IDS alum elected President of Costa Rica

4 April 2018

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, a former MA student at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, has won the presidential election held in Costa Rica on Sunday 1 April.  

Head shot photo of Carlos Alvarado

Photo: Carlos Alvarado, Wikimedia / (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Elected on a campaign of progressive policies, including support for same-sex marriage, Carlos Alvarado had served as Minister of Labor and Social Security for the Citizens’ Action Party (PAC) since 2014, for the incumbent President Luis Guillermo Solís, before launching his presidential campaign. Aged 38 years old, he defeated his opponent by a 20 point margin.    

He studied at the Institute of Development Studies during 2008/2009, obtaining a Master’s degree in Development Studies. He also has a Master's degree in political science from the University of Costa Rica.

In response to his victory, as reported in the New York Times, Carlos Alvarado, said: “Costa Rica once again delivered a beautiful democratic message.” “Well done, Costa Rica.” He added: “What unites us is much greater than what divides us!”

IDS Director, Professor Melissa Leach, said: “On behalf of IDS I would like to congratulate Carlos Alvarado Quesada on his election victory and wish him success for the future as President of Costa Rica.

“We are incredibly proud at IDS to have a wide and diverse network of alumni that reaches around the world, including leaders of civil society and academia, within the private sector and at the highest levels of national governments.”