Laura Escalante is a foreign trade policy and trade facilitation expert with over thirteen years of international negotiation, border management and law optimization experience, within Central America and its commercial partners around the world.
Mrs. Escalante oversaw the establishment and implementation of international trade facilitation commitments through free trade agreements, multilateral treaties and bilateral instruments, as well as domestic regulations. During her public career, she participated and led negotiations with trade and customs authorities of the United States, the European Union, China, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Peru and Colombia. In this position, she also represented Costa Rica –her home country– before the World Trade Organization and participated in trade missions to Mexico, Panama, Belgium, Germany, Morocco, among other countries.
As Trade Facilitation Coordinator (2011-2016) for the Government of Costa Rica, Mrs. Escalante managed the design and deployment of national programs for border modernization. In this capacity, she gained experience in several areas, including interagency coordination, risk management, and the application of technology for procedural optimization and security.
As a public servant, Mrs. Escalante also took part in Central American efforts related to economic integration and competitiveness, like the development and renovation of single windows in the region. Most of these endeavors were supported by international organizations, cooperation and transnational assistance programs.
Earlier in her career, Mrs. Escalante worked as congressional liaison and chief of staff for the Deputy Minister and General Director at the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica. Previously, she spent three years as an adviser in the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly. Through these positions, she gained experience in research, public administration, socio-economic policy, legislative procedures, stakeholder management, and communication.
Mrs. Escalante has a graduate degree on International Relations from the National University of Costa Rica, and a master degree on International Law and Settlement of Disputes from the UN mandated University for Peace. She attended the Mastering Trade Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and various specialized courses imparted by the World Trade Organization. Recently, she obtained the PMP® certification, Project Management Professional.
Trade Facilitation Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica
Chief of Staff for the Deputy Minister and General Director, Ministry of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica
Adviser and Negotiator, Ministry of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica
Adviser, Legislative Assembly, Costa Rica