UPEACE Centre for Executive Education

UPEACE Centre for Executive Education


The UPEACE Centre for Executive Education is located within the University for Peace- established by the UN General Assembly. With headquarters in Costa Rica, UPEACE was established in December, 1980 as a Treaty Organization.

The UPEACE Centre for Executive Education offers a platform for students to engage with the University for Peace without doing a 1-year, onsite master’s program. The Centre works with leaders from around the globe to offer transformational educational experiences that are dynamic and engaging, while inspiring our participants to have a positive impact in our increasingly interconnected world.



Yes, I recommend this program


My name is Esmeralda and I have a Global Leadership Diploma from Centre for Executive Education within the University for Peace, Costa Rica.

This diploma offers a myriad of different courses that fit perfectly to people all around the world with differente backgrounds and jobs. You choose 5 courses do you want to be part in from a catalogue of more than 10 courses. It mixes on-site courses with fully online courses (I fully recommend to come to Costa Rica if you have the possibility). They are also a perfect fit for people that studies and work at the same time. The webinars are interactive and you get to know your classmates even from a virtual classroom.

The diploma helped me deepen my understanding of leadership and gave me new insights. I learned from a vast of topics, from fundraising and M&E to Happiness and life design. I would recommend the diploma to anyone.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You can do the diploma online however, I recommend a hybrid track. I extremely recommend to take the Positive Leadership course or the Gross Global Happiness Summit. The campus is beautiful, the connections with other participants are forever and you can later travel around Costa Rica :)
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

This should be a require course for every human on the planet. 1) Its in Costa Rica on the beautiful campus of UPEACE... everyone needs to know about UPEACE! 2) The staff are super helpful, supportive, engaging, knowledgeable, and positive! 3) The course is dynamic, experiential, interactive, and full of useful tools that you can bring back home and implement into your work or personal life and 4) You get to interface with peers from around the world... my classmates were from the Dominican Republic, Holland, Argentina, Costa Rica, the USA and Australia! I highly recommend this course!
Useful tip: if you are coming to Costa Rica from out of the country, schedule some more time outside of the course. Chat with peers in your course from Costa Rica and ask them what you should do.... or see if they would be willing to take you places. Connect to the local culture, go on an adventure, learn about ngo's doing positive work for youth the environment. Practice your Spanish at a language school and begin implementing the tools you learned right away!

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the material was so rich and useful that having a 4th day to dig deeper would have been nice.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

This program is highly engaging, stimulating, interactive, and encouraging. Participants represent many aspects of education from many countries, many disciplines, at many levels. The diverse body of participants makes the experience extraordinary, as we learn about the challenges and opportunities in our educational environments from preschool, primary school through college/university, and adult learning, training & development. All the while, the facilitators invite participants to recognize the universality of our challenges and opportunities.

The curriculum includes myriad workshops and unique methods for infusing innovation into our mindset as instructors, and also provides ample suggestions and examples for how to integrate the same concepts into our classrooms. Sharing the experience with like-minded educators was invigorating, and the staff and leadership are top notch, thought-provoking educators who challenge the participants to consider all that is possible for ourselves, our students, and our educational systems.

What would you improve about this program?
The participants were so impressive and so enjoyable to be with and learn from. The accommodations offered were comfortable, relaxing, and hospitable, but most participants stay in various locations around the town and surrounding area. This means the evening time is a missed opportunity for participants to congregate and casually connect. A recommendation is to identify a way to stay in residence together for the duration of the program.
Yes, I recommend this program

This type of learning experiences have the ability to change your mind completely. It restored my self-confidence as teacher and also helped me understand that despite the challenges we face today, there are always solutions in the way. The most beautiful thing is sharing with people from other countries and making new friends, it opens ourselves to the world and allows us to think beyond our culture.

What would you improve about this program?
It could include some kind of housing, maybe inside the campus. That might nourish the relationships between students so that those little "learning communities" could develop more than just knowledge.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I work on the hospitality industry. Aside, I'm flirting with a Social Business. Originally I reached out to the Centre, looking for new tools and tips that could helped me with a Project that I’ve been chewing on for some time. Through this workshop, not only I got what I was looking for, but I also got pointed out in the right direction and the whole experience opened my eyes-to possibilities that I even considered before.

