Javier Mateo-Vega serves as Global Director of Partnerships & Communications at the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and holds a joint appointment as Senior Director of Partnerships at CGIAR. In these capacities, he leads globally distributed teams of experts on resource mobilization, communications, partnerships, capacity development, intelligence management, and external engagement for research-for-development.
Prior, Javier served as Director of the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI) of the Yale School of Environment, holding a joint appointment at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI; Panama). He also held positions at The Nature Conservancy (Country Manager) and the Organization for Tropical Studies (Coordinator, Environmental Science and Policy), both in Costa Rica.
Javier received his PhD (Biology) from McGill University. His research focused on understanding how Indigenous peoples can participate fully and effectively at the local level in policy processes of global concern, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and devolved forest management, which aim to arrest forest loss and contribute to international climate and biodiversity targets. He worked primarily in eastern Panama, including the Bayano region and Darien Gap, areas known for their magnificent forests and rich cultural diversity.
He remains engaged in ongoing research in the region as part of the Scientific Committee of the Bacuru Droa Initiative (Old-Growth Forest in Emberá language) at STRI and McGill University.
Javier has 25 years of experience providing technical and managerial leadership in natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, capacity development, and ecological research, primarily in developing countries. He is also member of the Board of Directors of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders Program (EWCL) and the Organization for Tropical Studies.
A native of Costa Rica, Javier has lived in 11 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe, and is an avid surfer, runner and art collector.