CAHI Fellows Program
PROJECTS THAT CONTRIBUTE VALUE TO THE REGION
Interview Prof. Roy Zuñiga
Roy Zuñiga has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in Operations and Systems Strategies from the University of Valladolid, Spain. He also completed doctoral studies in Business Administration at the Institute of Science and Technology of the University of Manchester.
Additionally, he has a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Environmental Management from Oregon University. He graduated with honors from INCAE, where he completed a Masters in Business Administration. He has worked for multiple companies in more than 40 countries, such as BASF, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, Coca Cola FEMSA, Pfizer, among many others.
Professor Zuñiga teaches project management using a combination of workshop and case study. After he finished spending the day teaching these sessions to the 6th generation of CAHI Fellows, we had the chance to interview him about his experience with CAHI. His interview follows below. It has been translated from Spanish and lightly edited for clarity.
Interviewer: How did you get involved with the CAHI Fellows Program?
Roy: It’s been interesting. I was a business student, but I was involved in projects in the United States, England and Spain, which allowed me to learn about the health systems of those countries. I was attracted by the great variability, the complexity of these systems, the synchronization problems. I realized that I could work in this area. So, when I returned to INCAE they gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in a hospital to identify everything that could be done to improve the hospital processes. I have developed a career path related to health systems thanks to these experiences. I have worked for the Costa Rican Social Security Administration and, then, in Paraguay I did something similar. Year after year, I have created and implemented successful projects in health systems in the region. This is a field that we feel very comfortable with at INCAE, due to our cumulative experience. We can see the contributions we achieve, as people who pass through our classrooms become agents of change in their countries.
Interviewer: You have been involved with the CAHI Fellows Program for several years. How have you seen the evolution of the groups?
Roy: Year after year I think “This is the best group,” but the next year I have the same perception again. The truth is not that one group is better than another, but that they are all intense and committed. My perspective, over these past 5 years, what changes each group are the challenges the group faces. What CAHI does, by extending its reach in the region, has been shaping this network of CAHI Fellows and their projects. Each group has more sophistication, which generates pressure on the future generations because there are already wonderful initiatives. The following generations must continue to exceed the level of the previous groups.
Interviewer: What do the CAHI Fellows learn in your sessions?
Roy: My methodology is focused on projects. In projects, not only I am interested in the objective, but also the resources, the time, the processes, the activities. My task is to give them what they need to plan their project from a practical perspective and to be able to apply the concepts to their particular reality. I am very interested in how they are going to manage their projects. We prepare them for it and we follow up with them.
Interviewer: How do you connect with the CAHI Fellows Network?
Roy: The commitment is greater every time. You can feel that closeness, you want the projects to be successful, that at the end of this training cycle they have a valuable project, one that demonstrates to society in the region everything they have done thanks to the support CAHI provides them. Through INCAE, we make sure that the academic part is a great experience.
Interviewer: What is your vision about CAHI in the future?
Roy: CAHI is making a huge change in the region, which has shown in these 6 years of presence and commitment in the region. You realize that because when you go to a country and meet people in the health sector, they tell you that they know CAHI Fellows, or they ask you how to participate, how to implement their projects. This is how you realize that it is a catalyst for change in the region.