Washington, DC. Jorge H. Amigo Castaneda, founder and long-time head of Mexico’s influential patent office, has joined the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) as Vice Chairman. The announcement was made today by Hon. Bruce Lehman, IIPI’s Chairman and President, after Mr. Amigo was unanimously elected to IIPI’s board of directors.

Mr. Amigo recently retired as Director General of the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property (IMPI), the agency that he founded in 1994 and then managed for 17 years as an appointee and confidant of four successive Mexican presidents.

“IIPI is excited and gratified to welcome Jorge Amigo to the expanded role of Vice Chairman of our institute,” Mr. Lehman said. “Jorge has an exceptional record of accomplishment on the international stage during his many years at IMPI. We very much look forward to his wise counsel and participation in IIPI’s projects.”

“The addition of Jorge Amigo to our IIPI family presents a tremendous opportunity for IIPI to expand our development and technical assistance programs in Latin America and elsewhere,” Mr. Lehman added.

Mr. Amigo said, “I am very proud to join my friend Bruce Lehman and the IIPI team in their important work to demonstrate how the use and protection of intellectual property can create jobs and grow the world economy. IIPI is the premier IP think tank in the world, and I am pleased to be a part of it.”

Mr. Amigo’s professional experience includes management positions in banking and private industry as well as multiple government postings within Mexico’s Commerce Department.

In 1994, he was appointed by then-President Ernesto Zedillo to create and grow the new Mexican patent and trademark authority, Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI), as its Director General. During the next two decades, Mr. Amigo was at the center of economic and diplomatic activity on behalf of the Mexican government and in support of creators and users of intellectual property around the world.

Mr. Amigo headed the Mexican delegation for the investment chapter of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. He served as lead intellectual property spokesman and negotiator for many international bodies, including Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA,) Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC,) and Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD.)

Mr. Amigo was Mexico’s lead delegate for intellectual property during negotiations of numerous free trade agreements (FTAs) with other nations. He was also appointed as Mexico’s chief coordinator for the Anticounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that was concluded in 2010.

Mr. Amigo is the recipient of many awards and recognitions during his long career, including the Anti-piracy Government Leadership Award from the Motion Picture Association of America; a Gold Medal from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for promoting intellectual property and competitiveness around the world; the Venice Intellectual Property Award from the government of the City of Venice; a special recognition by President Vicente Fox for Mr. Amigo’s contributions to Mexico, and countless others. (Full bio follows below.)