General Manager, Futura Developments. He contributed to the development of Guanacaste, tourism area located in the north pacific coast of Costa Rica. He developed Plaza Futura Office and Commercial Center, which has been a pioneer project in the area. His professional experience has not been limited to the private sector. In 1998 at the age of 30 he was appointed Mayor of Escazú, the city with the largest commercial and residential growth in the country. For four years he ran the Municipality, which was appointed as model in Latin America, by the United Nations Development Programme in the year 2003. In 2009 and 2010 he managed the presidential campaign for his sister Laura Chinchilla. He combines his professional activities with family and sports. As a golf fan he has been part of the Costarican team that represents the country in the Central American golf tournaments. Adrian is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Adrian es Socio Fundador de Carao Ventures. Ha invertido en y trabajado con startups de etapa temprana basados en Latinoamérica y Estados Unidos por los últimos 10 años. Su experiencia reciente incluye empresas en los sectores de SaaS, consumer software, marketplaces, fintech y educación.
Antes de fundar Carao, Adrián fue Asociado en Mesoamerica, una firma líder en Latinoamérica en consultoría y capital de riesgo, donde participó en transacciones relevantes en las industrias de energías renovables, banca y telecomunicaciones. Además, tiene un rol activo en causas relevantes en Costa Rica como conservación marina, mejoramiento de la educación pública, y apertura y transparencia del internet.
Adrián es padre de 2 hijos y tiene un Bachillerato en Economía con honores de la University de Texas en Austin, un MBA del MIT Sloan School of Management, y es Fellow del Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI), parte del Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN).
Adrian es Socio Fundador de Carao Ventures. Ha invertido en y trabajado con startups de etapa temprana basados en Latinoamérica y Estados Unidos por los últimos 10 años. Su experiencia reciente incluye empresas en los sectores de SaaS, consumer software, marketplaces, fintech y educación.
Antes de fundar Carao, Adrián fue Asociado en Mesoamerica, una firma líder en Latinoamérica en consultoría y capital de riesgo, donde participó en transacciones relevantes en las industrias de energías renovables, banca y telecomunicaciones. Además, tiene un rol activo en causas relevantes en Costa Rica como conservación marina, mejoramiento de la educación pública, y apertura y transparencia del internet.
Adrián es padre de 2 hijos y tiene un Bachillerato en Economía con honores de la University de Texas en Austin, un MBA del MIT Sloan School of Management, y es Fellow del Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI), parte del Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN).
is Regional CEO for Latin America at the Grameen Foundation, Alberto provides leadership and management oversight for GF’s portfolio and activities across the region while serving as the senior GF representative. Using microfinance and technology solutions to alleviate poverty, he leads GF’s strategy, business and resource development efforts in the region. He also represents Grameen Foundation in the Credit Committee of the Fairtrade Access Fund. Alberto has more than a decade of experience in microfinance and rural development, principally in Latin America. In 2003, he became the Vice-president for Global Partnerships’ Latin American Programs and was responsible for establishing the LAC Office, leading their expansion across the region. By the end of Alberto’s tenure, Global Partnerships had a portfolio of more than $55 million in investments in 28 microfinance institutions across eight countries. He began his career with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration where he worked with the Bank’s Microfinance and Technical Assistance Programs. Alberto also ran his own consulting company specializing in sustainable development and microfinance. A native of Guatemala, Alberto earned a degree in agronomic engineering from Zamorano and his MBA from INCAE Business School. He is married and has four children with his wife Yadira. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Alejandra Colom is Senior Program Director of the Population Council’s activities in Guatemala. She focuses on improving the lives of rural, indigenous adolescent girls through Abriendo Oportunidades, a program that provides the most vulnerable indigenous Mayan girls and young women with personal and professional development skills, mentorship, and leadership opportunities. She is also collecting data on lifestyle changes that indigenous populations in Guatemala are making in response to climate change. Before joining the Council in 2010, Alejandra was associate director of the Rainforest Alliance’s forestry program in Guatemala. She also worked as a consultant in Central Africa for the World Wildlife Fund, Agreco, and other national and international organizations dedicated to conservation, livelihoods, forestry, and sustainable development. Alejandra has conducted research in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, East Timor, the United States, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She was a Fulbright Scholar and holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, a Master’s degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland, and is currently preparing to defend her PhD dissertation in Anthropology at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Alejandra is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Alejandro A. Abufele is President and founder of REALFA, an industrial and automotive products distribution company, and International Motors, a motorcycle distributor. He is currently on the board of directors of IVIHSA, the FIAT dealer for Honduras, FHIT (Fondo Hondureno de Inversion Turistica), EXA, a transportation and logistics company and INMAX, a real estate investment group. He oversees the management of four sugar cane plantations and has held the position of president over the last six years of FEHPROCA, the federation of Honduran sugar cane growers. He is also a member of the board of directors of the family founded non-profit organization CEPUDO which began training single mothers in various fields so that they may support their families and has expanded its projects to include housing, food for the needy, self-sustainable tilapia farms and agricultural projects, and aids many other non-profits. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law.
Alejandro Ferrer: Partner of the law firm Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee; Honorary Business Representative (Panama) for IE Singapore; Included in the Indicative List of Governmental and Non-Governmental Panelists, Dispute Settlement Body, World Trade Organization (WTO); Member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL), World Economic Forum; and President of the Board of Directors of the Amador Foundation-Biodiversity Museum. Has served as Minister of Commerce and Industry (2004-2008); Counselor of International Trade, Panamanian Embassy, Washington D.C. (1995-1996); Deputy Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations and other International Organizations, Geneva, Switzerland (1994-1995); and Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva, Switzerland (1994-1995). Has a Bachelor degree in Law and Political Sciences, graduating Summa Cum Laude, from Santa Maria La Antigua University; a Master in Laws, LL.M. and a Doctorate in Science of Law, S.J.D. from The University of Michigan Law School; were he was a Fulbright Scholar. Alejandro is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Alejandro Poma es vicepresidente corporativo de Grupo Poma, un grupo empresarial familiar que opera cinco divisiones de negocios y tiene presencia en nueve países de las Américas. Dentro de Grupo Poma, Alejandro dirige Autofácil, Solaire, la división de inversiones y la Fundación Poma, institución dedicada a promover programas sociales enfocados en educación, salud y cultura. Adicionalmente, Alejandro es director de la Fundación Salvadoreña para la Salud y el Desarrollo Humano (FUSAL), presidente del Comité Ejecutivo de Libras de Amor y director de Proyecto País; es director de la Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios (ESEN), presidente del Comité Nacional de INCAE El Salvador y miembro del Consejo Directivo de esta institución. Por muchos años, ha sido miembro del capítulo de Young Presidents Organization (YPO) en El Salvador y del Consejo Empresario de América Latina (CEAL). En el año 2010, fue reconocido por el World Economic Forum como un Young Global Leader. Alejandro obtuvo un MBA de Kellogg School of Management en la Northwestern University, y un BA en Historia del Boston College. Es miembro de la clase inaugural del Central America Leadership Iniciative (CALI) y pertenece al Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN).
