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Manuel Bustamante

Pearson Fellow Alum


Manuel Bustamante, MPP'20, is manager, Right Fit Evidence Unit at Innovations for Poverty Action's Right-Fit Evidence Unit in Bogotá. Previously he was an associate at 60 Decibels, a tech-enabled social impact measurement and customer intelligence company, and a graduate intern with the Giving Green team at IDinsight.

While at Harris Public Policy, Bustamante served on the executive board of the International Development Policy Association, a student organization for Harris students interested in international development. He was an editor and staff writer for the Chicago Policy Review and also led a team in Chicago Booth’s Social New Venture Challenge with an initiative to promote effective political participation in Colombia. During summer 2019, Bustamante worked as an Open Society Fellow for Rights and Governance at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, South Africa. There, he was part of the Peace Operations and Peacebuilding Programme, a project that provided targeted policy research on the implementation of the African Union’s Mediation Support Unit, a technical institution dealing with conflict mediation on the continent. He also worked as a research intern with Upland Advisors, a peacebuilding advisory nonprofit organization.

Prior to his time at the University of Chicago, Bustamante worked at a Colombian law firm where he advised major public and private entities as well as NGOs, focusing on taxation and public law. As a lawyer, Bustamante participated in the drafting of a report suggesting a comprehensive reform to the Colombian tax system, and he made policy recommendations on tax incentives to investments in conflict areas. He also wrote multiple reports on the introduction of OECD-proposed alternatives to tackle tax evasion and profit shifting. Bustamante also worked as a volunteer for the campaign of candidate Sergio Fajardo in the 2018 Colombian presidential election.

Bustamante holds an undergraduate degree in law from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.

Baidoa, Somalia

Makeshift, temporary shelter made of plastic and clothing at a refugee center in Baidoa, Somalia.