Carlos Lopes is the former Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the level of United Nations (UN) Under Secretary-General.
The mandate of the ECA is to promote the economic and social development of its member states, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. He led the organization from 2012 until 2016.
Carlos Lopes is also Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Development & Policy Practice (GSDPP) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. He is a visiting fellow at Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and serves the Global Commission on Economy & Climate and the steering group to assist African Union reform. His research and writing on development issues specializes in development and strategic planning.
He was a member of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) executive team and managed its global program with a portfolio of USD 1 billion. He has also served on advisory boards of the Kofi Annan Foundation, World Economic Forum African Council, ISCTE Lisbon University Institute, Instituto Ethos, Geneva Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies, and journals such as Géopolitique Africaine, African Sociological Review, African Identities and Strategic Review for Southern Africa.
He has also held the positions of UN Assistant-Secretary-General and Director for Political Affairs in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General; Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training; and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva and Director of the UN System Staff College in Turin at the level of Assistant Secretary-General.
Following service in the public sector of his native Guinea-Bissau in areas of research, diplomacy and planning, he joined the UNDP as a development economist in 1988. While at UNDP, he occupied various positions, including Deputy Director at the Office of Evaluation & Strategic Planning, Resident Representative in Zimbabwe, as well as Deputy, and later Director of the New York-based Bureau for Development Policy.
He received his PhD in history from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris and holds a Master of Research from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies.
He has authored or edited 22 books and taught at universities and academic institutions in Lisbon and Coimbra, Portugal; Zurich, Switzerland; Uppsala, Sweden; Mexico City, Mexico; and São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Carlos Lopes was a keynote speaker at the 5th International Forum for Sustainable Construction dedicated to “Infrastructure Space” held April 7-9, 2016 in Detroit, USA.