Juan José Echavarría graduated as an engineer from the Escuela de Minas de Medellín. He studied business and economics at Harvard University, and he holds a master's degree in economics from Boston University and a PhD in economics from Oxford University. He has served in various positions in the public and private sectors, among others as director of the United Nations Mission to restructure the coffee sector in Colombia; member of the board of directors of Banco de la República; executive director at FEDESARROLLO; minister plenipotentiary at the Colombian Mission to the OAS; deputy minister of foreign trade; and economic research director at the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC). In the academic field, Echavarría has served as associate professor at Universidad del Rosario, and as dean of the Faculty of Economic Sciences at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. In January 2017, Echavarría took office as governor of the Central Bank of Colombia.