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Benigno López Benítez

Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge

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Benigno López Benítez, a Paraguayan citizen, was appointed Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge as of November 16, 2020.

Prior to joining the IDB, he served as Minister of Finance of Paraguay since August 2018. In that role, he led a comprehensive tax-reform initiative aimed at improving the progressive capacity of the tax system, increasing government revenue to finance health and education reforms, and incentivizing labor formalization. He also coordinated efforts to restructure the pension system, reform public expenditure and the civil service, implement a results-based budgeting system, and promote e-government reform to improve public-sector functions and foster private-sector innovation.

As Minister, Mr. López led Paraguay’s emergency economic planning in response to the COVID-19 crisis. He also directed efforts to implement systemic education reform, improve human capital and promote research. Among his transparency and anti-corruption initiatives, he led work to ensure his country’s compliance with the updated standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

From 2014 to 2018, Mr. López served as Chairman of the Social Security Institute, Paraguay’s employer-based health insurance and pensions system. During his tenure, he worked with board members to restructure the institution’s debt, professionalize its administration and – in collaboration with IDB Invest – structure and diversify its investment portfolio.

In 2013, Mr. López was appointed Executive Legal Director and member of the board of Itaipú Binacional, which administers the world’s largest hydroelectric dam, on the Paraguay-Brazil border. His efforts centered on increasing operational efficiency, consolidating the company’s governance structure and developing a strategy to increase funding for corporate social responsibility.

From 2012 to 2013, Mr. López served as Senior Advisor to the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.

Previously, he worked for more than two decades at the Central Bank of Paraguay. As Board Director from 2007 to 2012, he provided strategic vision for initiatives on inflation targets and financial inclusion. Efforts to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing resulted in the country’s removal from the FATF blacklist. As head of the legal department, he helped produce the framework to ensure the Bank’s institutional strength and independence.

Mr. López holds a law degree from Paraguay’s Catholic University and a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University.