René Castro, born in 1957, holds a doctorate in Design from Harvard University, with an emphasis on Natural Resource Economics and Sustainable Development, and obtained a Master’s Degree from the same university. He graduated as a civil engineer from the University of Costa Rica.
Castro has held various positions in the Costa Rican government: Minister of Environment and Energy, deputy-minister of the Ministry of Governance, National Director of the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works, President of the San José City Council. He served as chief of Costa Rican delegations to the international conventions on Biodiversity, Climatic Change and Ozone.
He is often invited as professor and lecturer to INCAE University and Harvard University and since 1998 has acted as international consultant for the United NationsDevelopment Programme (UNPD). Castro has worked and presented conferences in more than 60 countries.
He is the author of short books on railroads and aviation and has coauthored the books "Evaluación de Proyectos Ambientales" and "Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental y Sostenibilidad del Desarrollo". His most recent book, “Valoración de los servicios ambientales del Bosque: El Caso de Cambio Climático” is based on his doctoral thesis and presents one of the few studies that link ecology of the tropical forests with their economic potential and the global environmental markets. He is also the author of numerous special cases and articles used for teaching at the INCAE and the Harvard University.
He has been a member of the IPS Board of Directors since 2001.