CIP Board of Directors
  • Luís Murillo

    Luís Murillo former governor, Chocó, Colombia; Currently on leave of absence from CIP Board

Luis Gilberto Murillo has been a catalytic force in creating links between Afro-Colombian and African –American civil society, the public, and popular elected leaders.  Moreover, Murillo is a well-known political advocate for U.S. aid that promotes peace with justice, both in Colombia and around the world.  He calls for broad changes in U.S. foreign policy.

From 1998 to 1999, Luis G. Murillo served as elected governor of the predominantly Afro-Colombian department of Chocó; he was also executive director and deputy director of the Chocó and Bogotá environmental protection agencies, respectively.  In addition, he has been a consultant for the Environmental Research Institute for the Pacific Coast, the Colombian Ministry of Mining and Energy, and the United Nations Development Program, and has served as a peer reviewer for the World Bank.  Murillo has taught environmental policy and development at top universities in Colombia.

In 2000, Governor Murillo was kidnapped in Colombia.  Upon release, he fled the country with his family, receiving asylum in the United States, where he began work in Washington, D.C. as U.S.-Colombia Policy Coordinator and later senior international policy analyst for Lutheran World Relief (LWR).  Mr. Murillo works to make the voices of marginalized Colombians heard in the policy debate in Washington, D.C.  His work is part of LWR's efforts to build peace in Colombia through local projects backed by education and advocacy in the United States.

Mr. Murillo is one of the most active Afro-Colombian voices in the Washington, D.C. policy debate on Colombia.  Articles quoting or about Mr. Murillo have appeared in The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald, New Amsterdam, Chicago Tribune, and Source and Crisis magazines, among others.  Governor Murillo has been a member of the boards of directors and the advisory committees of various US-based NGOs, including the Colombian Human Rights Committee, the U.S. Office on Colombia, the Afro-Latino Development Alliance, the American Friends Service Committee and the Global Exchange Speakers Bureau, among others.

Mr. Murillo is married and has three children.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in mining and development.  He is a visiting scholar at the Michigan State University Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.