Roberto Echandi is the Investment Policy Global Lead of the Investment Climate Unit of the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank Group. Prior joining the World Bank Group, he was Director of the Program on International Investment at the World Trade Institute (WTI) of the University of Bern. Echandi is also a member of the Faculty of the Masters in International Law and Economics (MILE) at the WTI, and of the Masters in International Economic Law (IELPO) at the University of Barcelona, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Economic Law (JIEL), and the Journal of World Investment and Trade (JWIT).
Roberto Echandi undertook his doctoral and LL.M. studies in International Trade Law at the University of Michigan School of Law at Ann Arbor, Michigan; his M.Phil. in Latin American studies with emphasis in economic integration at the University of Oxford; Licenciado en Derecho, at the University of Costa Rica and specialized negotiation courses at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.
Appointed Ambassador of Costa Rica to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union (2007-2010). During the same period he also was the Chief Negotiator of Costa Rica to the negotiations of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America, where he lead the negotiation process on behalf of Costa Rica and in many occassions for the whole Central American region.
From October 2002 until January 2005, he served as Special Adjunct Ambassador for U.S. Trade Affairs and Costa Rica’s lead negotiator in services and investment in the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). For more than a decade, he was the head Costa Rican delegations to multiple trade and investment bilateral and regional negotiations. As part of his position of negotiator, he was also heavily involved in the process of policy making and domestic reforms to ensure proper implementation of international trade and investment agreements in Costa Rica. For instance, as part of the negotiation of the US-CAFTA, he was involved in the process of opening of the then existing State monopolies in telecomunications and insurance, the reform of regulations affecting the retail sector, as well as the process of consultation with civil society that culminated in a national referendum to clear these reforms.
He has also been Adjunct Professor of Law, Visiting Scholar and Fellow at the Institute for International Economic Law (IIEL) of the Georgetown University Law Center, in Washington D.C. He has also served as Director-General for International Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica and as legal advisor to the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
He has published on the legal and political economy dimensions of investment issues, dispute settlement, trade in services and regional economic integration in the Americas. He has served as a consultant to the OECD, the World Bank, UNCTAD, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank and the WTO.