Adrián is Partner and General Manager of Amrop Costa Rica, where he leads the search for senior executives and independent members of boards of directors for national companies, multinationals and family business groups.
Over 25 years of managerial experience in the private and public sector, and as a member of boards of directors. In the financial sector, he has been the Pension Manager of the Corredores Asociados Group in Colombia, and a member of the Board of Directors of Banco Cathay, from 2010 to date. He led real estate companies for more than 15 years as General Manager of the European Real Estate Group DIURSA, General Manager of Futura Developments and President of Suburbia Developments.
In the technological area, his experience has been focused on the real estate and financial sector, as General Manager of Conecta S.A. and as coordinator of the Cathay Bank Technology Committee from 2010 to date.
In the public sector he held the position of Mayor of the Escazú County for 4 years, obtaining the recognition of the United Nations as a good example of best financial and administrative practices. General Manager of the presidential campaign of the Former President Laura Chinchilla Miranda, and President of the Inauguration Committee.
Graduated in Economics from Los Andes University Colombia, where he also completed his postgraduate studies in economics. He was part of the Board of Directors of the Fundación Neotrópica a recognized environmental NGO in Costa Rica. He is an active member of the Central America Leadership Initiative, part of The Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Adrián is an active golfer, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Golf Association and his golf club.
ADRIAN GARCIAAdrián is Founding partner at Carao Ventures. He has invested and worked with early stage startups based in Latin America and US for the past 10 years. His recent experience includes companies in the SaaS, consumer software, marketplaces, fintech, and education industries.Before founding Carao Ventures, Adrián was Associate at Mesoamerica, a leading consulting and private equity firm in Latin America. Also, he has an active role in relevant causes in Costa Rica such as marine conservation, public education improvement, and Internet openness and transparency.Adrián is father of 2 children and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with honors from the University of Texas in Austin, an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management, and he is a Fellow of the ninth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the CEO for the travel retail division of Grupo Britt N.V. Adriana started her professional career in 2001 when Café Britt decided to create a new business division for travel retail stores starting as a sales person and quickly advanced to join the leadership team. Adriana oversaw different internal processes as training, purchasing, logistics, innovation, e-commerce, and the expansion plan to achieve a footprint in 11 countries, open 135 stores and grow to more than 1500 employees. In 2010 Adriana joined the INCAE Global Executive MBA. During the 16 years working for Britt, she has fostered different social programs within the communities that have given her the opportunity to work with local artisans; helped them to innovate their techniques, facilitate them with full knowledge of business, as well as introducing new products. Adriana was named as one of the 40 most influence leaders under 40 by a local economic newspaper, El Financiero. She also participated as one of three remarkable women executives for a local news channel special program, 7 Dias, in 2016. Adriana graduated from Universidad Internacional de las Américas in Costa Rica. Adriana had the opportunity to attend a finishing school in Switzerland at the age of eighteen, and since that moment realized how passionate she was for different cultures and gastronomy. Adriana is the youngest child of five, is married and mother of a fantastic 4-year-old boy. Adriana is a Fellow of the 13th 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.
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 the founder and CEO of Maria’s Bag Inc, a high-end luxury accessories brand, which preserves the traditional Guatemalan textiles. Alida created a business model in 2011 with Marias, which empowers Guatemalan women from every social Class 2017. By creating Maria’s Bag Inc, Alida created over 500 jobs for women across different regions. Because of that unique business model, Alida was nominated General Manager of the Year for the Managers Association of Guatemala in 2014. And in the same year, Alida became the ambassador of FUNSEPA. This organization provides education through technology to undeveloped regions in Guatemala. Prior year, She was named Women of the Year by Look Magazine. In 2007, Alida won Miss Guatemala and competed in Miss Universe and Miss World. She traveled globally representing her country and developed her entrepreneurial, philanthropic, and creative instincts during this time. Alida began helping people in her homeland by being one of the board members to create the Foundation Cambiando Vidas – a Montessori school that provides education and proper nutrition to 240 kids. Alida is a board member of City Harvest in New York. Alida is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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 Julia Urrutia
is the regional manager for the Diagnostic Imaging business group in PROMED, which is a leading company for the distribution of medical and industrial equipment in the region. Her division manages GE Healthcare Diagnostic Imaging for Central America. Since 2013 Ana Julia has open new markets like Guatemala, El Salvador and Cuba with a continuous growth in market share. Her focus in creating business solutions and being a consultant for healthcare facilities has created a new form of doing business, leading PROMED and her team to win several awards as a GE Healthcare distributor in Latin America. In 2007 after obtaining her MBA from INCAE Business School Ana Julia began working for GE Healthcare as Service Sales Manager for Central America, Ecuador and Peru, at that time she created a new strategy for selling maintenance contracts of radiology equipment in developing countries, this opened new business opportunities in many countries and she received the Rookie of the Year award for this program. In 2010 Ana Julia worked for FitnessLatam a regional company which distributes fitness and lifestyle equipment, she oversaw the expansion of the company and opened new markets in all Central America and Dominican Republic. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering, from Universidad Católica Santa Maria La Antigua in Panama. Ana Julia is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Ana Lucrecia Tovar De Zarak
Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zarak is a Partner at Fabrega, Molino & Mulino (FMM), leading the Banking, Securities and Trust Department. Previously, she served as Legal and Compliance Head of Citibank Panama. She is Director of the Board of Directors of The Superintendency of the Securities Market and Director of the Board of Directors of The Superintendency of Banks of the Republic of Panama. She has given lectures and been a trainer in Securities Law, for applicants to the Stock Broker, Executive Head Officer and Investment Manager Licenses, at USMA, ULACIT, Merrill Lynch, Banco General, Dresdner Bank, Banistmo, UBS Asesores, Money Managers & Co., among others. She is a member of the Panama Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the International Bar Association (IBA), the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP). President and Director of the Board of Directors of the Superintendence of the Securities Market of Panama (2012-2017). Ana Lucrecia received her Bachelor of Laws from Santa Maria La Antigua University (USMA) and a LLM Degree, American University, 1998 with concentration on securities regulations and finance law. She is married and has four children.
