Miguel Angel Santos

Director, Applied Research, Growth Lab

Center for International Development at Harvard University

I am an Adjunct Lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and work as a Director, Applied Research, Growth Lab, at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University. At CID, I am mostly involved in research projects aimed at helping governments to rethink their development strategies both at the national and sub-national levels. All of our engagements are tackled by multidisciplinary teams, staffed with Harvard scholars and CID Fellows specialized in the specific expertise required in each case. Since I joined CID in 2014, I have been involved in projects at the national level in Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Jordania, at the sub-national level Buenos aires, and in Mexico I have worked in Chiapas, and Hermosillo-Sonora.

Before joining the field of international development, I worked for ten years in corporate finance and business development in Latin America, performing as Director of Finance for the Cisneros Group of Companies (1997-2003), Head of Corporate Finance for Mercantil Servicios Financieros (2005-2007), and Business Vice-President for Sony Pictures and Entertainment Latin America (2008-2009).

At that point, I decided to switch tracks and get involved in development economics. I went back to school and enrolled in two Master of Science degrees in International Finance and Trade (2011) and Economics (2012) from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and went on to complete my Ph.D. in Economics at Universidad de Barcelona (2016). In the meantime, I had the opportunity to lead the Macroeconomic Policy Team for presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski in the Venezuelan elections of 2012, and complete the Master in Public Administration at Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2014).

Academic and Research Appointments

  • Spring - 2020

    Visiting Lecturer
    Harris School of Public Policy
    University of Chicago
  • 2019 - Present

    Director for Applied Research
    Growth Lab, Center for International
    Harvard University
  • 2014 - 2019

    Senior Research Fellow
    Center for International Development
    Harvard University
  • 1997 - Present

    Adjunct Professor
    Center of Finance
  • 2003 - 2007

    Aggregate Professor
    Department of Economics
    Universidad Católica Andrés Bello
  • 1996

    Visiting Scholar
    University of Texas at Austin


  • 2016

    Ph.D. in Economics
    Universidad de Barcelona
  • 2014

    Master in Public Administration (MPA)
    Harvard University
    Kennedy School of Government
  • 2012

    Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Economics and Finance
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • 2011

    Master of Science (M.Sc.) in International Trade and Finance
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • 2004

    Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
    The CFA Institute
  • 1997

    Master of Science in Economics (Latin America)
    Queen Mary College
    University of London
  • 1995

    Master in Business Administration (MBA)
  • 1993

    Bachelor in Business Administration
    Universidad Tecnológica del Centro

Professional Experience

  • 2012

    Head of the Macroeconomic Policy Team
    Presidential Candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski
  • 2008 - 2009

    Senior Vice-President for Business Development
    Sony Pictures & Entertainment Latin America
  • 2004 - 2007

    Head of Corporate Finance
    Mercantil Servicios Financieros
  • 1997 - 2003

    Director of Finance
    Telecom Division
    Cisneros Group of Companies