Director, Investment Centre Gustavo Merino joined FAO in April 2013, after working several years for the Mexican Government in the fields of agricultural finance, poverty alleviation and rural development. From August 2010 to December 2012, he was CEO of Financiera Rural, Mexico’s development bank for agriculture and rural areas, with assets of over USD 2 billion. Prior to that, he worked for eight years at the Ministry of Social Development where he held several positions, including Vice Minister for Social and Human Development, responsible for the implementation of most social and poverty alleviation programmes, Vice Minister for Prospective, Planning and Evaluation and Head of the Planning and International Affairs Unit. He has been a professor of economics and founding director of the Center for Public Policy Research at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City. He was a consultant for international organizations and private companies in the fields of social development, public finance, development and competition policy. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from ITAM and a master's degree and Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University.