Luis Felipe López-Calva
UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
Luis Felipe López-Calva is the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. He leads the organization´s work and teams in 40 countries and territories in the region helping bring governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector together to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Mr. López Calva’s nearly three decades of experience working in academia, advising governments, and holding key leadership positions in multilateral organizations make him well-placed to guide UNDP’s work in the region to support countries’ paths towards sustainable development,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “His thought leadership and expertise in the region are a valuable and welcome addition to UNDP’s senior leadership team as we work with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome him warmly back to UNDP.”
Mr. López Calva´s role is at the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General level.
“I am honoured to be back in UNDP and working for my own region in this decisive moment, as countries face new challenges to enhance growth, inclusion, and resilience to achieve their development goals in a sustainable way” López-Calva said. “This is a time of challenges and also of opportunities, to rethink traditional development models and institutional arrangements to leave no one behind by 2030. This is crucial for our region, which is still highly unequal in spite of huge advances in recent years.”
Mr. López succeeds Ms. Jessica Faieta who has taken the post of Deputy Special Representative for Colombia and Deputy Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia. The UNDP Administrator is grateful to Ms. Faieta for her leadership, and to Mr. Lenni Montiel who led the Regional Bureau during this transition period.
Mr. López-Calva has nearly 30 years of experience working in academia, advising top governments in the region. He has held key leadership positions in multilateral organizations, including UNDP, and most recently with the World Bank where he served as Practice Manager of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice for Europe and Central Asia. He was also the co‑director and lead author of the World Development Report 2017 on “Governance and the Law” and was a lead economist in several World Bank divisions. From 2007‑2010, he served as Chief Economist for UNDP´s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean in New York, the same division he will now lead.
His research focuses on labour markets, poverty and inequality, institutions and microeconomics of development. He has presented his research at top institutions including: Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, San Diego; and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Centre. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Boston University, as well as a Master’s and a Doctorate in Economics from Cornell University.
Born in Mexico, he is married and has three children.
UNDP Regional Director a.i for Latin America and the Caribbean
Lenni Montiel served as Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2015-2017). Previously, Lenni was Director of Economic, Social and Development Affairs in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (2012-2014); United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Turkmenistan (2009-2011); Democratic Governance Group Director a.i. and Senior Policy Adviser on Local Governance and Decentralization in UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy (2006-2009). Prior to this, he worked as a Senior Technical Advisor with UNDP in Vietnam and in Ukraine (2000-2006).
Before joining UNDP, Lenni was a Senior Public Management Specialist in the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1999-2000). He also served as Counselor to the Executive Director for Venezuela and Panama at the Executive Board of Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. (1992-1993).
Lenni began his career in his native Venezuela. He was General Manager of the Social Investment Fund of Venezuela (1991-1992). He also served as Coordinator of the Social Investment Programme, Office of the President of Venezuela's Commissioner on Employment Generation and Social Investment Programme (1990); Director of Social Policy, National Planning Office of the President of Venezuela (1989); Director of Planning, Ministry of Family Affairs (1987-1989) and Training Programmes Coordinator, Venezuelan Planning Institute, under the National Planning Office (1985-1987).
Lenni holds a Master of Sciences in Economics from the Belorussian Institute of National Economic Planning (former USSR), a Master of Arts on Legislative Affairs from the University of Hull (UK) and a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Birmingham (UK). He speaks Spanish, English and Russian.