Assistant Director General for Policy

Mr. José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs was appointed Executive Director of the International Labour Organization's Employment Sector in August 2005.

Previous to joining the ILO Mr Salazar Xirinachs was Chief Trade Advisor and Director of the Trade Unit (in 2004 became Office of Trade, Growth and Competitiveness) at the Organization of American States (OAS) (1998-2005), supporting OAS member States in matters related to trade policy and economic integration, in particular, negotiating a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

From 1997 to 1998 Mr. Salazar-Xirinachs was Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica a period that included Costa Rica’s Chairmanship of the FTAA process. From 1994 to 1997, he served as Executive Director of the Federation of Private Entities of Central America and Panama (FEDEPRICAP) and from 1990 to 1994, as the Federation’s Chief Economist. He was also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Costa Rica from 1995 to 1997. From 1988 to 1990 he was Executive President of the Costa Rican Development Corporation.

Born in 1953, Mr. Salazar-Xirinachs has a Master of Philosophy Degree in Development Economics and Doctorate in Economics from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; he also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Costa Rica. He has taught at the Universities of Costa Rica; the National University of Heredia, Costa Rica; Cambridge University, United Kingdom, England, and Georgetown University, Washington D.C. He is the author of numerous journal articles on development, trade and competitiveness policies. He has written and edited several books.

He is a member of the Advisory Panel for the 2010 Human Development Report (UNDP, New York), a member of the Board of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (Geneva) and a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Trade and Financial Architecture Project chaired by President Ernesto Zedillo.