Born in Madrid, Spain, in 1955, he is Professor of International Economics at the Economics and Business Administration Faculty of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid (Spain) and has also been professor of the Universities of Geneva (Switzerland) and Nebrija in Madrid. He was for 24 years development economist and UN permanent staff at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.
Juan A. de Castro field of expertise is concentrated particularly in development economics, new forms of competitiveness for human and sustainable development and peace and economic reconstruction in war-stricken countries. He was appointed in 1994-1995, by the UN Security Council, as the Economist and specialist on economic reconstruction of the UN Special Peace Mission to Afghanistan headed by Ambassador M.Mestiri. He is today senior international advisor to various governments in Africa and Latin America, national and international institutions and international organizations on green competitiveness, “Nation-branding” and communication for development, sustainable development and the knowledge economy.
He promotes the implementation of innovative development policies based on the generation of external economies for the competitiveness of regions and nations. In this regard, he conceived, launched and managed, in the 1990’s, the UN BIOTRADE Initiative under the UN Convention on Biodiversity with the aim to transform biodiversity into a tool for sustainable development in biodiversity-rich developing countries. More recently, he also conceived and launched the “GRECO Initiative” for the promotion of green competitiveness through clean production in the Mediterranean for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Barcelona. He has also been senior advisor on energy as an engine for sustainable development to various energy-intensive Latin American countries, through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington.
He is presently involved, as well, on the implementation of new web tools for collective intelligence for the new University 2.0/3.0, and on policies for convergence and technological development (Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno) with the Spanish government, the autonomous governments of Andalucía and La Rioja as well as with the CSIC Materials Science Institute and the Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI) in Madrid. He is also expert on international trade projections and foresight models and has collaborated in this field, among others, with the World Bank (“UNCTAD-World Bank World Trade Projections Model”), the Madrid Autonomous Government (“Madrid 2015”) and the Moroccan Government and UNDP (“Morocco 2030”).
As high level advisor on international monetary and financial issues, he was appointed Deputy-Director of the Economic Research Department of the Banco Santander-Central Hispano in Madrid at the beginning of the 1990’s. He is Commissioner of the Commission on Globalization of the State of the World Forum and was recently appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Sanofi-Espoir Foundation in Paris, an institution actively engaged in Health and sanitary relief projects for Africa. He has lectured and published widely.