Assistant chief medical officer at Hospital Clinica Biblica and executive director of Emmanuel Community Development Center in the Cabecar Indigenous Territory of Turrialba in Costa Rica. He has served with the U.S. Indian Health Services in Arizona and New Mexico. He received his medical degree from the Universidad Internacional de Las Américas in San José, Costa Rica, and completed his specialty in family Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. At Mayo, Alekcey was chief resident and received the Robert Avant Resident Leadership Award. He is board-certified by the American Board of Family Practice and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He sits on the board of Indigenous Community Development International and is an active member of the Social Action Council for ASEMECO, a philanthropic arm of Hospital Clínica Bíblica. Alekcey lives in Costa Rica with his wife, Judith, who is also a family physician. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cable & Wireless Panama, the leading telecommunications company in Panama. She oversees Marketing, Advertising and Brands Communications for consumer and corporate services of CWP. She was previously the Regional Manager of Miller Genuine Draft for Latin America and before that the Marketing Director of Global Beer Brands at SAB Miller Panama. Before moving to Panama, she worked in her native El Salvador as Regional Marketing Director for Tecoloco.com, an online recruiting site where she was also partner. In parallel, she consulted in beverage portfolio strategies in Costa Rica and Panama. Alexandra worked for SAB Miller in El Salvador from 1999 to 2005 as marketing director for the mainstream beer brands portfolio, as well as for the Coca-Cola Company. Her biggest achievement in her career in the beverage industry was leading Miller Lite’s launch in Panama. This was catalogued as the most successful brand launch SAB Miller has seen in Latin America since entering the region back in 2002. Miller Lite’s results led her to win a Mercatus award (SAB Miller’s top award at a country level for excellence in marketing strategy and execution). Alexandra has been married to Alfonso Molina for five years and has two children, Ariela and Alfonso. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leads Fundación Unidas para Crecer (Vital Voices Costa Rica), an organization that groups professional leader women who want to share her life experience with other women through mentoring in order to develop their leadership capacity and potential. She has been an instructor on deep relaxation techniques for Centro Chopra para el Bienestar (Chopra Wellness Center) in Carlsbad, California, since 1996. She is certified instructor for the HeartMath Institute in California since 2003. In 1987, she started the restaurant chain Rostipollos, along with another partners, becoming board member during 1987-1992. Alexandra was deputy director of the PRANA institute for Health Promotion from 1995 to 2002. She also was VP for Rasur Foundation and her main project was the Academia para la Paz de Costa Rica (Costa Rica Academy for Peace), between 2002 and 2010. Since 2001 Alexandra has been a member of the board for AED (Entrepreneurship for Development Asociation, for its Spanish acronym), an organization founded in 1997 to promote entrepreneurship social responsibility in Costa Rica, and she has been its VP for the last 5 years. She is a member of the INCAE Business School’s national committee since 2006 and recently became the director of their board. This initiative promotes value-based leadership to influence leaders in the region to contribute with sustainable human development in Central America. She studied psychology at Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Sociales. Alexandra is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Alfonso is a member of the fourth generation of his family legacy. He currently works at the livestock industry business unit of Corporación Multi Inversiones, a family corporation of Central American origin that through its business units, creates sustainable impact in the communities where it operates. He serves in the board of directors of Alianza por la Nutrición, an alliance between different organizations committed to eliminate chronic mal nutrition in Guatemala. Before working on the family business Alfonso was a consultant at Accenture Interactive in charge of kick starting new projects with multi-shore teams. He started his career in Credit Suisse as a financial analyst, and then went on to co-found TransPagos, an electronic payment system for topping up “pay as you go” mobile phones through retailers’ cash registers in Guatemala. With a focus on starting to get involved in the family legacy, Alfonso was part of the team that started the executive committee of Corporación Multi Inversiones’ New Generation Club, which its main objective is to foster union and relationships between the new generation members, promote social responsibility and facilitate getting to know CMI’s businesses. He did both his undergrad and graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame majoring in Science Business (Undergrad) and mastering in Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship. In his spare time he enjoys music, looking for good quotes, barbecuing, and doing sports, especially board sports like wakeboarding and snowboarding. He has a passion for technology and for developing people. He is a proud father of two boys, Santiago and Nicolas and currently lives with them and his wife Paulina in Guatemala City. He believes that impacting the lives of others through sharing, building relationships and one’s example is the best way to leave a legacy and become immortal. He is a 2016 Central American Leadership Initiative fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is co-founder of Uassist.ME, a boutique firm of virtual assistants skilled in administrative support currently providing services to startups, executives and entrepreneurs all over the world. In 2015 he also co-founded POINT, the first business center in El Salvador dedicated to entrepreneurs and is currently developing LIVE, a new housing concept for young students in the center of San Salvador city. He also co-wrote the book El país que viene: Una generación comprometida and is currently an op-ed columnist at El Diario de Hoy newspaper in El Salvador. In 2013 Alfredo was named one of the 30 Under 30 by Inc. Magazine and his business Uassist.ME was honored with the People’s Choice in the Empact Showcase on 2011. Alfredo earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and has always had a passion for entrepreneurship, so since 2011 he has been a part time teacher at ESEN, his alma mater, to convey his passion for business ventures to the new generations. Alfredo is currently a member of The YEC, board member of the Chamber of Commerce in El Salvador and also a member of the local AMCHAM. Alfredo lives in El Salvador together with his married and two daughters: Elena, 6 and Lucia, 3. Alfredo is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is Executive Director of the Nicaragua Petroleum Association (ANPET) and legal consultant to the Chamber of Commerce of Nicaragua. Previously, he was general manager of AC Sistemas in Managua. Before that, he was general manager of Sercomp. Between 2004 and 2006, he was president of the Private Sector Federation of Central America, Dominican Republic, and Panama (Federación de EntidadesPrivadas de Centroamérica, República Dominicana y Panamá – FEDEPRICAP). From 2003 to 2005, he was president of the Private Sector Council (Consejo Superior de la Empresa Privada – COSEP). From 2002 to 2003, he was president of the Chamber of Commerce of Nicaragua. He received his business degree in systems engineering from Universidad Autónoma de Centroamérica in San Jose, Costa Rica, and his business degree from Collegium Fidelitas. He is working toward his law degree at Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales (UCEM) in Managua. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is founder and executive director of Lácteos Centroamericanos (Centrolac). Centrolac is the most modern Central American milk processing plant which specializes in the U.H.T. process. The company exports to Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Honduras. Alfredo is a member of the committee of advisors for Sustainable Growth of Walmart Centroamérica and of the regional board of advisors for Habitat for Humanity. He has a BA from Regis College in Denver, Colorado and a master’s in agricultural engineering from INCAE. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Estudio en la facultad de arquitectura del Savannah College of Art and Design en Georgia, Estados Unidos, donde obtuvo un B.A. (magna cum laude) y un M.A. en restauración de arquitectura. Es además electricista, tiene un diplomado en eficiencia energética y un diplomado en Gerencia de la Sostenibilidad del INCAE. Es autodidacta en temas ambientales y cuenta con más de 10 años de experiencia aplicada en varios países. Ha trabajado y vivido en Guatemala, Estados Unidos, España, Francia y Ucrania, llevando a cabo diferentes proyectos de investigación en movilidad urbana y arquitectura del pasado, presente y futuro.
Ha asesorado numerosos proyectos y empresas en Eco-eficiencia y Motivación Ambiental como Director de Sostenibilidad de Maulprojects, es co-fundador del Movimiento Biciudad de Guatemala y es Director Creativo de la Asociación Ambiental G-22. Es autor y conferencista internacional y ha dictado numerosas conferencias en 17 países, incluyendo una conferencia TEDx en el 2015.
is president of the Honduran Business Council (Consejo Hondureno de la Empresa Privada, or COHEP). Before elected to this role, she was deputy chairwoman and executive VP at the Flores Corporation. She is chairwoman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tegucigalpa, chairwoman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Central America, member of the Latin America Business Council, Honduras Chapter, board member of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise, Business Entrepreneur of the Year by the Colombian Chamber of Construction, member of the Young Presidents Organization, and a member of the Central American Leadership Initiative of The Aspen Institute. Socially, Aline is a member of FUNDAHRSE, a nonprofit organization for corporate social responsibility, chairwoman of the Honduran Junior Achievement Association, chairwoman of the Honduran Association of Automotive Distributors, director of the Honduran American Chamber of Commerce, and representative of Honduras at the First Meeting of Leadership for Social Cohesion in Latin America. She was awarded the Golden “Hoja de Liquidambar” medal by the mayor of Tegucigalpa. She is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
International Labor Organization officer in charge of a US-funded project aimed at strengthening tripartite social dialogue in the DR-CAFTA region. Before joining the ILO in May of 2004, Ramírez worked as the executive director of the Costa Rican peak business federation (UCCAEP) over an 8-year span. He participated in a number of tripartite entities such as the National Labor Council and the Minimum Wage Council. He was also member of the Legislative Committee on Fiscal Reform (2002-2003) and weekly columnist for La República. Ramírez was chosen in 2003 by El Financiero as one of the 40 outstanding young leaders of the country. A native of Costa Rica, Ramírez is an economist from the University of Costa Rica with a Master of Science in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Ana Victoria López
Ana Victoria López is the Language Program Coordinator at Kab’lajuj Ey, a program of Wuqu Kawoq a nongovernmental organization committed to facilitating excellence and linguistic competence in medical care delivery for indigenous communities of Guatemala. Soon after graduating from high school, Ana developed different projects that have improved the quality of life in Guatemala; her projects aimed at reducing malnutrition, supporting mothers, improving family nutrition, promoting self-sustainability and reducing dependence on domestic and foreign aid. Ana lived in the United States for 11 years and returned to Guatemala in August of 2012. While living in the United States, she worked as a teachers assistant in Spanish at Harvard University and a Kaqchikel Consultant for Field Methods at Harvard, Kansas University and MIT. She also worked as a para-educator, interpreter, and as a bilingual costumer service representative. Ana was a Cross-Cultural Trainer for Peace Corps – Guatemala. Ana graduated with a Bachelors degree in Food Science from South Dakota State University and obtained an associate degree in Food Science and Technology from Mount Hood Community College in Oregon. She is the recipient of several scholarships including the CASS, Albert & Edna Thompson Scholarship, the Lloyd Everson Scholarship. Ana is fluent in English, Spanish and Kaqchikel. Ana is married and has two children.
Anaís Henríquez is the development economist and monitoring and evaluation specialist for USAID/Honduras. As the monitoring and evaluation specialist, Anaís provides leadership to USAID/Honduras in measuring and documenting high level results and impact resulting from USAID programs. She designed an innovative performance management system to track USAID/Honduras results, for which she received a meritorious honor award for innovation and performance. As the development economist, she is responsible for research and analysis of sectors in which USAID/Honduras invests. Anais has worked at USAID for three years and she has received two meritorious honors awards, one meritorious honor group award, and one on-the spot award for superior performance. Prior to joining USAID, Anaís worked for five years in coffee farm Montaña Santa Elisa. At Montaña Santa Elisa, she led the stringent and demanding process to achieve the ecological and social certification, Rainforest Alliance. While working in Montaña Santa Elisa, Anaís volunteered in social and environmental activities. For three years she directed the Fundación de Respaldo a la Infancia Rural, a children’s development foundation and was the foundation’s president since its creation in 2004 until 2008. She led reforestation efforts in a primary tropical rainforest and watershed surrounding Montaña Santa Elisa coffee farms. Under her leadership more than 20,000 trees have been planted. Anaís graduated from Whitman College magna Cum Laude in economics and received her Masters degree in economics from Washington University.
