Hugo Contreras joined The Nature Conservancy in January of 2014 to lead its Latin America regional unit for water security.
Prior to his arrival, Hugo was a business development and institutional relations director for Bal-Ondeo, Mexico´s leading private water utility. Bal-Ondeo is a joint venture of the Bal Group and Suez Environment. In his more than 10 years with the company, he designed and implemented a new business model for private operators to provide services to local water utilities. He also developed the first comparative study of the performance of water companies in Mexico and was fundamental to position Bal-Ondeo as the leading private water operator in the Mexican market.
Before joining Bal-Ondeo, he led the environment and good government practice at Thesis Consultores, providing services to the states of Queretaro, Guanajuato and Puebla, as well as international institutions such as the World Bank and ECLAC. Hugo also served as Chief of Staff for the Underministry for Planning, and Director for Natural Resource Economics at the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries in Mexico. There he was responsible for designing the first auctionable subsidy system for forestry, developed the framework for the implementation of the Natural Disaster Relief Fund, and implemented the first sustainable government program for the Federal government.
Hugo earned his BA in Economics at ITAM in Mexico, his MSc in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from UCL in London. He also has diplomas in Management, Strategic Management of Public Institutions, and Environmental Economics from the IPADE, Berkeley University and the World Bank.