Aurelio began his career with The Nature Conservancy in 2003 as Director of the Northern Tropical Andes Conservation Program, where he led pioneering conservation strategies through incentive-based financing across the Andean landscapes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. He spearheaded the development of the water funds strategy for Latin America, which created a vehicle for water users to fund upstream conservation projects to improve water quality and quantity. The Water Fund model is spreading rapidly across Latin America and won the Rockefeller Foundation Century Innovation Award in 2013. Aurelio was honored by TNC’s Lesley Freshwater Award in 2011.
Prior to assuming his current position as the General Manager, Latin America Region, Aurelio was Director of Regional Conservation, guiding the design and implementation of four regional strategies: Lands, Water, Oceans and Smart Infrastructure.
Prior to working at the Conservancy, Aurelio worked with Andean Development Bank (CAF), the Biotrade Program of the United Nations Conference of Trade and Commerce, as well as the Humboldt Biological Research Institute. In 2001 Aurelio was named a top entrepreneur in Colombia by the financial magazine Revista Dinero for his work in creating a biotrade program in the Andean countries which combined business practices with the sustainable use of biodiversity. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Colombia’s Universidad de los Andes and a Master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Natural Resources from the University of Maryland and Universidad de los Andes. He is also a graduate from Armand Hammer United World College as well as attended environmental graduate studies in Oslo University, Norway.