José Luis Cortés was Dean of Continuing Education at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) in Mexico City, Mexico.
Born in 1949, he studied architecture at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). After his graduation in 1970, he received his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark (1972) and also holds a Master in Advance Studies of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA (1974).
He has been lecturing at the UIA since 1974, was previously Dean of the Department of Architecture, UIA until January 2009, and served as visiting professor in various universities in Mexico, Sweden, India and Japan. He is further involved in various professional associations on a national and international level; he was a member of several juries in Mexico and has organized conferences with internationally renowned architects at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
José Luis Cortés has served as vice-president of the International Union of Architects, IUA, for a three-year term from July 2002 until July 2005. His published works include Urban systems in Mexico City (1974), Corpus Urbanístico de Puebla y Oaxaca [Urban planning in Puebla and Oaxaca] (2001) and Corpus Urbanístico de la Ciudad de México [Urban planning in Mexico City] (2002).
In 2006, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Medal of Knighthood from the Government of Spain, the Honorary Medal of the Federation of Architectural Associations of the Mexican Republic, and the title Académico Emérito of the Architecture Academy of Mexico.
José Luis Cortés has participated in the coordination of multiple urban design and development projects, among them a World Bank project analyzing the major problems of the cities in Mexico, relating to questions of the environment, water, urban development, security, viability and transport. He took an active part in planning processes for the restoration of cities such as Oaxaca, San Miguel de Allende and master plans for the creation of national parks and the sustainable development of urban zones.
José Luis Cortés was a member of the Holcim Awards jury for region Latin America in 2008.