Angélica Maytín Justiniani
Angelica Maytin Justiniani is the executive president of the Foundation for Civil Liberties Development, the Panamanian Chapter of Transparency International (TI). She is also a labor affairs arbitrator with the Panama Canal Authority. She is a member of UNDP’s National Human Development Report Advisory Committee. She has consulted with the US Agency for International Development, the UN Development Program, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the Center for Public Integrity. She received the 2002 Panama Junior Chamber Young Overachiever Award: Moral Achievement Category and was selected as a “Protagonist of Development” in 2002 by the Inter-American Development Bank and a “Distinguished Woman” by the Panamanian Chamber of Soroptimist International in 2002. She received a bachelor’s degree in law and political science from the University of Panama, a diploma in open and participative government from the Monterrey Technological Institute and the World Bank, and two postgraduate degrees and a master’s degree in mediation, negotiation, and arbitration from the Latin-American Science and Technology University. She is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
María Antonieta Chaverri es coach de ejecutivos y líderes empresariales para transformacion y trascendencia. Trabajó en Grupo Nación, la empresa de medios más relevante en Costa Rica, donde fue Gerente General de Medios y ocupó las direcciones corporativas de Estrategia y Sostenibilidad y Desarrollo Humano. También lideró Libros para Todos, una iniciativa del mismo Grupo que pretende que todos los estudiantes de educación pública en su país tengan libros de texto para estudiar. Es cofundadora y miembro de la Junta Directiva del Capítulo de Capitalismo Consciente en Costa Rica, miembro de la Junta Directiva de Voces Vitales Costa Rica y miembro del comité social de la Asociación Empresarial para el Desarrollo. Fue profesora de Maestría en la Universidad Juan Pablo II. Ha sido expositora de diversos foros relacionados con Capitalismo consciente, responsabilidad social empresarial, desarrollo de talento, estrategia y recursos humanos. Ha brindado consultorías en estrategia a empresas privadas y organizaciones no gubernamentales. Se ha dedicado al trabajo comunitario y proyectos sociales a través del Movimiento Rotario (2008-2012) y el Movimiento Vida Cristiana (desde 2006). María Antonieta tiene dos maestrías, una en el Arte de los Recursos Humanos de la Universidad de Minnesota, EE.UU. y otra en Administración de Negocios de la Universidad de Costa Rica, es bachiller en Administración Hotelera.
is founder and creative director of SEQUENCE, a vibrant and impactful accessories line handcrafted by local artists in El Salvador. Growing up during the Salvadoran Civil War, Ariela and her family experienced the country’s violence firsthand. It rocked her to her core, but also lit in her a desire to change it. With high-style sartorial skills honed over a decade in New York s fashion industry, holding senior editorial roles at InStyle, Lucky, and Harpers Bazaar, Ariela saw an opportunity to disrupt the sequence of events that lead to violence by employing and empowering at-risk youth to create artisanal products in their own community. Through SEQUENCE, Ariela currently employs 30 young artists, providing them with a positive alternative to a life of violence, and by leveraging her familiarity with the fashion and editorial realms, she and her team have established a signature style of knots and braiding with modern pops of color that reflect El Salvador s positive side: its passion, its energy, and its people. Ariela holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a double minor in dance and government from Skidmore College, and a graduate certificate in marketing management from Harvard University.
Full Professor and former President at INCAE Business School. He also works as an independent consultant in strategic planning and global strategy. He was previously a director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development. Arturo has a doctorate in business administration from Harvard Business School and a MBA with high honors from INCAE Business School. He serves as Senior Institute Associate of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School. He is an author and co-author of articles, books and teaching cases in his areas of expertise. Arturo was recognized as a 2008 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He is a member of the global advisory board of the Oath Project and Fundación Paniamor. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Arturo is President of Empresas ADOC, a family business founded in 1953 with retail and shoe manufacturing divisions with presence throughout Central America. Additionally, he is VP of Grupo HILASAL, a family business founded in 1942 which operates a group of companies in the following industries: textiles, apparel, real estate and logistics.
Arturo is Founder of Proyecto Pais, a community-based crime prevention and youth development model that focuses on promoting values, leadership and conflict resolution skills through sports and educational activities. He serves as Director General of Programa !Superate!, an educational social franchise focused on teaching English, computing, and values to underprivileged high school students in Central America. Additionally, he serves as a Director of Fundación Sagrera Palomo and Director of FUSAL.
Arturo has an MBA from Babson College and a BA in Economics from Pepperdine University. He is a member of YPO El Salvador and a fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI) and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Founder of Starfire Effect. Former VP of the Universidad Veritas, a leading university in the arts, design and architecture committed to academic excellence, innovation and sustainability. She is the former vice minister of Culture of Costa Rica, where she was responsible for the implementation of cultural policies and the coordination among 32 government entities that make up the culture sector. Aurelia has vast international experience in the promotion of sustainable development. As coordinator of strategic initiatives for the Avina Foundation, she managed the relationship with strategic partners in Latin America, United States and Spain, as well as joint initiatives for Latin America in the fields of education, corporate social responsibility and social integration. She was also regional operations manager and Project Manager for Avina Foundation. She has been a member of the board of FUNDES in Costa Rica and of the Advisor Committee for Costa Rica Joven. She has a summa cum laude bachelors degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Centroamerica, and an MBA from INCAE, where she graduated with the highest distinction, becoming the first woman to receive the award EscolastaDistinguida. Aurelia lives in San José and has two children. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Basilio Fuschich is the general manager of Compañía Hondureña del Café S.A., the largest coffee export company in Honduras and Central America. He is also the vice-president of the COHONDUCAFE Foundation a non-profit organization that focuses on education for coffee producers. Rearing both organizations on the road to success, with clear, simple and defined criteria. Outstanding in his two previous positions, he is also the president of the coffee exporters association of Honduras (ADECAFEH) and president of the Caribbean Fishing Club of Honduras, a non-profit organization. Basilio also serves as vice-president of the Honduran-Chinese Chamber for Central America. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from el Zamorano University.
Benjamín Sywulka is head of innovation and new business for CMI, one of the largest corporations in Central America, where he is leading the development of the company’s innovation system and helping take to market breakthrough solutions across many industries. Prior to CMI, Ben headed up the country of Guatemala’s innovation strategy as Director of the Private Competitiveness Council, working closely with the organized private sector, the public sector and academia to strengthen the country’s economy through innovation. Prior to that, Ben was a consultant in Boston and IXL Center, one of the world’s leading boutique business innovation firms. There he worked with Fortune 500 companies, taught innovation at MBA-level programs, and developed innovation software to run innovation processes at scale globally. Prior to working in innovation, Ben specialized in Technology and International Development, running a non-profit for 6 years focused on rural technology development in Guatemala, and doing ICT for development consulting in several Latin American countries, focused on rural connectivity, rural technology businesses to create employment, and open-source software solutions for SMEs and government modernization. Ben has a B.S. In Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, an MBA From Hult International Business School, and a Masters in Finance from Hult as well. Ben is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Carlos Acosta is founder, producer and speaker at La Hora del Té a top-rating, prime time live radio talk show in Tegucigalpa. His show targets a young population with pop culture productions, combined with social awareness notes. He has interviewed very important and influential personalities of Honduras, such as President Juan Orlando Hernández, and provides a space for Honduran youth to express their concerns about different topics. Carlos is also Sales Manager for HUAWEI, where he received in 2010 an international award as the best sales manager in Latin America. He has relevant commercial experience in the Telecom industry. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration.
Carlos Araúz is a senior vice president at Towerbank International, Inc. in Panama. In 2010, Araúz was recognized for his contributions to the overall success of the aforementioned bank when awarded the “Espíritu Insuperable” recognition by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Also in 2010, Araúz published “¿Qué sería de Panamá sin el dólar?” in La Prensa. In 2008, Araúz was named one of the most influential business persons under 40 years old in Panama by Capital Financiero, a regional publication. In 2005, Araúz was appointed spokesperson for an independent association of business executives in negotiations with the government that led to changes in Tax and Social Security laws. Before joining Towerbank in 2007, Araúz worked for two multinational Banks living in Mexico, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Panama over 11 years. Born and raised in Panama, Araúz won an academic scholarship to attend Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee where he majored in Economics/Finance and has an MBA degree from Nova Southeastern University (St. Petersburg, Florida).
