Rebeca Grynspan is the Secretary-General of the Ibero-American Conference, an international multilateral institution that brings together the 19 Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of Latin America plus Spain, Andorra and Portugal.
She was unanimously elected in an Extraordinary Meeting of 22 Foreign Ministers held on February 24, 2014, in Mexico City and took office as Ibero-American Secretary General on April 1, 2014.
Rebeca Grynspan was born in Costa Rica, and prior to this appointment, she held the post of Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) since February 2010. Previously, from 2006 to 2010, she was Assistant Secretary General of the UN and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Before joining the United Nations, she served as Vice President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. She was Minister of Housing, Minister Coordinator of Economic and Social Affairs of her country and Deputy Minister of Finance; also, she was a member of the High-Level Panel on Financing for Development convened by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2001.
As a recognized leader in promoting human development, she has greatly helped to focus the attention of the world and Latin America on critical issues such as the reduction of inequality and poverty, gender equity, South-South cooperation as a tool for development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, among others.
She was also delegate to the United Nations Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, a group composed of the Haitian government, the U.S. President Bill Clinton and other relevant international members.
In June 2014, Rebeca Grynspan was elected Chairman of the Board of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), an influential policy research organization working at the interface between development and the environment.
Grynspan is a member of the Steering Committee of the UNICEF Scaling-up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, of the Governing Council of the International Development Society (SID), a global network of individuals and professionals engaged in development, and of the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work. She has contributed to key UN initiatives such as the Millennium Project on Poverty and Economic Development, and the High-Level Panel on Financing for Development.
In 2014 and 2015 she was recognized as one of the 50 leading intellectuals of Latin America and, in 2017, she received a Forbes Excellence Award and was granted the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X “The Wise” by the Spanish Government.
On November 17, 2016, she joined the Board of the Complutense Institute of International Studies (ICER) of the Complutense University in Madrid.
She holds a degree in Economics from the University of Costa Rica and a Masters in Economics from the University of Sussex and, in recognition of her professional achievements, she has been distinguished with an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the University of Extremadura and the European University of Madrid.