He received a Ph.D. in Ecology and Population Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, and M.Sc. (1985) in Biophysics and B.Sc. (1983) in Biology degrees from Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru.
In his early career, he published widely on the ecology and energetics of long distance migration, with emphasis on migratory shorebirds. Some seminal papers include "Assimilation Efficiency of Sanderlings (Calidris alba) Feeding on Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus) Eggs" and "Ecology and Energetics of Sandlerlings Migrating to Four Latitudes."
He is the founder of Ecosystem Services LLC, a company that generates carbon offsets through avoiding deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest REDD). Previously, he was the Managing Director of Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM) for the Americas, where he was responsible for seminal investments that generated the first carbon credits from native plantations and forest conservation. He has been the Head of Biodiversity at the Global Environment Facility, the largest source of funds to address global environmental challenges, and a Lead Environmental Specialist at the World Bank. He was also Director and Vice-President of WWF’s Latin American and Caribbean Program in Washington, founder and CEO of Wetlands for the Americas, among other roles.
In 2013, he was one of the two high-level independent international experts engaged by the United Nations to assess the social end ecological impacts of the Barro Blanco Dam in Panama, which found serious consultation deficiencies in indigenous communities.
In December 2013 he was selected as a Member of the World Bank's Inspection Panel and in November 2014 became its eleventh Chairman.
He has been involved in the founding of leading international conservation organizations, including Wetlands for the Americas (today Wetlands International), and American Bird Conservancy, where he served as a Board member for 6 years.
Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Development Issues in South-Central Peru, as well as President of various companies and a Member of the Supervisory Council of Wetlands International.
Numerous publications in topics related to ecology, environment, mining, and development and is regular editorial contributor to El Comercio in Lima, Peru and Diario Altavoz.
in 2014, he was awarded the Prize "Peruanos al Bicentenario" (Bicentennial Prize) by Diario El Comercio in the Environmental Category for his Essay "Pais de Leyenda"
Napoleon's Last Interview. People's, Spaces, Deliberation. The World Bank. 2015.
Pais de Leyenda. 2015. Diario El Comercio.
Un Mendigo Sentado Sobre un Banco de Oro: Reflexiones sobre Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente en el Peru. 2005. 102 Pp., Lima, Peru.
La Agenda Ambiental para el 2013. El Comercio. Enero 9, 2013.
Seeking Opportunities from New Patterns in Global Trade. Pages 10–14 in: Sustainability Report 2010. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Washington, DC.
Conservation Financing in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Long Road to Sustainability. 2002. WWF, Washington, DC.
Mapping Conservation Investments: An Assessment of Biodiversity Funding in Latin America and the Caribbean. 2001. Biodiversity Support Program, Washington, DC. 80 Pp.
The Global Water Crisis and Freshwater Ecosystem Conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Predicted Trends and Proposed Policy Responses. 1997. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC, 80 Pp.