Carlos Eduardo Borgonovo
is Executive Director of BorgonovoPohl, S.A. de C.V, a leading coffee producer and export company in El Salvador. BorgonovoPohl has formed a partnership with ECOM COFFEE GROUP, which is a leading world coffee producer, exporter and trader. He is in the Board of Directors of Sacos Sintéticos Centroamericanos, a polypropylene production plant, Ingenio Taboga, a sugar mill in Costa Rica, Aquiares, a coffee producing and exporting farm in Costa Rica, and also a Director of the Chamber of Agriculture of El Salvador (CAMAGRO). For the past seven years, he has been President of Asociación Salvadoreña de Beneficiadores y Exportadores de Café (ABECAFE), which represents de private coffee export industry of El Salvador. Members of ABECAFE combine for over 60% of the country’s coffee exports. Earned a B.A. from Babson College and an M.B.A. from INCAE. Carlos is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network
Carlos Manuel Gómez
About my venture
The objective of my venture is to influence professors and lecturers to increase their motivational condition toward teaching through a structured academic program. After completing this program, the participants (professors and lecturers) are expected to become more motivated with their initial teaching passion and to create a larger impact in students by giving more passionate classes, more attention to their individual and group performance and to find “the way” to increase their learning process.
Reasons about my venture
As professors and lectures continue working in the higher education system, especially in State Universities with a lack of an effective control and evaluation system, the monotony of this activity along with the inexistence of a system of recognitions turn these professionals into burn out individuals. Since the level of motivation is continuously decreasing, professors and lecturers seem to lose their initial teaching passion to foster new young professionals.
A large number of State Universities in Latin America are mostly subsidized by their country’s Governments with very low and symbolic enrolling fee. Because of this, a significant percentage of the students enrolling in higher education are not really committed to their careers during the first years of studies. The rate of dropouts is also significant when the cost of entering at the university level may not cause them further debts responsibilities along with a poorly motivated environment.
This venture is supported just by empirical observation after about 20 years as lecturer in several state universities. An introductory research is planned for the next academic period (2017) by applying two questionnaires:
- A questionnaire addressed to a group of faculty to understand the existence of a burn out condition and its level.
- A questionnaire addressed to students (freshmen & sophomores) to capture their perception regarding their motivations to continue studies, the motivation projected by their professors and the students’ continuity in their careers due to the motivations of their mentors.
In order to reduce the dropout rates and to increase the motivation of students to pursue their career goals, my venture proposes to create a “motivational program” addressed to professors and lecturers that feel that have been losing their teaching passion. This program will include a number of reading, lectures, discussions, videos and role-playing games that after completing this content the participants will deliver more motivated classes and attention to their students.
With this objective in mind, we look forward to re-engineer the trainers of the new young professional leaders for our countries.
Current state of the venture
Unfortunately, the venture is still under preparation. The program has not been developed yet, but the research has been planned to obtain some quantitative elements to justify my pilot test. This pilot test is expected to take place at the University of Panama (Colón Branch) where I currently work as full-time professor. With these results, I do expect to receive an approval from University authorities in order to offer this program to a pilot group of professors and lecturers, and furtherly to measure the impact after successfully completing the program and working along with their students.
Carmen Aída Lazo
Since 2012, has been the Dean of the faculty of Business and Economics at Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios – ESEN. Prior to this role, Carmen worked at UNDP (United Nations Program for Development – El Salvador) first serving as the Human Development Specialist and then as a Program Analyst where she was in charge of the National Human Development Report and poverty programs. Carmen also served as an advisor for two government parties. Carmen received a Bachelor s Degree in Business and Economics from ESEN and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specialized in International Development from Harvard University. She also has a master’s degree in applied macroeconomics from Pontíficia Universidad Católica de Chile. She is a Fullbright Scholar and received other scholarships such as the Joint Japan/World Bank Scholarship. She is married and a mother of two.
Carmen Irene Alas
Carmen Irene Alas is currently CEO and founder of CIA Consulting Group, a firm that specializes in providing clients from across various industries in Central America with innovative research, and with the development of communications, social media and corporate affairs strategies.
She also works in the area of big data analysis as partner for Central America of Predictvia, a company that specializes in market research, public opinion surveys, and political polling through artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
Before founding CIA Consulting Group, Carmen Irene served two years as General Manager & Partner for Newlink Group Central America. This opportunity enabled her to work with clients in the region, focusing in public relations and strategic communications.
In 1998, she co-founded Group E&N, an editorial group that specializes in business magazines and online products. By holding the Executive Director position until 2013, she was responsible for directing and coordinating the group’s editorial content, the creation of innovative editorial products, the business intelligence unit, and the development and promotion of vital and complementary online content. The group’s most recognized product is Estrategia & Negocios, a market leading business magazine tailored for the Central American business man.
She has organized panels and round tables with Key Opinion Leaders from the academia, think tanks, government, business leaders and civil society, in an effort to identify challenges and solutions for the region. Her vast experience in working with local and foreign Corporations and Institutions in the region include regional and multinational companies, chambers, associations, the European Union, PAIRCA, The Central America Integration System (SICA), The Copenhagen Consensus Center, USAID, IDB, amongst others.
Carmen Irene held the position of Executive Director for the Central American Leadership Initiative from 2010 to 2012. She also served as President and Co-Founder of the Vital Voices chapter for El Salvador, from 2008 to 2012.
Her educational titles and experiences include two bachelor degrees, one in Business Administration and one in Economics from Dr. José Matías Delgado University in El Salvador. This same institution recognized her with the “Distinguished Professional” award in 2008 for her professional contribution on both local and regional level. She is also a Fellow of the second class of the Central American Leadership Initiative (CALI), a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
She currently holds several board positions, which include the Business Foundation for Education and Development (FEPADE), Vital Voices, The Salvadoran Chamber of Commerce, and INCAE Business School National Committee.
Carolina Freire is an independent development and communications consultant to government and international organizations. She was national director of health promotion for the Ministry of Health, Government of Panama. In this capacity, Freire developed and implemented policies and programs related to promoting equity in access to health services, reducing health risks, and promoting healthy lifestyles, through education and community empowerment. Before joining the public sector, Freire worked for the Inter-American Development Bank’s External Relations Department in Washington, D.C. Between 2004 and 2008, Freire served as communications and programme officer at the Panama country offices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). She was part of a United Nations team of facilitators that conducted two dialogue efforts that resulted in the reform of the social security system and the design of a national development plan. Freire has authored academic papers on education reform, gender and education, consensus building, and institutional strengthening. Freire attended Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, majoring in international politics. She earned her Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Panama City with her husband and daughter.
Cecilia Dougherty is the current President of the Carlos F. Novella Foundation, related to Cementos Progreso in Guatemala, that supports education and community development projects and she is also part of the board in PAVA, a non-profit currently working with rural community libraries, where she has been involved for the last 18 years. She is also a well renowned dancer and performing arts manager, having worked in the country and abroad with dance, theatre and opera performing and staging. In 2007 she was awarded Best Actress in the Central American Icaro Film Festival and an Emerging Arstists medal in 1990 in Guatemala. She has a B.A in Management from Universidad Francisco Marroquín and a Dance B.A. from Universidad de San Carlos.
Cecilia Monge is a specialist in internal medicine who worked for eight years in that capacity in San Juan de Dios Hospital in San Jose. Following the constitute to restart clinical investigation in Costa Rica, coordinates the pilot clinical investigation unit at Hospital San Juan de Dios that will eventually include translational medicine and international collaborations to support interna- tionally competitive clinical research activity; from bench to bedside. She is part of various na- tional committees. One has produced, published, and delivered education and training for the current national hypertension, acute coronary syndrome and primary cardiac prevention guide- lines in the country. She works with a group of eight doctors from different parts of the country in another national committee for dengue and other hemorrhagic fevers producing the national prevention, education and treatment programs. Based on this objective she also forms part of a committee that oversees the continuing medical education of all physicians in the country and in that committee she is personally responsible for all specialist physicians in second and tertiary care hospitals.
Cecilia graduated as a physician from medical school at Universidad de Costa Rica, achieving the highest GPA both for her medical school class as well as for all health related degrees. Dur- ing her residency in internal medicine at Georgetown University Hospital at Washington Hospital Center where she was elected as chief medical resident,she presented her medical research and publications in both national and international medical meetings. She holds a Masters of Public Health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and was part of the Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program at Harvard School of Medicine. Cecilia is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and in 2014 was elected to be- come one of the youngest Fellows of the American College of Physicians. She is part of the board of the Asociacion Costarricense de Medicina Interna and has been a mentor for the IN- CAE- Central American Health Initiative.
is the project and commercial manager for Seguros América, Nicaragua. She was previously general management assistant there. Chantal holds 15 years of work experience in the fields of marketing, project development, public relations and customer service, budgeting and financial, and investment and organizational management. She also belongs to the planning team of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of Grupo Pellas. Before Seguros América, she was an executive at Grupo Didatsa Mil. Upon completing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Universidad Internacional de las Américas in Costa Rica, she spent four years working at INCAE Business School as international marketing assistant and national marketing director. Chantal later obtained a graduate degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Marketing from INCAE Business School. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is a goal-oriented and passionate individual with an MBA from Instituto de Empresa, and 12 years of professional experience at Industrias La Constancia, a subsidiary of SABMiller and Coca-Cola bottler in El Salvador. Throughout her career in the commercial area, she has had the opportunity to develop a broad network base by leading multidisciplinary teams, and by working one-on-one with clients and customers alike. Throughout this journey she has gained an in-depth understanding of retailer, shopper, and consumer needs, barriers, and behavior, and how to succeed in a challenging and ever-changing environment. However, she is now ready to move on and apply her experience and knowledge to fulfill other personal interests. In this new phase of her life, she is exploring new projects which will enable her to dedicate quality time to her 2-year-old son, while also satiating her thirst for learning and giving back to her community.
