It is with great sadness that the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) must inform its members of the passing of Dr. Luis Enrique Garita Bonilla, the third President of our organization (1993-1997). He passed away on February 14th, 2016 in San José, Costa Rica, at the age of 72 years old.
Dr. Garita Bonilla chaired the IOHE during his presidency of the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR); he succeeded Dr. Lauro Zimmer. Previously, he had held the position of Vice-President of the IOHE Central American Region, from 1991 to 1993.
Dr. Garita Bonilla established the following strategic objectives during his presidency: to promote scientific and technological cooperation, to improve university management, to produce and disseminate information in order to develop communication networks between IOHE members and partners, and to support professorial and student exchanges as a part of our organization’s activities.
“The IOHE is about to experience a period of consolidation and reinvigoration based on positive experiences throughout its existence. We are convinced of the importance of IOHE’s role on this continent”, stated Dr. Garita Bonilla in his opening speech while still in office during the VIII Biennial IOHE Conference, hosted in San José in 1993.
Under the leadership of Dr. Garita Bonilla, negotiations began for the creation of the College of the Americas (COLAM). Additionally, the Institute of University Management and Leadership (IGLU) underwent key changes, such as:
- The inclusion of the notion of gender in courses;
- The holding of the first Inter-American Symposium of IGLU Graduates, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
- The establishment of IGLU Committees;
- The opening of the Caribbean IGLU Center.
Outside of his work with the IOHE, Dr. Garita Bonilla was the head of the Corporación Costarricense de Desarrollo (CODESA). He also was a member of the World Future Studies Federation (WFSF) and a regional consultant for the United Nations.
Born in San José in 1944, he went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Law from the Universidad de Costa Rica, completing his graduate studies in Political Science at the University of Strasbourg, in France, and then finally a PhD in Public Administration at Sorbonne, in Paris.
The Executive Secretariat General would like to take this time to offer their deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.