Irene Alvarado Van der Laat / Costa Rica
Degree: Ph.D.
Course: Project Administration / Project Evaluation

Carlos Demerutis Peña Johan Perret


Irene Alvarado Van der Laat graduated from the Agronomy Faculty of the University of Costa Rica with a BFA in Agronomy Engineering with a focus in plant breeding. She received an MFA in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing from the Technological Institute Costa Rica and a doctorate (Ph.D.) from the Universidad Latina in Economical and Business Sciences. Before arriving at EARTH University, Ph.D. Alvarado worked for the private sector, and specialized in ornamental plants, which led to her attaining the title of General Manager at two separate agro-export companies at the same time. In 1992, she became part of the EARTH University team, where her first responsibility was to be the Dean’s assistant. A short two years later, she assumed the position of the university’s Academic Program Administrator, while working as the previously mentioned position, she single-handedly launched and ultimately became head director of the Marketing of EARTH University’s Products Program until the year 2002. In 2000, she was named as a full time Faculty member of the University’s Entrepreneurial Projects, a responsibility she carries out, directs and head-coordinates to this day. In 2001 she founded the Young Entrepreneurs Club, and shortly thereafter was selected to represent Costa Rica at the United States Department of State’s Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Program. In addition, she was also invited to participate at the EARTH-Salzburg-Noragric Program, which topic is “Education, Sustainability and Change Management in the Tropics”. During this program the current worldwide agronomy education will be analyzed and debated. In 2004 she was the recipient of the best investigation prize at the VII International Entrepreneur Congress, at El Salvador. Then, in 2010 she was awarded the Galpin Fellowship as a research partner from a foreign university at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. She was named as Board Advisor of the Sustainability Laboratory, based in New York and in 2011 she received the Highly Commended Award Winner of the Literati Network Awards for Excellence for her investigation on entrepreneurship, which is the highest award that is given. Today, Professor Alvarado focuses her time, (among all of her other current responsibilities) with research, concerning two perspectives. One is the development of sustainable value chains of agricultural products and the promotion of entrepreneurship habits and disciplines to create a more just society.

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