Claudia A. Salmerón
Claudia is the Executive Director of the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI), a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, with the mission to invest in leadership as a way to foster inclusive development through the transformation of leaders as social agents of change in the region. Claudia is an AGLN Fellow from the eight class.
Her professional career has provided her the opportunity to move between different industries. She specializes in business start-ups and marketing strategy. In the Outsourcing sector as Executive Director of pioneer call centers, where she has spent over 15 years committed to the task of developing and promoting the industry in Nicaragua and region, involved in the launch of various operations, working hand in hand with government, corporations and business leaders. Claudia was also immersed in the education sector, providing marketing and program development consulting for the School of Graduate Studies of Universidad Americana (UAM) in Nicaragua for over six years and as member of the University´s Strategic Planning Team. Previous to this, Claudia worked in the U.S. non-profit sector as Fundraising and P.R. Director for The Lannin-Tunstall Society for Children, an NGO committed to the development of at risk youth in Western North Carolina, collaborating closely with local government and community leaders.
Currently serves as Vice President on the Board of IBEX Global Solutions Nicaragua. A Goodwill Industries Employer of the Year, providing over 15,000 jobs in seven different countries. She also serves as Secretary and member of the Finance Committee on the Board of Directors of the American Nicaraguan School since 2014. She is a member of The Nicaraguan Women Cancer Association and founder of “Zapatos para Todos” (Shoes for All), a social venture inspired by her CALI experience which provides footwear to low income children and youth in Nicaragua. Claudia is also an Alumni of the Stars leadership program (http://www.the-stars.ch).
In 2003, she had the honor of holding the Miss Nicaragua – Miss Universe Title.
Claudia holds a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Political Science from UNC-Asheville and has a Master’s Degree in Business Law from the University of Valladolid, Spain and Universidad Americana (UAM). She was also awarded a scholarship from The Sisters of Mercy for studies in Non-Profit Organizations Management from Duke University. Claudia received a Distinction from the Nicaraguan Society of Professional Journalists (2006-2008), and the “Success, Quality and Excellence” Distinction Award from Universidad Hispanoamericana (2003). She also Served as President of the Special Olympics Organization Committee (2004) and on the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels, Western North Carolina (2002-2003).
She resides in Nicaragua, is married and the mother of two wonderful boys.
Claudia Cristiani is founder and executive director of Fundación AccesArte, a private non-profit dedicated to strengthening the role that culture plays in human development processes through research, dissemination, and debate. She is currently the public leader for Creative Commons El Salvador, local chapter of Creative Commons, a non-profit that enables the sharing and use of human creativity and strives for universal access to knowledge. Claudia is a board member of the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development, FUSADES, the most important political, economical, and social think-tank in El Salvador. She is also responsible for overseeing the social investment strategies of her family’s businesses managed through Fundación Raíces. A Bachelor of Cultural Heritage Conservation from the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museography (ENCRyM) of the National Institute of History and Anthropology (INAH), Mexico, Claudia also holds Diplomas in Cultural Development from the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), Mexico; Cultural Resources Management from the University of Victoria, Canada; and General Aspects of the Political System and Public Management from the Central American School of Government and Democracy (ECADE), El Salvador. She currently resides in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Claudia Eunice Cruz
Corporate Communications Manager, Cenérgica-Nejapa Power Company, a subsidiary of Inkia Energy (Israel Corporation), which operates a marine fuel terminal, and the Nejapa Power Plant, the first private thermal generator in the Salvadorian wholesale electricity market. She is responsible for the company’s public relations and corporate social responsibility, providing counsel in energy market, legal, labor and environmental issues, as well as mergers and acquisitions. An advocate for Corporate Social Responsibility, she acts as Chairwoman of the CSR committee in the American Chamber of Commerce and has collaborated with FUNDEMAS in the Ethics and Transparency Committee responsible for the Business Ethics Guide. Serves as a Board Member of the non-profit Glasswing International, participates in the Walton International Scholarship recruiting committee and volunteers through Crisálida as an English teacher for a program aimed at students from rural public schools in her community. Holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of the Ozarks and a Master in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Barcelona. Claudia is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the founder and executive director of Crea Comunicaciones. She is a strategic advisor in communication with emphasis in public affairs, social and business development. She stands out with her contribution in the design, implementation and assessment of plans and communication strategies for the private and public sectors. Among some of the clients she has worked with are Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Femsa, Cemex, Hemco, Mercon Coffee Group, Inter-American Development Bank, Invercasa, United Nations Development Program, Philip Morris, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, European Union and many other private, public and non-government organizations. More recently she became a founder partner of Imprime, a print shop specialized in digital and offset printing. She worked in the design and implementation of the Communication Strategy for the Government of Nicaragua during the administration of President Enrique Bolaños (2001-2006). Previoulsy, she worked in the Office of External Relations of the Inter American Development Bank (IADB) in Washington, D.C. Before she was an editor of La Tribuna and Barricada newspapers, in Nicaragua. Neira has a B.A. in Social Communications of Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua, Nicaragua and a Masters in Communications and Public Relations, at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia..
Claudia Romero de Ibañez
is the Corporate Affairs Manager of Walmart – México y Centroamérica. She oversees community development, social corporate responsibility, volunteering and she promotes projects against hunger, natural disasters, environmental issues and sustainability. Since 2012 Claudia has been the President of AmCham (El Salvador’s Chamber of Commerce). She is an advisor to the executive committee of ANEP – Asociación Nacional de la Empresa Privada (National Association of Private Enterprise). Prior to working at Walmart, she worked for six years as the Communications Manager for the Asociación Salvadoreña de Industriales (Salvadoran Association of Industrialists), nonprofit dedicated to the economic and social development through strengthening the industrial sector. She was also an account executive in the advertising agency Molina Bianchi. Claudia is a committee member of Fundemas and a board member of ANEP and CASALCO- La Cámara Salvadoreña de la Industria de la Construcción (The Salvadoran Chamber of Construction Industry). Claudia received her bachelors degree in communications from Universidad José Matías Delgado and has an MBA from ISEADE / FEPADE in El Salvador with a specialization in International Negotiations, awarded by the Anahuac in Mexico. Claudia is married and mother of a teenager. She lives in San Salvador, El Salvador.
is a lawyer and legal researcher, specialized in democratic institutions, governance, transparency, modernization of the State and International Trade. She is the current President of the Board of Directors of the Foundation Democracy – Transparency – Justice (DTJ), and Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development of El Salvador (FUSADES). She is also the Coordinator of the Political Studies Committee and alternate Coordinator of the Legal Studies Committee, both of FUSADES. From 2005-2009 she served as the Director of the Department of Legal Studies of FUSADES. She was also Director of Trade Policy of the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador, with the rank of Special Ambassador for Trade Negotiations. She has also worked in legal practice in Corporate and Commercial law. In 2014, she was awarded with the “Order of Bernardo O’Higgins” in rank of Officer, by the Government of Chile. Claudia has a law degree from the University Dr. Jose Matías Delgado and is authorized to exercise law and act as notary public in El Salvador.
