José María Figueres


Global Ocean Commission

José María Figueres was president of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998, under a one-term constitutional mandate. Since leaving government, Mr Figueres has served on numerous boards. He was chairman of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) as well as the small-business agency FUNDES Internacional. In 2000, he was appointed managing director of the World Economic Forum and served as the organisation’s first chief executive between 2003 and 2004. He has also been a director of the World Resources Institute, the Stockholm Environment Institute and WWF.

From 2009 until 2011, when its mandate was completed, Mr Figueres served on the UN secretary-general’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change. Between 2012 and 2104, he served as president of the Carbon War Room (chief executive), before becoming chairman of the board for Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room in 2015.

Mr Figueres graduated in engineering from the United States Military Academy (West Point). He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.

Recent contributions


There is no Planet B

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