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He was born in Chocó, Colombia. Holds a bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering, a master’s degree in Engineering Sciences, and is an expert in public policy.  

Between 2016 and 2018, he served as the first afrocolombian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia. During his tenure, he incremented the protected areas of Colombia, brought ethnic communities to the center of the environmental agenda, created the public policy framework for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and made possible the ratification of important environmental treaties, including the Paris Agreement.

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Luis Gilberto Murillo Urrutia

In 2014, he was appointed by President Juan Manuel Santos as director of the presidential initiative Todos Somos Pazcífico, where he led the design and approval of a $400 million loan from the World Bank and IDB for water, sanitation, and renewable energy initiatives for communities in the pacific coast of Colombia.


He was elected as Governor of Chocó in 1997 and 2011, promoting the fight against corruption, protection of the environment, and the protection of the rights of rural communities.   


He served as Director General of the Corporation for Sustainable Development of Chocó (Codechocó). Later, Bogota’s Mayor Antanas Mockus appointed him as Director of the Department of Environmental Protection of Bogotá (DAMA), and as Deputy Secretary of Planning.


In the year 2000, after being victim of a politically motivated abduction by a paramilitary group in Colombia, he flew to the United States where he was granted political asylum. In this country, he has advocated for increased attention to the critical situation of black and afrocolombian communities, human rights violations, lack of inclusion and of socioeconomic opportunities.


Ha has worked as Senior International Policy Analyst of the Lutheran World Relief, as well as a consultant for USAID, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Advisor. He was the first afrolatino to testify on a hearing before the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  


He was a professor in the Externado University, Santo Tomas University, and the Technological University of Chocó. He was also a Research Fellow at American University’s Center for Latin America and Latino Studies (CLALS), and Martin Luther King Scholar at MIT, as Adviser to the Environmental Solutions Initiate (ESI): the first Colombian national to do so.


He is married to Barno Khadjibaeva, and they have three sons.

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Luis Gilberto Murillo

Ambassador 2022-2024

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