Corrina Grace is the founder and executive director of SERES, a Guatemalan non-profit organization whose mission is to empower young leaders to build sustainable, healthy and thriving communities through education and transformative leadership. In this role, Corrina has facilitated transformative programs for more than 1,500 young people – engaging and empowering them to take action and accelerate the transition towards sustainability in this region. Her goal is to turn SERES into a name synonymous with sustainable, thriving, resilient communities around the world. A mechanical engineer, Corrina’s skills and experience range from consulting engineering to expertise in the financial and private sector, offshore work with Engineers Without Borders, project and construction management and transformative leadership and facilitation. Corrina holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is a Fellow of the 10th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the managing and founding partner of Cadejo Brewing Company, the first craft-brewery of El Salvador and the first brewery of any kind to establish itself in the country in over 100 years. He is creating a different type of corporation than is common in his home country, focusing on empowering individuals and creating a culture of camaraderie, personal development and innovation. Mr. Falkenstein previously co-founded a financial research sales firm in New York, New York in 2002; a venture whose operations he later moved to his home country of El Salvador in 2008. He obtained a degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1995 and spent the next 7 years working for IBM Consulting Group in the Midwestern United States and in New York. He is a member of the Republican Party of El Salvador (ARENA) where he seeks to promote his libertarian ideals in the pursuit of a freer society. He has been very active in furthering transparency and democracy inside the party.
is a Founding Partner of BLP, one of the largest law firms in Central America and a leader in Pro-Bono and sustainability issues in the Central American region. Before BLP, he was a partner at KPMG, an Associate at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Door (an international law firm in Washington D.C.), and an advisor to the Presidency of Costa Rica. Presently, he serves as Co-Chair of the Latin American Regional Forum of the International Bar Association, the largest organization of lawyers in the world. He also serves as President of the Board of Directors of Fundación CRUSA, a leading foundation in Costa Rica that promotes strategic initiatives at a national level. He was the President of the BLP Pro Bono Foundation (the first Costa Rican signatory of the Pro Bono Declaration of the Americas) and headed the first-ever Pro Bono Committee of the Costa Rican Bar Association. David was a founding member and former President of CICA, the arbitration center of AMCHAM; as well as of the Costa Rican Association of International Law (ACODI). He has been ranked as one of the best lawyers in the Central American region by several prestigious international publications, and was recognized as “Latin Lawyer’s Central American Law Firm Leader of the Year”. David graduated from the University of Costa Rica’s Law School and Georgetown University Law Center with honors. He is a Fulbright and an Organization of American States scholar. David writes a bi-weekly opinion column in CRHOY.COM, a digital news source and the most visited site in the country. He loves soccer and serves on the board of Saprissa, the most successful soccer club in CONCACAF. He is married with Carolina and is the proud father of Alberto and Felipe.
is a congressman in El Salvador since 2009.He has demonstrated his leadership among the Salvadoran society by becoming the youngest congressman in history, and particularly the first disabled person becoming member of the Congress in El Salvador. He is a member of four legislative committees: Youth, tourism and sport Committee; Human Rights Committee; Environment Committee; and, Labor Committee. Reyes has established a special sense of responsibility and commitment to young people and the disabled person sector. He is currently Vice President of Special Olympics El Salvador, founder of “Fundación Sin Límites” and is also involved in many youth and people with disabilities organizations from all around the country. His life has been an inspiration to many since he has overcome to the attitudinal barriers society has placed in his way, and aims to inspire young people to get involved in politics, since he believes that changes can only be made by being where decision makers are.
Debra Gittler is founder and executive director of ConTextos, an educational NGO established in El Salvador and the USA. ConTextos’ mission is to transform the educational experience so students go beyond rote, mechanical learning to develop authentic literacy skills such as deep-thinking, interpretation, analysis and creativity. El Salvador is now the most violent country in the world; ConTextos works in schools, prisons and juvenile facilities throughout the country to improve education as a tool for peace and democratic principles. With a unique evaluation model that doesn’t just measure if youth get better at reading and writing—but measure how reading and writing make youth into better people, with increased tolerance, empathy, expression and life-projection. Debra has a master’s from Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus on international policy and social entrepreneurship. Previously, she worked as the Coordinator and Lead Author of El Salvador’s national teacher training strategy in the area of literacy, and was a teacher in Honduras and the South Bronx. In 2013, Debra was recognized as a Global Fellow by the Echoing Green Foundation and in 2015 a CALI Fellow by the Aspen Institute.
Denise Vargas es poeta, gestora cultural y consultora independiente. Estudió literatura, lenguas romances y psicología en la universidad de Dartmouth, al norte de Estados Unidos, y posteriormente obtuvo un MBA con énfasis en Finanzas. Su libro de poesía, Martes como toda vida, fue publicado en Costa Rica en agosto de 2016 por Ediciones Perro Azul. Denise pertenece al taller de poesía Alicanto. En el ámbito laboral, Denise fundó recientemente la empresa Impact Strategy, cuya misión es aplicar su experiencia corporativa de más de 15 años en puestos ejecutivos con el fin de apoyar el desarrollo de la región mediante consultorías y talleres de estrategia, desarrollo de marca, crecimiento personal y liderazgo basado en fortalezas. Impact Strategy dedicará un porcentaje de sus utilidades para apoyar proyectos culturales y sociales específicos en Honduras. Adicionalmente, Denise es miembro de la Junta Directiva de la empresa Sanitas desde el 2008. Aparte de su experiencia en la empresa privada, Denise fue Consejero de la Misión de Honduras ante las Naciones Unidas, donde se especializó en temas de desarrollo social, sobre los cuales se pronunció frente a la Asamblea General y el Consejo de Seguridad. Denise habla español, inglés, francés y tiene dominio básico del italiano. Es fellow del Central American Leadership Initiative y miembro del Aspen Global Leadership Network. Actualmente reside en Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Diego de Sola
is a Central American committed to making a positive impact on the region through his business and non-profit endeavors. He is currently CEO of Inversiones Bolivar SA de CV, a 60-year-old real estate development firm specializing in multi-level housing and commercial projects. Previous to this, he served as CFO of UNEX SA de CV, a bi-national coffee exporter for El Salvador and Guatemala, and before that worked as an investment banker with Citicorp Securities / Salomon Smith Barney in New York City. In addition to his role as co-founder and chairman of Glasswing International, he participates actively on the board of the Salvadoran Chamber of Construction (CASALCO), and on INCAE Business School’s El Salvador National Committee. In 2012, he was selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. Diego attended the Hotchkiss School, received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. He currently resides in El Salvador with his wife, Alexandra, and his three boys, Diego Xavier, Herbert and Alejandro. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative, as well as a moderator for the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is a Salvadoran leader and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and director of “El País Que Viene” Initiative, an initiative created to facilitate opportunities for training, promotion, research and self-realization of young people to turn them into full citizens and motor development of El Salvador’s future. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Municipal Institute of Youth of San Salvador, El Salvador. He has worked in the international, public and private setting. He has an outstanding track record of over ten years in the field of participation, leadership and youth organization. Diego wrote El País Que Viene: Una generación comprometida (The Country that is Coming: A Committed Generation) published in 2015. He received a special recognition by the President of the California State Senate for “Defense and Promotion of the Salvadoran People through the ‘The Country that is Coming’ Project in 2015. Diego also received awards by the Inter-American Development Bank (2004) and the Youth Global Network (2004). He is a recurrent columnist for different newspapers, and an influencer on youth related topics. In 2011 he was selected as one of the 34 more influential minds in Ibero-America regarding youth, collaborating with well known international personalities to publish the document “Iberoamérica Más Jóven que Nunca” Edited by the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). In 2014 and 2015 he was the Executive Director of the Municipal Youth Institute for the municipality of San Salvador where he supported important initiatives such as the international competition Innovators Under the Age of 35 (TR35) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the appointment of the Salvadoran capital to the Presidency of the Youth Sectoral Committee of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities, UCCI. In April 2015 as the President of the VII Youth Sectoral Committee of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities (UCCI), he presented a proposal so that the VII Committee would support the International Campaign for the General Assembly of the UN to declare the decade from 2016 to 2025 as “The Youth Employment Decade”, an international initiative, which main objective is to place youth employment in the Global Human Development Agenda. Diego has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing by the ESI School of Management. He lives in San Salvador and is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central America Leadership Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Diego Eleta is president of the Panama Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, where he served as director of the communications sector for six years, treasurer, and vice president. During his time in the Chamber of Commerce, he has been actively involved in the negotiations to restructure the social security system and took a leadership position in promoting the “SI” vote in the recent referendum on the expansion of the Panama Canal, among other issues. Outside the Chamber, Diego is director of operations of Cable Onda, S.A., Panama’s leading cable TV MSO. Diego was also a founding partner of one of Panama’s first ISPs, and of INTERED, Panama’s ISP association and Peering point, and a model for similar associations in the region. He is currently president of Electron Investments; a renewable energy company generating hydroelectric energy in Panama. Diego obtained his BS in operations research and industrial engineering from Cornell University and his MBA from Columbia University where he also became member of the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society. He is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the managing editor at La Prensa, of Managua, Nicaragua. In 2002, organized Hoy, the second daily newspaper of the company, while he kept responsibilities as managing editor at the main paper. In 2001, he started the weekly political column “Blanco y Negro”, which is still published every Saturday in La Prensa. Has worked in journalism for the last 16 years, organizing TV Noticias, the news coverage and news programs for Channel 2, and helping manage La Tribuna, a daily newspaper. Earned his Bachelor’s degree in journalism at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Completed his Master’s in journalism at the University of Barcelona in Spain. Eduardo is a Fellow of the fifth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is currently the Medical Director of the International Cancer Center at the Hospital de Diagnóstico in El Salvador, the Coordinator of the Brain Tumor Program of the Institute of Neurosciences of the Hospital de Diagnóstico and the Brain and Spine Radiosurgical Program, and a Medical and strategy advisor for Masep Inc. (Medical Technology Company). Since January 2007 he has worked in providing and making accessible advanced neurosurgical and cancer care solutions for patients of El Salvador and the region, he has developed and lead in a progressive manner, health related projects with different complexities and budgets culminating in the latest one that he currently directs which is the International Cancer Center, a 9 million dollar project that has benefited more than 160 patients with low economical resources that simply could have not afforded this sort of treatments elsewhere. He is a firm believer that advanced medical solutions not only in relation to brain or cancer but the rest of specialties can become accessible to developing countries under an adequate business model and recognition and enhancement of leadership skills among physicians in their communities. This ideal is currently one of his main motivations.
