José María Figueres - President, Carbon War Room

After a successful business career and serving as Minister of State, José María Figueres was elected President of Costa Rica at the age of 39. As President, he created a comprehensive national development strategy based on the tenets of sustainability: sound economics, investment in human development, and a strong alliance with nature.

He pioneered the linkage between sustainable development and technology, work which he continued after leaving government by helping create and then leading the United Nations ICT Task Force as its first Chairperson.

“The challenges we face with climate change are not challenges to me at all, but incredible opportunities. In fact, I believe it to be the greatest wealth creating opportunity of our generation as we move to a post-carbon economy.”

He was the first person to become CEO of the World Economic Forum, where he strengthened global corporate ties to social and governmental sectors. Later he was named CEO of Concordia 21, dedicated to supporting organizations that promote development and democratic values around the world.

Figueres is currently President of the Carbon War Room.  He holds an Engineering Degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

About the Carbon War Room


The Carbon War Room harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to unlock gigaton-scale, market-driven solutions to climate change. Over 50% of the climate change challenge can be addressed today – and profitably – under existing policy and technology conditions. Carbon War Room seeks to facilitate a better flow of capital to entrepreneurial solutions that make economic sense right now. The Carbon War Room brings together entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy experts, researchers, and thought leaders to unlock market-driven solutions.