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IDS alumnus elected President of Costa Rica
A former MA student at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, has been elected President of Costa Rica in Central America.
Carlos Alvarado Quesada, who was a Chevening Scholar at IDS from 2008-09, won Costa Rica’s presidential election on Sunday (1 April). Chevening is the UK government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders.
Elected on a campaign of progressive policies, including support for same-sex marriage, Carlos Alvarado defeated his opponent by a 20-point margin.
Aged 38, he 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.
He obtained a Master’s degree in Development Studies from IDS and 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 Quesada 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!”
University of Sussex Deputy Vice-Chancellor Saul Becker said: “Many congratulations to Carlos Alvarado Quesada, who joins a growing list of world leaders to have studied at Sussex, including former Presidents of Botswana and South Africa.
“As an IDS graduate and former Chevening scholar, he is part of a diverse community of leaders, influencers and decision-makers from all over the world.”
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.”