Professor José Antonio Ocampo is recognized by his home country’s most distinguished institution for scholarly achievement and service on the world stage.

Professor José Antonio Ocampo received an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (National University of Colombia) on November 29 in recognition of his outstanding record of scholarly achievement and public service on the world stage.

The university is the most distinguished in Colombia, and the doctor honoris causa the most significant academic recognition it bestows.

Ocampo, a native of Colombia, is a professor of professional practice in international and public affairs at SIPA and director of the Economic and Political Development concentration. At Columbia University he is also a member of the Committee on Global Thought and co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue.

In its formal citation, the Consejo Superior Universitario (university trustees) at the Universidad Nacional cited Ocampo’s status as the only Colombian to attain a number of senior positions at the United Nations, including executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and under secretary-general for economic and social affairs.

The trustees also noted his status as a prolific writer who has lectured at universities of great prestige – including Oxford, Cambridge, and of course Columbia.

They lastly praised Ocampo as one of Colombia’s foremost economists and a scholar of international standing.

“I’ve received several honors in my political life,” Ocampo told SIPA News, “but to be recognized with this, widely considered the foremost academic distinction, from the most important academic institution in my home country… it’s very meaningful to me.”

Ocampo traveled to Bogotá to receive the doctor honoris causa, and as part of the ceremony discussed his work defending basic principles of economic and social development. He told the gathered audience that it gave him enormous pride and satisfaction to receive the award.

“It’s gratifying to see the National University of Colombia recognize José Antonio Ocampo for his impressive scholarship, leadership, and service,” said Dean Merit E. Janow of SIPA. “As a longtime faculty member and a concentration director he is an integral part of our community, and I know the entire SIPA community shares his pride in this honor.”

In addition to his positions at Columbia, Ocampo currently serves in a personal capacity as chair of the Committee for Development Policy for ECOSOC, the UN’s Economic and Social Council. In 2012-13 he chaired a panel created by the IMF Board to review the activities of the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office.

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