Wilson Center Experts
Luis Alberto Moreno
Luis Alberto Moreno assumed the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank on October 1, 2005. He was re-elected to a five-year term during a special meeting of the Bank’s Board of Governors on July 6, 2010.
As President of the Bank, Moreno also serves as Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and Chairman of the Donors’ Committee of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).
Previous to joining the IDB, Moreno served as Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States for seven years. Ambassador Moreno oversaw a dramatic improvement in Colombian-U.S. relations during his tenure in Washington. His most notable achievement was the successful effort to build strong bipartisan support in the United States Congress for passage of more than US$6 billion in U.S. assistance programs for Colombia. These resources have contributed to a material positive transformation of the security and economic situation in Colombia.
Prior to his post as Ambassador, Moreno served a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors in Colombia. Immediately prior to his appointment in Washington, he served as representative for the Andean Region of WestSphere Capital, a private equity firm focusing on investment opportunities in Latin America, from August 1997 to July 1998. Previously, he served as senior advisor to the Luis Carlos Sarmiento Organization, the leading banking & financial group in Colombia with over US$10 billion in assets, from November 1994 to August 1997.
From 1991 to 1994, during the administration of President César Gaviria, Moreno worked in the Colombian Government in a variety of leadership positions. From December 1991 to July 1992, Moreno was the President of the Instituto de Fomento Industrial (IFI), the Colombian government’s industrial finance corporation, and a holding company for many of the largest state enterprises in the country. As head of IFI, Moreno led a successful privatization program and developed new financing instruments for private industry to take advantage of the Gaviria administration’s economic liberalization policy. In July 1992, he was named Minister of Economic Development. During his tenure, he modernized the Ministry and its subordinated agencies, and led the design and implementation of Colombia’s industrial policy and competitiveness strategy. He was also in charge of part of the Government’s social investment portfolio, notably its low-income housing strategy. Upon leaving the Ministry in January 1994, he was tapped to chair Andrés Pastrana’s Presidential Campaign.
Previously, Moreno was Executive Producer of “TV Hoy” news program. During his tenure, “TV Hoy” received the “King of Spain Prize” for journalistic excellence, the Spanish language equivalent of a Pulitzer.
Throughout his career, Moreno has received some of the highest decorations and distinctions awarded by the Colombian state and the country’s private sector, including the “Orden de Boyacá en el Grado de Gran Cruz”—the highest distinction given by the Colombian state—, awarded by the President of Colombia on August 2, 2002. President Moreno was also the recipient of the 2012 Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Public Service.
Moreno’s writings have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and he has been a guest speaker in a wide variety of academic, political and economic forums in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Europe.
Moreno obtained bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Economics from Florida Atlantic University in 1975, and an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management at Thunderbird University in 1977. For his distinguished work in the field of journalism, he was awarded a Neiman Fellowship by Harvard University to undertake studies at that institution from September 1990 to June 1991.