External Advisory Board: Lorena Aguilar

Lorena Aguilar

Lorena Aguilar

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica  


 A global leader who is passionate about gender equality and sustainable development issues, Lorena Aguilar has over three decades of experience integrating social and gender considerations across initiatives, providing strategic contributions to national and international policies, and generating knowledge.

Until 2018, she was global senior gender advisor and global director of the Governance and Rights Program of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Switzerland. At present, she serves as vice minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica. 

With extensive experience leading inclusive collaboration with government counterparts, U.N. agencies, international organizations and civil society, she has led the development of numerous national policies, sustainable development conventions and relevant finance mechanisms to embrace and advance human and women’s rights. Aguilar has field experience in more than 50 countries across Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

Aguilar has been a pioneer in the creation of influential international gender networks such as the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders of the Environment (NWMLE) and the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA). She has been a board member of numerous reputable organizations including Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), the 2006 Champion of the Earth Laureate of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and Momentum for Change under the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC).

Additional experience includes work with the International Development Research Center (IDRC) in Canada, the International Red Cross in Switzerland and Costa Rica, Save the Children in Costa Rica, the National Museum in Costa Rica, and the Office of the Vice-President in Costa Rica.

Author of numerous publications on gender, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, forests, water, health and environment, she is an engaging speaker at international conferences, congresses and other high-level events.

Aguilar holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Costa Rica, a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Kansas, and is fluent in both English and Spanish.