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Juan J. Luna-Kelser

Juan J. Luna-Kelser

Title: Tourism/Ecotourism Specialist

Department: Tourism and Hospitality Management


Juan Luna-Kelser made a career at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in planning, designing, and managing tourism investment and sector loan projects for the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Since his retirement from the IDB in January 2007, Juan continues to be engaged by bilateral and multilateral financial institutions, as well as NGOs and private clients for sustainable tourism projects.

As an Adjunct Professor and Sr. Research Scholar at George Washington University School of Business and International Institute of Tourism Studies, Juan has taught courses in tourism policy analysis, community-based tourism and provided training courses in destination management, product development, ecotourism, workforce development, and rural and community-based tourism. Juan is also an advisor, facilitator and co-instructor to the University School of Business International Consulting Practicum Study Abroad Summer Program, involving graduate students in a six-week real-life tourism consulting assignment. In addition, Juan is the coordinator for the on-site portion of the UNWTO Themis Foundation / GW Course on Tourism and International Cooperation for Development, a course that trains university graduates and professionals in subject areas related to international cooperation and development through tourism.

Juan holds a Masters degree in Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Destination Management from George Washington University, as well as a Masters degree in Political Science from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. He earned his Bachelors degree in Political Science at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. Juan is originally from Mexico City and is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.