Luis Alberto Moreno is the former president of the Inter-American Development Bank, having served from October 2005 to October 2020.
Previous to joining the IDB, Moreno served as Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States for 7 years. He was appointed to this position in September 1998 by President Andrés Pastrana and ratified by President Alvaro Uribe upon his election in May 2002. 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$4 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. Ambassador Moreno was also instrumental in the renewal and extension of the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA), and was one of the leading promoters of negotiations towards a Colombia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
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. As Minister, he was responsible for the regulation and oversight of all private corporations and the formulation and enforcement of industrial and intellectual property norms. In these areas he cooperated with neighboring governments in the context of what is now the Andean Community of Nations. 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”, an award-winning news program, from January 1982 to September 1990. During his tenure, “TV Hoy” received the “King of Spain Prize” for journalistic excellence, the Spanish language equivalent of a Pulitzer. Prior to that, from June 1977 to January 1982, he was Divisional Manager at Praco, a major importer and manufacturer of agricultural and industrial machinery.
Throughout his career, Moreno has received some of the highest decorations and distinctions awarded by the Colombian state and the country’s private sector. These have included: the “Orden al Mérito Civil Ciudad de Bogotá, en el Grado de Gran Cruz”, awarded by the Mayor of Bogotá on May 16, 1990; the “Orden al Mérito Industrial – José Gutiérrez Gómez”, awarded by the Colombian National Business Association (ANDI) on July 24, 2002; and 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.
Moreno has been invited on numerous occasions to write op-eds and articles on Colombian and international politics and economics for some of the most prestigious publications in Colombia and the United States. His writings have appeared in such newspapers as The New York Times , The Boston Globe , The Miami Herald and El Tiempo , and in such magazines as Foreign Affairs en Español and Seman a. He has also been a guest speaker in a wide variety of academic, political and economic forums in the United States and Latin America.
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.