José Antonio Ocampo

José Antonio Ocampo is director of the Economic and Political Development Concentration at and a fellow of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. In 2008-2010, he also served as co-director of the UNDP/OAS Project on “Agenda for a Citizens’ Democracy in Latin America”, and in 2009 a Member of the Commission of Experts of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System.

Prior to his appointment, Ocampo served in a number of positions in the United Nations and the Government of Colombia, most notably as United Nations Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs; Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Chairman of the Board of Banco del República (Central Bank of Colombia); Director, National Planning Department (Minister of Planning); Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Executive Director of FEDESARROLLO.

Ocampo has published extensively on macroeconomic theory and policy, international financial issues, economic and social development, international trade, and Colombian and Latin American economic history.

Ocampo received his BA in economics and sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1972 and his PhD in economics from Yale University in 1976. He served as Professor of Economics at Universidad de los Andes and of Economic History at the National University of Colombia, as well as Professor in the Advanced Program on Rethinking Development Economics at Cambridge University and Visiting Fellow at Universities of Oxford and Yale. He has received a number of personal honors and distinctions, including the 2008 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought and the 1988 “Alejandro Angel Escobar” National Science Award of Colombia.

Research Interests: 

Economics, Trade, Sustainable Development, Economic History, Latin America, United Nations.