Non Resident Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, former Costa Rica Minister of Trade, World Bank, Senior Director of Trade & Competitiveness, and WTO Agriculture Director
For over 25 years, Ms. Gonzalez has promoted job creation and economic growth through international trade, regional integration, foreign investment and competitiveness. She also has extensive experience in management in government and at multilateral organizations.
Most recently, as Senior Director of the World Bank Global Practice on Trade & Competitiveness (2014-17), she led the Bank’s global positioning and operations in the areas of trade, investment climate, competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation. With her 500 people team, she directed projects for over $5.5 billion, in more than 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Previously, she held the position of Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica (2010-14) where she led actions to join the OECD; negotiated and implemented six free trade agreements; enhanced the investment climate and contributed to the attraction of over 140 foreign direct investment projects; also had a lead role in Costa Rica’s Competitiveness and Innovation Council, and acted as President of the Export Promotion Board. In her more than 15 years of service at the Ministry of Foreign Trade, she held several positions, including Ambassador and Chief Negotiator, Vice-minister, and Director General of Trade Negotiations.
Ms. Gonzalez has also been Director of the WTO Agriculture Division, Senior Consultant on Trade and Integration at the Inter-American Development Bank, and Director-General of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Board.
She is a member of World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Trade & Foreign Investment and of several boards. She has lectured in over 50 countries around the world and writes regularly on trade and competitiveness.