Luis Alberto Moreno
Former President, IDB
In 2020, Moreno concluded his 15-year tenure as the President of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB), elected in 2005, and re-elected in 2010 and 2015. There he led a profound transformation of the organization while also chairing the Board of Executive Directors of IDB Invest, the Group’s private sector arm, as well as the Donors Committee at IDB Lab, an innovation laboratory for development to test and scale up ideas that improve human lives.
Under Moreno’s leadership, the IDB Group -owned by 48 member countries- consolidated its role as the leading and principal source of long-term financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, while providing cutting-edge knowledge and technical advice for social, economic and institutional development.
After taking office, Moreno embarked on a major overhaul of the Bank’s organizational structure and operations to make the IDB more flexible and client-focused. He initiated reforms that enhanced its social and environmental safeguards, introduced a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework, reinforced institutional integrity and accountability mechanisms, and instituted a new access to information policy. In addition, the Bank adopted a new capital adequacy model, preserving its AAA credit rating, while optimizing the use of its balance sheet.
Moreno also led a drive to promote more women to leadership roles. As a result, the IDB became the first regional development bank to obtain an EDGE certification, the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality. More importantly, the Bank has mainstreamed gender and diversity objectives into its public and private sector programs.
Milestones during Moreno´s tenure include: the approval of $4.4 billion in debt relief for Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua, the most heavily indebted member countries, in 2007; the approval of the 9th General Capital Increase, the largest expansion of resources in the Bank’s history, in 2010; the merging and expansion of the Group’s private sector operations under IDB Invest (leading organization in private sector development), in 2016; replenishment of IDB Lab (MIF) with historic contributions from Latin American and Caribbean countries, in 2017; the launch of a special grant facility to support operations to help countries integrate migrants into local communities and contribute to their development, in 2019; and; the bold Covid-19 response, in 2020.
Under Moreno’s leadership, the IDB Group played an increasingly prominent role in topics of global importance such as health; digital connectivity and innovation; sustainable infrastructure development; renewable energy and the environment; climate resilience and adaptation; migration; sustainable cities; base-of-the-pyramid markets; and education. He also launched the Americas Business Dialogue and www.ConnectAmericas.com, two platforms that promote stronger business ties among the Americas.
Moreno continually pushed for the adoption of new technologies and innovations to increase the impact and efficiency to the Bank’s operations. To that end, he implemented a comprehensive program of internal research, training, and external partnerships to ensure that staff would be proficient in the latest approaches to tackling problems in areas ranging from digital government to climate finance. In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, these investments enabled the IDB Group to rapidly pivot and mount an unprecedented response in support of member countries. In 2020, before his last day in office and even as its entire staff has been teleworking (since March), the Bank was expected to approve a historical record $20 billion and disburse around $19 billion, an amount nearly 35% greater than it disbursed in the aftermath of the 2009 financial crisis. More importantly, the Bank helped save countless lives by rapidly assisting many countries in the purchase of critical medical and sanitary equipment in the first three months of the pandemic.
Moreno also championed the IDB Group’s participation in hundreds of partnerships with governments, private companies and philanthropic organizations, mobilizing additional resources for every dollar of capital used. During his tenure the IDB Group was been recognized as one of the world’s most effective institutions in terms of agenda-setting influence.
Before joining the Bank, Moreno served as Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States for seven years. Relations between Washington and Bogota strengthened notably during that time, leading to unprecedented bipartisan and bilateral assistance programs that supported a radical improvement in his country’s security and economic conditions, primarily through the approval of Plan Colombia – an ambitious program to fight drug trafficking and promote social and economic recovery.
Prior to his ambassadorship, Moreno had a distinguished career in business and government. As Minister of Economic Development, he carried out a comprehensive competitiveness agenda and was head of the Instituto de Fomento Industrial, Colombia’s public sector holding company. In the private sector he was the executive producer of TV Hoy, an award-winning broadcast news program, and a strategic advisor to major Colombian companies and foreign investors.
Moreno has received numerous distinctions, including Colombia's highest peacetime decoration, the Grand Cross of the Order of Boyaca; Brazil’s Grand Cross of the Order of Rio Branco; Spain’s Grand Cross of the Order of Isabel La Catolica; Paraguay’s National Merit Grand Cross; Guatemala’s Orden del Jaguar; the Inter-American Dialogue’s Distinguished Leadership in the Americas Award for Social Equity; the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service; the Clinton Global Initiative Global Citizen Award; the Eagle of the Americas award from the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America; Latin Trade’s Bravo Business Award for Distinguished Service to the Hemisphere and; the Atlantic Council’s Leadership Award (ceremony to take place - fall 2020). In addition, he has been recipient of the “Key to City” awards from several Latin American cities.
Moreno holds a degree in business administration and economics from Florida Atlantic University and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. In 1990 Harvard University awarded him a Neiman Fellowship for his achievements in the field of journalism. He has also received honorary degrees from Georgetown University, Arizona State University, Baruch College, INCAE Business School, Universidad ICESI.
A frequent contributor of opinion articles in international and regional media, Moreno regularly participates as a speaker in public conferences and private forums on development issues. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum (WEF); Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC); Board Member for the Center for Global Development in Washington D.C.; Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University; Clinton Health Access Initiative; Global Council of the Greater Washington Partnership; Latin American Conservation Council; UN-FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety; Advisory Board Member of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Member of the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response and, more recently; Board Member of Dow Inc., Nubank and FEMSA.
Moreno was born in Philadelphia, he is married to Maria Gabriela Sigala and has two children, Nicolas and Natalia. He is a native speaker of Spanish and English and conversant in Portuguese and French.