Rafael Escalona Reynoso serves as the CEO of Portulans Institute. In this pivotal role, he takes charge of numerous high-profile projects, such as the production of the Network Readiness Index (NRI) and of various regional projects focused on technology, innovation, and human capital development. Additionally, he collaborates closely with the Global Innovation Index (GII) Research Team at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). His work and collaboration establishes him as a key liaison with the Advisory Boards, Knowledge, Corporate, and Academic Partners linked to these indices and the Institute. Beyond this, he pioneers initiatives centered on innovation and technology readiness, forging essential partnerships with governments across the globe.
As a representative figure for Portulans Institute, Rafael often stands as its spokesperson, articulating the institute’s objectives and projects to prominent international organizations and governments. His consultancy roles have seen him engage with organizations like WIPO, Amazon, PwC, Niti Aayog (Government of India), the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI), the General Congress of the United Mexican States, the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), and the Republic of Uzbekistan’s Ministry for Development of ICT (MICT).
Before joining Portulans, Rafael served as the Lead Researcher for the GII from 2013 to 2020. With his proficiency in data analysis, policy development, and public relations, he has proven adeptness in steering long-term strategies, exemplifying profound thought leadership in project management.
Earlier in his career, Rafael was a member of the Trade and Foreign Investment Advisory Board under the President of Mexico and served as a Science and Technology Policy Advisor to the Senate of Mexico. In these capacities, he delved deep into the economic implications of international regulations related to fostering innovation and the cultivation of emerging technologies. His comprehensive analyses have significantly influenced the creation and implementation of pivotal science and technology policies in Mexico.
At Cornell University, Rafael’s research encompassed comparative analyses between Mexico and Spain’s National Systems of Innovation. He also investigated the regulatory frameworks of various modern technologies and studied the evolving realm of intellectual property rights in our contemporary technological era.
Rafael possesses a PhD in Regional Planning from Cornell University with a focus on Science and Technology Studies and Risk Analysis. He also has a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Science, Technology, and Infrastructure Policy. His academic journey commenced with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City.