Alvaro Umaña is a Senior Research Fellow at CATIE, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center. He served as Costa Rica's first Minister of Environment and Energy and was that country's ambassador at the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, where Costa Rica introduced its carbon neutrality pledge to become the first climate neutral country by 2021. His international career includes a wide range of experiences in academia, public service, government, and non-governmental organizations including UNESCO, UNDP, and the World Bank. Umaña has authored or contributed to numerous books and articles in the areas of energy, conservation and biodiversity. Umaña holds a doctorate in environmental engineering; a master's degree in economics from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Penn State.