Epsy Campbell Barr is a member of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s Advisory Council and former vice president of Costa Rica, having served from 2018 to 2022. She is currently the president of the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent and the president of the Pan American Health Organization’s High-Level Commission on Mental Health and COVID-19. When serving as the Costa Rican vice president, she made history as the first Afro-descendant woman to hold such a prestigious position in the western hemisphere. As an Afro-Costa Rican leader, she has also been a two-time member of parliament and has served as minister of foreign affairs and worship. Her dedication to empowering Afro-descendant communities extends beyond her country’s borders, as she has helped found organizations such as the Network of Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women, the Center of Afro-Costa Rican Women, the Black Parliament of the Americas, and the Women’s Forum for Central American Integration.
As an advocate against systemic racism, Campbell Barr leads the charge as the principal propeller of the Global Coalition Against Systemic Racism and for Reparations. Her work has garnered international recognition, including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from Justicia for her efforts in advancing Afro-descendant rights. In 2019, Forbes magazine recognized her as one of the most powerful women in Latin America and the Caribbean. Campbell Barr is a sought-out speaker on social inclusion, human development, well-being, antiracism, women’s rights, and human rights. She has an honorary doctorate in humanities from Brenau University and two master’s degrees complemented by fluency in multiple languages.