Juan Carlos Zapata

Executive Director, Fundesa

Juan Carlos Zapata is the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Development of Guatemala (FUNDESA). He has more than 15 years of experience in leading economic and social development public policy programs, focused on increasing productivity and generating prosperity through inclusive economic growth. He has worked as a consultant for The Caribbean Council, a London-based think tank, and with projects financed by IDB, with firms like Turasist and others in Central America. He is the person in charge of leading the team that organizes each year the National Development Forum (ENADE), an event that gathers more than 2,800 people a year, to present elements that are key for the development of Guatemala and is the person responsible for the initiatives presented within FUNDESA in terms related to competitiveness, social inclusiveness, reduce insecurity and strengthen institutional capacity. Mr. Zapata holds a Master´s degree in Public Management and Leadership from the School of Government of Guatemala, where he graduated with honors. He studied a Postgraduate Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University Center Cesar Ritz in Brig, Switzerland, and has a B.A. in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance, from Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala City. He also has postgraduate studies from INCAE, as well as a higher diploma from the Energy & Infrastructure Analysis Center. He is a well-known columnist for the Prensa Libre newspaper and has written op-eds for elPeriódico, RepublicaGT, and Crónica Magazine. He has also published articles for America’s Quarterly magazine and Insight Crime and is part of the Advisory Committee of Estrategia & Negocios Magazine. As a volunteer, he is part of the steering committee of AgTech, a program that works as an incubator for entrepreneurship focused on innovation in agriculture.

Juan is speaking at

June 3, 2021
9:05 am - 10:30 am


  • Pedro Rodriguez (Panelist) Lead Economist and Program Leader for Equity, Finance and Institutions, Central America, and Dominican Republic, The World Bank Group (Washington, D.C, USA)
  • Juan Carlos Zapata (Panelist) Executive Director, Fundesa
  • Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov (Panelist) Regional Resident Representative for Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, International Montetary Fund (IMF)
  • John Andersen (Moderator) Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere (retired), U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (retired)
  • Marta Ruiz-Arranz (Panelist) Principal Economic Advisor, Inter-American Development Bank


The ravages of back-to-back hurricanes compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to historic economic devastation in Central America’s Northern Triangle region. With the pandemic being far from under control (e.g., less than 0.02% of Guatemalans have been vaccinated) and much of the economic infrastructure damaged, our panelists will discuss the socio-economic consequences of this historic economic disruption and the pre-conditions they believe necessary for economic recovery, including identifying possible opportunities.

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