17 Jul 2018

MILE Alumni Profiles: Consuelo Orihuela and Teresa Mera

The MILE was an enriching experience that let me apply theory to real issues.

Consuelo Orihuela

Consuelo Orihuela and Teresa Mera, both from Peru, attended the MILE on consecutive years and graduated in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Both have gone on to serve in the Peruvian government. In this interview, they talk about their work and how the WTI helped them get to where they are now.

Tell us about your job with the Peruvian government.

Consuelo Orihuela: I work as a consultant at the Directorate-General of International Economic Affairs, Competition and Productivity of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. In this position I provide advice on international trade-related matters.

My job is focused on WTO law, trade remedies rules, technical regulations and standards, custom valuation, market access and internal regulations, and includes the review of draft laws and draft regulations. I also represent the Directorate-General on the national committee of the Codex Alimentarius and in the negotiation groups at fora like the WTO and RTAs for the multilateral and bilateral negotiations in which Peru is involved.

Teresa Mera: Currently I am Director, Bureau of Management and Monitoring of Peru’s Trade Offices abroad, at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism - MINCETUR. Peru has 35 commercial and promotion offices around the world which promote trade, tourism and investments through fairs, workshops, seminars and other activities.

What was your career path after completing the MILE?

C.O.: I went back to Peru and put into practice my acquired knowledge of international trade issues at the Ministry of Economy and Finance as a consultant in the General Bureau of Legal Affairs. Then I worked as a legal advisor with the Peruvian planning team for the Annual Meeting 2015 of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund that took place in Lima.

I’ve also had the opportunity to teach aspects of International Law in different universities in Lima.

T.M.: After the MILE I became engaged in two public institutions: the National Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) and MINCETUR. At Indecopi I was a designated member of the Intellectual Property Court from 2006 to 2013. From April 2014 to August 2016 I was Commissioner of the Distinctive Signs Office and from October 2016 to date I serve as a member of the Board of Directors, which is responsible for establishing institutional policies on intellectual property and competition. Being part time jobs, they allowed me to assume responsibilities in other institutions.

In October 2007 I started working at the Vice Ministry of Foreign Trade as Intellectual Property Advisor and Head of the Peruvian Team on Intellectual Property for international trade negotiations and fora related to trade (WTO, APEC). In 2014 I was promoted to Director of the Direction for North America and Europe, in which position I was charged with the implementation of the FTAs with countries from those regions and monitoring bilateral relations with them. From 2016 to 2017 I was Chief of Staff of the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism.

I also teach Intellectual Property, trade related issues such as International and Regional Integration, and Negotiations Strategies at different universities in Lima.

To what extent would you say the MILE has helped you to get where you are now?

C.O.: The MILE was an enriching experience that let me apply theory to real issues, acquire a deep understanding of economic and legal aspects of WTO topics, make proposals from an interdisciplinary point of view and improve my teamwork skills. The design of the programme challenged my intellectual curiosity and my motivation in learning. It contributed to my personal growth, professional development and skill research improvement.

The MILE has helped me to reach a position that gives me a highly specialised approach to international issues from a government perspective.

T.M.: Definitely the MILE has helped me a lot considering that my background was only in Intellectual Property. The new knowledge of trade issues gave me more opportunities to be involved in duties other than Intellectual Property, broaden my experience and develop my career.