Antonio has been an influential figure in the financial and industrial sectors of Colombia for 30 years and has been an important voice on issues of regional development, regulation and competitivity, technology innovation and corporate social responsibility, especially through his role as Chair of the National Competitiveness Council. Antonio has also been the President of the Board for Empresarios por la Educación (Entrepreneurs for Education) during six consecutive years and has an extensive record of delivering economic, social and cultural services to deprived groups. Antonio was recently awarded the Order of Boyacá, the highest distinction awarded by the Republic of Colombia to its citizens.
Antonio has played a key role in galvanising private sector support for Colombia’s historic peace agreement, using his prominence in the private sector – and through positions with prominent think tanks – to advocate for business people and corporations to transcend traditional expectations of their role in society. Antonio’s experience of the peace process from a private perspective is particularly relevant to the Centre’s Europe-Latin America Network on Violence, Security and Peace, working to generate research-based knowledge of the crisis of violence and security in Latin America.
While a Visiting Professor in Practice at the Centre, Antonio will extend his practice-based knowledge of regional development and institutional change through a research project examining the effectiveness of the state to respond to citizens’ needs and to enact more egalitarian policies, with a focus on showing how state-business relations can improve conditions for people of the Caribe region of Colombia.