policy and Deputy Secretary for Planning. Mr. Machinea has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota.

Demétrio MAGNOLI, Fellow at the Group for International Scenario Analysis at USP

Demétrio MAGNOLI

Demétrio MAGNOLI is a Fellow at the Group for International Scenario Analysis at Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP). He has published several books on international politics and teaches Political Geography at Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo (PUC-SP). He has been an op-ed contributor to the newspaper "Folha de S. Paulo". He is a sociologist, holding a Ph.D. in Human Geography.

Paul MARTIN, Former Prime Minister, Canada


Paul MARTIN was Prime Minister of Canada 2003–06 and Minister of Finance from 1993 to 2002. He was named the inaugural chair of the Finance Ministers’ G-20. Mr. Martin is currently the co-chair, with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, of a US$200 million British-Norwegian poverty alleviation and sustainable development fund for the ten- nation Congo Basin Rainforest. He sits on the advisory council of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa. Domestically, he is responsible for the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative and he founded with his son David, the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship Fund. Before entering politics, he had a distinguished career in the private sector as a business executive at Power Corporation of Canada and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CSL Group Inc. Mr. Martin studied philosophy and history at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the University of Toronto Law School. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1966.

Robert J. SHAPIRO, Progressive Policy Institute, USA


Robert J. SHAPIRO is the Chairman and co-founder of Sonecon, LLC. He is a Senior Policy Fellow of the Georgetown University Center for Business and Public Policy, Chairman of the U.S. Climate Task Force, Director of the Globalization Initiative at NDN, and Director of the Axson-Johnson Foundation in Sweden. Mr. Shapiro was Under Secretary of Commerce from 1997 to 2001. Prior to that appointment, he was co-founder and Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute and the Progressive Foundation. He was also a senior economic advisor in the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama. Shapiro holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an A.B. from the University of Chicago.

Tabare VAZQUEZ, Former President of Uruguay


Tabare VAZQUEZ was President of Uruguay (2005) and Mayor of Montevideo (1990). In politics, his career also includes the presidency of political parties Encuentro Progresista (1994-99) and Frente Amplio (1996-2004). In the scientific area, Dr. Vazquez is a recognized Oncologist. He is professor of Oncology and Radiotherapy at the University of the Republic, Uruguay, and has been awarded by the UICC, International Union Against Cancer (Outstanding Government Official Award, 2006), the Global Smoke-free Partnership (Exceptional Political Leadership, 2006, joint award with the Framework Convention Alliance and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids), and the World Health Organization (World No Tobacco Day 2006, Special Director General Award).