René is a Forest Economist and Senior Manager of Restoration Policy for the Global Restoration Initiative of WRI's Food, Forest, Water and the Oceans Program. He works directly with Initiative 20x20 and AFR100 under the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration to accelerate restoration policy action and public incentives on implementation. He is the main author of the current World Resources Reports, Healing the Wounded Land: The Role of Public Economic Incentives in Scaling Up Restoration Efforts in Six Latin American Countries, and Sustainability Index for Landscape Restoration. He is also coauthor of Guide Book The Road to Restoration, the webapp AURORA and the report Roots for Prosperity: the Economics and Finance of Restoring Land.

René’s previous work included developing economic optimization models and investment analysis for private companies in strategic, tactical, and operational forest planning. This included the design and implementation of different landscape management plans with multiple ecological and economic goals in Guatemala, Mozambique, Chile, and the US. He also worked as a lead researcher for the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance to assess the economics and sustainability of aviation biofuel production from forest harvest residues in the Pacific Northwest region, USA. He has served as researcher and professor for Universidad Rafael Landivar, Guatemala (Department of Forest Management), Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (Department of Forest Engineering). He is currently a courtesy Assistant Professor at Oregon State University (Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management).

René holds a B.S. degree in Forest Engineering from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, a Master of Science degree in Forest Resources with an emphasis in Forest Economics and Wood Products from Universidad Austral de Chile and Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Forest Engineering from Oregon State University, USA with an emphasis in Operations Research and Economics. In 2019 the board of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) awarded René with the Global Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in recognition of his outstanding individual scientific achievements and to encourage further work within the fields of forest research. He is a member of IUFRO Forest Education Task Force and Coordinator of the Unit Sustainable Forest Operations for Landscape Restoration.