Banco de la República
Focus areas: Global economic governance with a focus on the global monetary and financial architecture, developing countries’ macroeconomic and structural economic policies, particularly on Latin America, economic history of Latin America
José Antonio Ocampo is Co-Director of the Economic and Political Development Concentration in the School of International and Public Affairs, Member of the Committee on Global Thought and of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University. He is also a member and was the Chair of the Committee for Development Policy, an expert committee of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and was Chair of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) in 2015-2022, and is a current member.
Prior to his appointment and on leave of absence for public service during his tenure at Columbia University, Ocampo has 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 on two occasions; Chairman and member of the Board of Banco del República (Central Bank of Colombia); Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Director of the National Planning Department (Minister of Planning); and Executive Director of Fedesarrollo.
Among several commissions of which he has participated and support to international organizations, he was a Member of the Advisory Council of the Colombian Truth Commission in 2018-2022; Member of the High-Level United Nations Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda in 2020-2021; Goodwill Ambassador for Social Protection of the International Labor Organization in 2015-2017; Chair of the Commission on Rural Development of Colombia in 2014-2015; Chair of the panel created by the IMF Board to review the activities of the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office in 2012-2013; Co-director of the UNDP/OAS Project on “Agenda for a Citizens’ Democracy in Latin America” in 2008-2010; and Member of the Commission of Experts of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System in 2009.
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, the National University of Colombia, Universidad Javeriana, and Visiting Fellow at Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Rice, São Paulo and Yale. He has received a number of personal honors and distinctions, including the 2012 Jaume Vicens Vives Prize of the Spanish Association of Economic History for the best book on Spanish or Latin American economic history, the 2008 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, and the 1988 “Alejandro Angel Escobar” National Science Award of Colombia.
- PhD in Economics, Yale University
- BA in Economics and Sociology, University of Notre Dame
Honors and Awards
- Chair of the United Nations Committee for Development Policy in 2013-2022; regular member since 2022.
- Chair of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) in 2015-2022; regular member since 2022.
- Jaume Vicens Vives Prize of the Spanish Association of Economic History, 2012
- Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, 2008
- “Alejandro Angel Escobar” National Science Award of Colombia, 1988
- Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Complutense, 2014, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2013, and San Marcos University, 1998.
- Emeritus Member of the Colombian Academy of Economic Sciences, 2021. Fellow since 1987.
- Member of the Colombian Academy of History, since 2018.
Research And Publications
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
University of São Paulo, volume 8 of the collection of the Cátedra José Bonifácio
Asociación Bancaria de Colombia y Bancóldex
Oxford University Press
In The Media
José Antonio Ocampo writes: “Latin America’s economies continued to be the worst-performing in the developing world in 2023.”
The SIPA economist has been named as one of six Schumpeter-Haberler Distinguished Fellows for 2024.
José Antonio Ocampo looks back on this year's international economic meetings, arguing that "the world is taking far too long to achieve the SDGs – especially ending poverty and ensuring food security – and to make meaningful progress in the fight against climate change."
Professor José Antonio Ocampo writes that Latin American countries, much like the African group at the UN, should support a UN-led process to create more comprehensive and equitable approaches to international tax cooperation.
“The periods of low growth in the region in the last decade show that something is wrong and we need to create counter-cyclical policies to avoid this by managing fiscal, social, monetary and trade policies,” said Professor José Antonio Ocampo.