University Leadership

     Dr. Francisco Rojas Aravena, Rector, University for Peace

Francisco Rojas-Aravena, former Secretary-General of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), was elected as the 8th Rector of the University for Peace (UPEACE) for the period of 2013-2018. The decision was made on 27 June 2013, during the twenty-third meeting of the UPEACE Council. Since then, Dr. Rojas-Aravena has been working on strengthening the University’s relationship with the United Nations system and its agencies in Costa Rica, as well as fostering a close relationship between teaching and research, generating innovative ideas on “new threats to peace”, and reinforcing existing connections with institutions in The Hague and Geneva. Dr. Rojas-Aravena has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) and a M.S. in Political Science from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) and he specializes in international relations, human security, integration, Latin American political systems, negotiations – theory and practice – and international security and defence. He served as the Secretary-General of FLACSO (2004-2012) and Director of FLACSO Chile (1996-2004). Dr. Rojas-Aravena was also Professor at the School of International Relations of the National University (UNA) of Costa Rica (1980-1990) and a Fulbright Professor at the Latin American and Caribbean Centre (LACC) at Florida International University (Miami, FL). He is currently a board member of the Spanish edition of Foreign Affairs Magazine (Mexico), an Advisory Member of Pensamiento Iberoamericano magazine (Spain), and is a member of the Editorial Committee of Ciencia Política magazine (National University of Colombia). Dr. Rojas-Aravena has also conducted advisory and consulting work for various international agencies and governments in the region.   

The Rector of the University for Peace is the Chief Academic and Administrative Officer of the Institution.  He oversees the day-to-day operations, and has the over-all responsibility for the organization, direction and administration of the University. He is accompanied in the strategic and programmatic responsibilities of the University by:


Dr. Juan Carlos Sainz-Borgo, Dean for International Cooperation

Juan Carlos Sainz-Borgo has a Law Degree, a Master’s degree in International Law from Oxford University (UK), and a Doctorate degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Dr. Sainz-Borgo has been an Associate Professor of International Law at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas since 1998 and a Professor of Humanitarian International Law at the Universidad Sergio Arboleda in Bogota since 2009. He was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Washington College of Law at American University in 2008-2009. He also served as Jurist to the Regional Delegation of Venezuela and the Caribbean of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Dr. Sainz-Borgo has published four books on international law and international relations and numerous articles in different publications in the legal field.


Dr. Sara Sharratt, Dean for Academic Affairs

Sara Sharratt received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University (United States). She is Professor Emerita of Psychology Sonoma State University, California (United States). Additionally, she specializes in Gender Studies especially on the Prosecution of Sexual Violence in International Courts. She was part of the official Costa Rican delegation to Rome where the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court was adopted. Dr. Sharratt taught the first graduate courses in Gender Studies in Costa Rica and was also the main consultant in the development of a Master’s Program in Gender Studies. She has directed programs on gender and violence and sustainable development for the Government of Costa Rica and has written numerous articles. Her two books deal with women in the former Yugoslavia: “Assault on the Soul: Women in the Former Yugoslavia; and” “Gender, Shame and Sexual Violence: The Prosecution of Sexual Violence in International Courts.” She is currently focusing on women and access to transitional justice. Dr. Sharratt has been a visiting scholar at the University for Peace for the last 10 years.


Elvia Farfán, Director for Academic Administration

Ariela Fernandez, Director, Office of the Rector & Secretary of the Council

Ronald Nuñez, Director for Finance and Administration