With deep regret the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) announce the passing of Dirk Jaspers-Faijer, former Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Demographic Center (CELADE) - Population Division of ECLAC, which took place on November 10th in Costa Rica.
Of Dutch nationality and with a title in Demography at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, Dirk Jaspers was one of the most recognized specialists in the area of demography, population and development studies throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2015 he retired after a fruitful and committed career of 34 years at ECLAC, an institution that it was favored by its tireless work in training population experts and in the strengthening of the sociodemographic capacities of the countries of the region and by his commitment to advance the regional population agenda.
"Dirk Jaspers has been an endearing collaborator and with his leadership has played a fundamental role in the development and capacity building for our countries. I would like to take this opportunity to pay my tribute of respect and gratitude to his fruitful and committed career of 34 years devoted to the promotion of the regional population agenda" said Alicia Bárcena, the Executive Secretary of ECLAC. "Dirk, with affection and admiration thank you very much," she added.
In 1981, Dirk joined the Latin American and Caribbean Demographic Center (CELADE) - Population Division of ECLAC as an associate expert at its headquarters in San José, Costa Rica. He was transferred in 1985 to the headquarters of ECLAC in Santiago, Chile, as Population Affairs Officer of CELADE to collaborate on demographic estimates and population projections. In 1987 he became the manager of the training program of CELADE (masters, postgraduate, intensive courses and specialization workshops) and in 1992 of the regional preparation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Subsequently, he worked on the follow-up of the ICPD as Technical Secretary of the Special Committee on Population and Development of ECLAC.
In 1997, he was commissioned to supervise activities related to sociodemographic information, training and the development of the REDATAM software. In December 2004, he was appointed Director of CELADE-Population Division of ECLAC, a post in which he served until his retirement in 2015.