Javier Pérez-Burgos: Land as the Enabling Asset on a Value Chain for Rural Development in Colombia's Rural Reform

man with dark hair wearing a dark suit, white shirt and cornflower blue tie standing next to the Colombian flag and in front of a painting of cattle

Russell Van Nest Black Lecture

Javier Pérez-Burgos (Ph.D. CRP '13) is the vice-minister for rural development in the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. He previously worked at the National Planning Department as technical director for decentralization and regional development.

Pérez-Burgos has a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Cornell University. He is an economist and historian from Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) and has a master's in economics from the same university.

Pérez-Burgos has worked as a consultant for both the private and public sectors, including the Development Bank of Latin America, the National Federation of Coffee Growers, the Industry and Commerce Superintendency, the American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture. He has also been a lecturer at Universidad de los Andes on urbanization and sustainable development.


Land is the enabling element for regional development in a value chain that conceives of land as the asset where all investments and activities can take place. The value chain is then created by the effective addition of public goods and productive activities that can target territorial development that benefits the local population. Even though all elements on the values chain are fundamental, land becomes the milestone for regional development – it enables productive activities, consequently enables the possibility to provide adequate land for its usage, and finally enables the possibility to localize people for effective focalization. Currently, Colombia is developing a rural policy that seeks regional development to close the gap between urban and rural populations.