Beyond its instructive and entertaining design, the way Mohit, Julia, Miguel and Hannah put this workshop together makes it substantially meaningful and relevant to adults of all-age groups who believe that leveraging connections and seeking new perspectives, help the purpose each of us serves.

Wether new or already familiar to concepts related to innovation; empathetic leadership; personal strengths; design thinking ; well being and to different problem-solving approaches, this experience may become one of the greatest ‘multi-tools’ you can get out there.

The Centre for Executive Education facilities are located within the beautiful campus of the UPeace, surrounded by forest and local private farms and a few minutes away from to the small and yet active town of Ciudad Colon. Perfect location for a morning jog or a walk in the evening with time to socialise or just reflect and recharge after class.

From boosting your skill set to create new ways to lead your pack or to improve your personal life towards whatever resonates to you, in any given context, this workshop is for you.


Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Julia Delafield

Job Title
Director, CEE

Julia has dual master’s degrees from UPEACE and American University in Washington DC in International Relations and Affairs and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. She is a co-founder of Lafaza, a sustainable vanilla importing venture, and spent the first half of her career working on development and environmental certification programs through Latin America. Julia is from the United States but has lived in Costa Rica for nine years, as well as spending significant time in Mexico and Brazil.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite in its absurdity (looking back):

I did a gap year in Brazil at age 17. On the plane ride there, I remember having a 3-seat section to myself, and just lying there crying non-stop throughout the 10-hour flight to Sao Paolo. All I could think of was all of my friends, heading off on predictable paths, to well-known universities, settling into dorm rooms with their parents, and going to freshman welcome parties. What the heck was I doing?

It was my favorite because the year in Brazil was the most profound, growing, and learning experience I could have ever hoped for. Within 24 hours on the ground, I didn't look back! It just goes to show that you need to push through those self-doubt moments!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

How haven't I grown? While I've been in charge of departments and projects before, this is the first time I've felt that an organization's success rests, at times, in my hands.

We teach a lot of introspective classes, and I've learned so much about myself, my strengths, and where I can use a little help. I, for instance, am highly organized and process-oriented, but I'm also quite risk-adverse. In a team, it helps me enormously to work with a big picture thinker who will push me to make changes and innovate!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Within months of starting at UPEACE, I hosted a group of students from San Jose State University. I connected particularly well with a woman getting her MA in Educational Counseling.

About 2 years later, she contacted me on LinkedIn to tell me that she had become a Counselor. As such, she had been offered the opportunity to help plan an international trip for the school's choral group. She had been so moved by her experience with UPEACE that she planned the trip around a visit to us! So cool to have her reappear, and she staged an amazing signing event in the middle of our 'Peace Monument' – a surreal and beautiful moment for all!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Personally, I LOVE the Positive Leadership workshop. I feel like its content is the reason I work with UPEACE. We talk a lot about well-being and how to cultivate it in your life, both in the workplace and personally, and I just think that it is profound content.

Every time we have a new employee, I ask them to take it, and I make sure to be a part of it at least once a year to make sure I'm being the best I can. I just think that it is so relevant to absolutely everyone, at all ages and stages of life, and I think it can truly be a life-changing workshop!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

UPEACE is a magical place, and we have the luxury of being here. It's a mix of being affiliated with the United Nations – so academically challenging and internationally minded – with the fact that we're sort of located in a garden on a mountaintop, surrounded by coffee fields. Then add in self-reflection, cross-cultural sharing, and amazing content!

And the team? I swear I work on the best team I could imagine. We have complementary strengths, but mostly we're just genuinely nice to each other, and we care about each other. I think that shines through in how we treat each other, and it makes me happy to come in to work each day.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

To reference Simon Sinek's famous TED Talk, I think that companies need to have a higher purpose and a clear understanding of their “why”. At the end of the day, we all want meaning in our lives.

You cannot dedicate 40 hours per week (or more) unless you have an underlying passion and understand how those hours are making a difference in the lives of others.

In our case, we believe firmly in empowering people to understand they can make a positive impact in the world. What could be more important than that?