A serial entrepreneur, during the last 20 years he has founded or run all sorts of businesses in Guatemala and El Salvador: from 1hr photo stores (Kodak-FotoClub), to computer superstores (Compulandia), to wine distribution and retail (Vinoteca, La Uva), to rehab services (Casa del Bosque) among other companies. Today he has shifted his entrepreneurial interests towards the technology sector and online companies. He founded Meritage Assets, which owns Selitt, an exciting new social reselling startup, Joomlashack, part of OSTraining.com, and a few other companies and sites. An avid collector and art lover, Eddie served as president of Asociación de Artes Visuales that oversaw and ran the National School of Fine Arts, Rafael Rodriguez Padilla for several years. Eddie is most proud of his work with Habitat for Humanity. He started serving in Guatemala in 2000, and today Habitat is close to serving the 75,000th family with a decent home. In 2008, because of the success of Habitat Guatemala, Eddie was invited to serve on the International Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity International that oversees the program in the whole world. He has served as Board Treasurer and presently serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. For his social work, he was awarded with a Fellowship in the Central American Leadership Initiative, a values-based leadership program of the Aspen Institute. He is a Christian and serves as Chairman of the Board of Elders of the Union Church of Guatemala where he has also served as treasurer. He studied Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Babson College. He lives in Guatemala City with his wife Amanda and their children, Nina and Jacob.
Edwin Escobar is founder of Nabla, a construction management group of companies that currently serves multinational companies in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. He served as dean of the engineering school at Rafael Landívar University, his alma mater, where he helped to establish a world-class technological center for academics, research, and development. He was founder and president of the Youth Entrepreneur Organization-Guatemala chapter and was key in jumpstarting Students in Free Enterprise-Guatemala. Edwin has served on the board of ANACOVI, the national homebuilders association, and is a member of FUNDESA, an economic nonprofit. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where received the Dean’s Service Award. He also holds an industrial engineering degree from Rafael Landívar University in Guatemala, where he was also president of the Students Association. He completed a program called the Birthing of Giants 2004, by MIT and YEO at Endicott House executive campus. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is currently the Corporate Counsel of Grupo Pellas one of the largest and most diversified business conglomerates in Central America. He has extensive experience in Corporate Law, focusing in cross border mergers and acquisitions, foreign investment, international transactions, real estate development, banking, agro-business and telecommunications. Mendieta was President of Generation Atlas, a non-profit organization that promotes the development of Nicaragua through the instruction and empowerment of young leaders based on the principles of individual liberties and democracy. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of INIDEM (Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Empresa), an academic institution that promotes interdisciplinary research and training activities around the study of Law and Business, with an innovative perspective. Mendieta a native of Nicaragua holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Pontíficia Universidad Católica de Chile and a Master of Laws from Stanford University. Edwin is a Fellow of the seventh class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is deputy director of the bilateral private sector development program in the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. Her work focuses on the participation of small urban and rural entrepreneur from non-traditional economic activities into national and international markets. Her contribution to this program has helped to improve market access for over 34 partner associations and 100,000 plus indirect participants. A strong believer in the role of business climate in entrepreneurship, Egda developed a pilot model to construct through participatory processes the construction of public and private business climate agendas at a municipal level. Moreover, this model was replicated and implemented nationwide in 2007 by the government of Nicaragua. She is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Eida Gabriela Saiz
Eida Gabriela Saiz: Treasury and Finance Manager, Autoridad del Canal de Panama, where she is responsible for overseeing financial investment opportunities for the financial sources of ACP – Panama’s most important public corporation, currently engaging in the execution of the Expansion of the Panama Canal. She led the contracting of the external financing sources for the Expansion Program for US$2,300 million through the negotiation with five international development agencies. Prior joining ACP, she was Deputy Director of Public Credit for the Republic of Panama. Earned an M.B.A from INCAE Business School, and Nova Southeastern University and B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Gabriela is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is vice-president and managing director of Cuatro M Cafes, an agro-industrial organization based out of El Salvador, which together with three other sister companies in the United States and another one in El Salvador run a vertical integrated coffee business. He currently holds the second vice-chair position in the Roasters Guild, a trade guild of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. In 2008, Emilio earned his master’s degree in business administration from INCAE Business School. Having lived in Portland, Oregon, from 1997 to 2001, where he got his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Portland, he was able to discover and live around a culture where the processing of coffee, beer, wine and food is treated as a craft. With that mind set, Emilio went back to his hometown, and founded Cuatro M Cafes, the most innovated, efficient and modern coffee operation in the country. Emilio, a seventh generation farmer, began his journey in coffee in 2001 when he began farming, processing and roasting his own beans to find new global markets for them. Currently Cuatro M Cafes processes coffees from 19 different farms in the country, and distributes them directly traded in 14 countries, to 45 different roasters who demand the highest quality Salvadoran beans. He is a Fellow of class eleven of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Program.
Emin Jorge Abufele
is President of Sociedad Eléctrica Mesoamericana, S.A. (SEMSA). As President of SEMSA, Emin defines future developments and investments of the Company in renewable energies and represents the company in policy matters affecting the renewable energy sector. Before founding SEMSA, Emin was General Manager for sixteen years of IMSA, a wheat and corn flour mill located in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, which is among the top five flour mills in Central America. Additionally, Emin currently occupies the Board of Directors of Hermacasa (a steel file manufacturing company with sales in the USA and Central America). He is currently the Treasurer of Nutrehogar, a non for profit organization that houses and cares for mal nourished children ages 6 months – 6 years old, a Board Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cortes, as well as of the National Association of Industry of Honduras. Emin earned his Management Engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts. Emin is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Como parte de su formación universitaria es graduado con alta distinción de Máster en Administración Pública en la Kennedy School de la Universidad de Harvard (2001). Obtuvo también el Máster en Administración de Empresas en INCAE Costa Rica (1995) con Alta Distinción y se graduó Summa Cum Laude como Economista de la Universidad Francisco Marroquín.
Cuenta con amplia experiencia pública y privada en el área de la competitividad y el desarrollo sostenible. En 1997 fundó y fue el primer Director Ejecutivo del Programa Nacional de Competitividad PRONACOM. Del 2004 al 2007 fue Comisionado Presidencial Adjunto para la Promoción de Inversión, la Agenda de Competitividad y el Plan Puebla Panamá –PPP-. Fundó y creó la Agencia de Promoción de Inversiones “Invest in Guatemala” en el 2004. Fue Diputado (2012-2016) periodo en el que fungió como Presidente de la Comisión de Economía y Vice-Presidente de la Comisión de Relaciones Exteriores del Congreso de la República de Guatemala.
Desde el 2014 funda y dirige el Instituto de Progreso Social de Guatemala – IPS – socio aliado del SOCIAL PROGRESS IMPERATIVE con sede en Washington D.C. y del Centro de Intercambio de Conocimientos de VIVA Trust y la Fundación AVINA con sede en Costa Rica.
Desde febrero de 2016 es nombrado Director por Guatemala en el Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica –BCIE-
En el mundo empresarial ha sido Gerente General y Director de varias empresas familiares así como también es miembro activo y ha sido Coordinador del Capítulo de Guatemala del Consejo Empresario de América Latina –CEAL-. Desde el año 2001 funge como Vicepresidente del Comité Nacional de INCAE en Guatemala, es Presidente Fundador de la Asociación de Egresados de la Universidad de Harvard en Guatemala así como también es miembro activo de la Fundación para el Desarrollo –FUNDESA-, la Asociación de Gerentes de Guatemala –AGG- y de la Asociación Gremial de Exportadores de Guatemala –AGEXPORT-. Desde 2012 es socio del Club Rotario Guatemala del Este, fue por 10 años Consul Honorario de Nueva Zelandia en Guatemala y desde abril del 2016 es Consul Honorario de Jamaica en Guatemala.
En el ámbito académico, desde el año 1996 ha sido Catedrático de la Facultad de Economía y Administración de Empresas de la Universidad Francisco Marroquín. También fue investigador asociado del tanque de pensamiento CIEN – Centro de Investigaciones Económicas Nacionales- y fundador del Programa de Apoyo al Organismo Legislativo –PAL- en el período 1990-1993 y ha publicado en diversos medios de comunicación escrita artículos de opinión en materia de desarrollo sostenible y competitividad. Es fellow de la primera promoción de la iniciativa regional de liderazgo “CALI” promovida por el Aspen Institute y el INCAE. También ha cursado diversos diplomados en la ENA -Ecole Nationale d’Administration Publique- con sede en Paris en el 2012 y el 2014, en la Universidad de Boston en 2002, en la Fundación Friedrich Ebert en 1999, la Fundación Niemann en 1998 y el United States Information Agency en 1997 entre otros.
