Costa Rican Ambassador to the United States
Roman Macaya was sworn in as Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States of America on August 20, 2014 and presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on September 18, 2014.
Roman has developed a multidisciplinary career as a scientist, businessman, advocate, politician and academic. Roman has lived, studied and worked for many years in both Costa Rica and the United States. As a chemist and biochemist by training, Roman has led R&D teams in the fields of biotechnology and biomedical research. He served as Senior Scientist at PharmaGenics, a U.S. biotechnology company that was acquired by Genzyme. Roman was hired by PharmaGenics to set up and manage the Structural Chemistry Laboratory and was named Scientist of the Year by the company for his research contributions on a new pre-clinical drug candidate for cardiovascular disease. Roman has authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals in the life sciences and was lead inventor on a patent application filed by PharmaGenics.
Roman´s interest in developing real-world applications from scientific innovation, as well as his awareness of the implications of many innovations to health care, led him to seek an MBA in health care management. In the field of health care, he served as Director of Business Development for ICIC, a Contract Research Organization conducting clinical trials, Chief Investment Officer for a health care private equity fund at Mesoamerica Investments, and Managing Partner at Sanigest, a health care consulting firm. Roman has also served as General Manager of RIMAC, a family business in the chemical field based in Costa Rica.
Roman has dedicated much effort aimed at understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the Costa Rican health care system and has been a frequent media source on this topic for over fifteen years. He has also been critical of the economic and social consequences of ever-expanding provisions of intellectual property on health care, agriculture and development, and has participated in numerous debates on how to strike the right balance between incentives for innovation and the common good. Roman has given over 200 international presentations on issues ranging from intellectual property to regulations related to pharmaceutical and crop protection products. He has participated on numerous panels and meetings organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). He has been a seminar speaker at the University of Pennsylvania´s Wharton School and Law School, a frequent lecturer at the University of Costa Rica, and a Visiting Professor at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Roman´s activism has involved National politics. In 2009 he ran in the first primary election of the Citizen´s Action Party, running as an outsider against two well-known Party leaders. He did not win the nomination, but received 10% of the vote in a three-month campaign. Roman did not run in the primary for the 2014 presidential election.
Roman holds an MBA in Health Care Management from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania), a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UCLA and a B.A. in Chemistry from Middlebury College. He is married and has four children.