Founder & Director - Nivela

Born in Costa Rica, Monica has worked on sustainability issues for over 20 years with a focus on Latin America. She is the Founder & Director of Nivela (nivela.org), a thought-leadership group. She co-founded and leads Costa Rica Limpia, a citizen-strategy group devoted to renewables and clean mobility(costaricalimpia.org).  She is Senior Policy Adviser at E3G – in London and Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

She was a negotiator for Costa Rica in the international climate negotiations. She has been an independent consultant to many organizations including the OECD, WRI, ODI, NREL, ECF, Climate Works, CDKN, INCAE Business School, Estado de la Nación-Costa Rica and the UN. Previously, she directed the “Sustainable Americas” project at the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and worked at Ministry of Foreign Trade in Costa Rica and Climate Change Capital in London. Monica has written over 65 publications, and frequently comments in local and international media including TIME magazine, the Financial Times, National Geographic and The Guardian. She studied in economics (Bachelors and Masters in Economic Policy, National University) and environmental management (Masters and Doctorate Degree, Yale University).

She co-chaired the Platform for Low-Emissions Development Strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean which she helped launch. She was a Steering Committee member of UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2012-2016. She was a WEF Global Agenda Council member in 2015-2016. She is a member of the Advisory Board of “State of the Union” – the most authoritative annual review of the state of Costa Rica and of the magazine of environmental sciences in Costa Rica (Revista de Ciencias Ambientales).

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs named her “Personality of the Future” in 2014.  In 2016 she gave a TED talk about Costa Rica. In December 2016, she was a member of the world’s largest all-female expedition to Antarctica – a leadership initiative by Homeward Bound.