Enrique Arturo de Obarrio
Enrique Arturo de Obarrio is a founding partner of de Obarrio, Carles and Associates. Since he co-founded his practice, he has also been general counsel to Panama’s Superintendency of Banks and worked for the International Banking Center there. From 1990 to 1993 Enrique worked for the Organization of American States as political counselor and alternate ambassador of Panama. He is president of the board of directors of Elektra Panama, SA, counselor to the vice president of Banco Azteca for Latin America, founding vice president of the Organization of the Private Sector of the Americas, head representative of the NGO sector to Panama’s Consejo de la ConcertaciónNacionalpara el Desarrollo, alternate general coordinator of the Latin-American Network for Democracy, and founding member of Panama’s National Council for Ethical Culture. He presided over the United States-Panama Business Council Panama Chapter from 2007 until 2008 and the Panamanian Association of Business Executives from 2004 until 2006. He was the founding president of the National Center for Competitiveness, where he is also a trustee, and was the representative of the Panamanian private sector to the Mesoamerican Council for Competitiveness. He has been instrumental in passing the Panamanian Law on Transparency, the Panama Business Ethics Compact, the National Justice Compact, the Panama Canal expansion project, and the National Development Strategy for Panama. Enrique obtained his BA in law and political science from Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua, in Panama, in 1986; a year later, he did postgraduate studies in international and common law at the Georgetown University Law Center, in Washington, D.C. Enrique is fluent in English and Spanish and is married with three children. He is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the director of shared services at Grupo Financiero Uno (GFU), San Salvador, El Salvador. GFU is a financial services conglomerate focused on consumer banking and is the leading credit card issuer in Central America. During his six years with GFU he has been involved in multiple areas of the business such as new product development, remittances and COO of the Group’s activities in El Salvador before taking on his recent position over a year ago. He began his career in London in the investment banking training program with Barclays Capital. After three years he joined an Internet startup in California that developed an online consumer-lending platform. He is also a director of Fundación Uno, a foundation focused on promoting educational excellence in the public school systems of Central America. Ernesto earned a BA in Economics with a minor in Math from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School and the London School of Business. He is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the Director of Transformando Conflictos Partners – El Salvador, a Salvadoran civil society organization dedicated to promoting a culture of dialogue, peace and democracy-building and a member of Partners for Democratic Change International in El Salvador. She has extensive experience in development, the Rule of Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and youth crime and violence prevention in El Salvador. Between 2008 and 2012 she led efforts to introduce mediation in the criminal area with the Attorney General’s Office and provided consulting services to introduce court-annexed mediation centers in juvenile, criminal and family cases among others. She helped build public-private alliances that strengthened the mediation in forty public schools and in several universities, and promoted violence prevention through annual national campaigns. During the period of 1999-2006, while serving as the rule of law specialist for USAID/El Salvador, she supported the design and supervision, monitoring and evaluation of a national network of mediation centers within the Public Defender’s Office and some municipalities to provide access to justice, prevent violence and promote a culture of peace in El Salvador. Eva was trained as a lawyer in the Jesuit University of San Salvador, specializing in human rights and eventually in negotiation in De Paul University. Eva was awarded a Fulbright research grant regarding mediation education university based clinics in mediation based at George Washington University. She is a member and pro-bono advisor to many international initiatives and organizations such as OINA, GAJE and OAS.
VP of corporate development for ITS Infocom, a leading remote infrastructure management (RIM) and managed service company in the Americas. He is chairman of BioInnovar, an entrepreneurship center within the Costa Rican Biodiversity Institute, and an honorary member of the Omar Dengo Foundation for Education in Digital Technologies. He is a member of the Malta Order Association. He has completed the Chicago, New York, Berlin, and Washington DC International Marathons. Fabian has a degree from the Universidad de Costa Rica Law School and a MBA from INCAE Business School, where he did a semester abroad in Frankfurt, Germany. He also studied product development and innovation at MIT and financial instruments and markets at Harvard University. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife Mariela and his three children, Catalina, Fabian, and Julian. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Fátima Patricia Mena Baide is currently the Chief of the anticorruption Party in Honduras. She discovered that the application of laws in her country was a big problem, and that corruption and impunity were taking many lives away, but most important, their peace. Because of this, she joined the Anticorruption Party as a Volunteer because she believed it was time to get involved in the changes and implement anticorruption policies. She coordinated first her neighborhood, then her city, her department, and finally made it to National Counsel. On the elections of November 2013, she was elected Congresswoman, as the most voted women in her department. She obtained her Law degree in Honduras while working for the Supreme Court, and in 2006 she obtained a Scholarship to get a Masters Degree in Justice Administration in the National University of Costa Rica (UNA).
is a Co-Founder and Advisory Director at Pioneer Capital Partners, a private investment company dedicated to managing capital to make investments in Central America and the Caribbean. Prior to Pioneer, Felix was a Senior Corporate Vice-president for Strategy at Grupo Coen a Central American conglomerate based in Managua and an International Management Consultant at Management Systems International (MSI), a Washington-based consulting firm. In January 2007, he completed a successful decade-long career with the Ministry of Defense of Nicaragua, an institution he helped co-found in 1997. During his tenure in government he served as Director of Combatant Reintegration and Defense Secretary General. Felix is passionate about leadership development, civic education and the advancement of nonviolence as a strategy for social change. He has founded many civil society organizations such as the Civil Society Leadership Institute and Fundación Libertad and also sits on the board and or advises other educational organizations such as Yale University, Junior Achivement Nicaragua, among others. He is a former Yale World Fellow (Yale University), a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and the Founding Curator of the Manahgua Hub of Global Shapers. Holds a Master in Public Administration with honors, from Harvard University, a Master in Engineering and Renewable Energy Management from Universidad de Barcelona and a B.A. Summa Cum Laude from University of Mobile. In 2015, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs honored him with the prestigious Gus Hart Fellowship for his outstanding contributions in social entrepreneurship and social innovation in Central America. Félix is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the Corporate Affairs Manager at the CASSA group (Salvadorian Sugar Company). Among her main responsibilities are the development of the sustainability strategy as well as the implementation of the social corporate responsibility program. In 2010 she was key to the creation of “CASSA- Hand in Hand with Your Community,” a program with the objective of building sustainable sugar cane communities. Since 2008 Fermina has participated in the activities of Centro Supérate CASSA where she provides education to young people. Before joining CASSA, she worked in a government social violence prevention program in high-risk communities, where she focused on the reintegration of former gang members into society. Cárdenas also acted as Press Coordinator during Francisco Flores’ presidency and in important media companies in El Salvador. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeon Cañas and a master’s degree in Civil Society Engagement from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Development Investment Banker with 25 years of international credit and investment experience and 15 years of direct experience assessing diversified renewable energy portfolios in Latin America & the Caribbean for more than $100MM consisting of more than 40 investments. His financial, credit and investment experience includes working with financing from IFC, IDB, Citibank, Finnfund, BIO, Triodos, CABEI, MIF, and several commercial banks in Central America.
He has participated in numerous syndicated credit and investment transactions for renewable energy projects. Mr. Alvarado led the creation, structuring, fundraising, legal closing and portfolio construction of the $17MM CAREC specialized renewable energy Venture Capital fund in Central America. Has 5 years of direct project development/construction experience in Honduras developing in depth understanding of all legal, regulatory and market aspects that govern the energy sector in the country and assets of $100MM+. Until December 2014, F. Alvarado formed part of the Flex Energy Group, developing generation assets in Honduras and Costa Rica; since then, Mr. Alvarado has no business relationship with that group. Mr. Alvarado has held board seats in several Central American companies mostly working in the energy sector, as well as for a US company in the bathing industry. His international work experience includes opening a renewable energy investment office in Brazil, as a branch of a regional investment operation. High-level consultant on financial mechanisms for energy markets and investment portfolios has performed studies and consultancies for USAID, IDB, MIF, World Bank, USAID, Enclude, HIVOS, etc.
In 2012, he launched the Private Financing Advisory Network program in Central America and the Caribbean, sponsored by USAID, first as Regional Director and more recently working as mentor of clean energy enterprises. He authored a training course for bankers and financiers on the assessment of hydroelectric projects that provided capacity building and investment skills for more than 50 bank officers in 5 countries in Central America and in 1 country in Africa. Between 2001-2005, during his initial tenure at E+Co he worked as program lead manager of the USAID-sponsored Financing of Renewable Energy Enterprises in Central America (FENERCA), identifying a pipeline of more than 20 renewable energy projects, arranging financing and providing enterprise development services and working with policy makers on the removal of barriers to clean energy investing in the region. The FENERCA program helped on the revision of incentives laws for the renewable energy sector in Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua. He has developed an extensive network of key stakeholders in the Latin American region, including project developers, especially in Central America. Mr. Alvarado was one of the founding members of the Honduran association of renewable energy producers (AHPER).
He serves in the Board of Veragua Foundation of Costa Rica and as Advisor of Cleantech Methods of the US, a consortium that develops, incubates, invests and Works on policy of clean energies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Costa Rican, based in San Jose, Mr. Alvarado has an MBA in Banking and Finance cum laude from Universidad de Costa Rica. His passions include diving (PADI Rescue Diver) and mountain biking.