Ana María Vallarino
Ana Maria Vallarino, Sales and Marketing VP of VerdeAzul Propiedades Exclusivas, the group s Real Estate branch, is in charge of VerdeAzul Propiedades Exclusivas commercialization, promotion and sales departments handling several projects in Panama City and beach areas on Panamas Pacific coastline. She completed university studies at the University of Virginia in the United States. She graduated with a Bachelor s degree in Liberal Arts with emphasis in Sociology. In 2004, she began her professional experience as event coordinator in Grupo Pompa, Panama s leading company in the organization, coordination and decoration of corporate and social events, becoming co-owner by 2006. In 2008, she joins GVA as Project Manager in charge of managing, planning, supervising, and executing special and timely projects for the Bristol Hospitality Group, hospitality branch of the group. In 2010, she takes post as Sales & Marketing VP of Desarrollo Turístico Buenaventura, which handled the development and sales for Buenaventura beach community. At the beginning of 2013, with the incorporation of new projects in Panama City and on the coasts of Panama s Pacific Ocean, VerdeAzul Propiedades Exclusivas was founded, where she works as VP of Sales & Marketing. Mrs. Vallarino is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bristol Hospitality Group hotels and several of GVAs housing projects. These companies are dedicated to hotel management, housing development and promoting real estate investments.
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.
is founder and CEO of The Altitude Company, which focuses on corporate health, wellness and technology. She is the author of ‘Sin Límites, Everest’ (Limitless, Everest) and is an international speaker. Born in Guatemala, as a little girl, she often travelled through the Guatemalan countryside with her family. She also lived for three years in Lake Atitlan as a teenager. These experiences aroused her interest to explore the world. After obtaining a scholarship, Andrea was able to study economy for tourism in the Università degli Studi di Genova, in Italy. Upon graduation she started her professional life by working for a major hotel chain. However, she still dreamed about traveling the world, after saving money, she was able to backpack through Asia for 8 months. This journey took Andrea to Everest Base Camp for the first time and gave her the opportunity to start working as a tour operator for an adventure agency. She continued to travel around 60 different countries in 5 years. In November of 2007, Andrea climbed her first snowy mountain: Island Peak (20,460 feet). This experience inspired her to attempt reaching the highest peak in the world. This was not an easy task as only one in every three people that attempt the climb, are able to summit. She designed an intensive training schedule, taking her to climb 13 different snowy peak mountains and trekking for months, as preparation for the biggest challenge. On May 23, 2010, Andrea became the first woman in Central America and the Caribbean to have reached the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest (8,805 meters). This makes her part of an exclusive group of climbers, as only around 275 women have been able to summit Mount Everest. On September 22, 2012, Andrea became one of only 42 people in history to have completed the Adventurer’s Grand Slam, which challenges climbers to summit the tallest peak in every continent and to ski to the geographical North and South Poles. Upon doing this, she became the first Latin American to have achieved this milestone. She collaborates with Funsepa as an “Education Hero” and volunteers with La Alianza, a home for sexually abused teenagers. Andrea is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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 business solutions and quality assurance manager for Copa Airlines. In this position, Antonio was appointed to lead the Hub of the Future Strategy, a program that seeks to improve the competitiveness of the hub, by modernizing the passenger experience. He simultaneously serves as a member of the board of directors of Movin, an independent non-profit political organization, focusing on three main areas: citizen participation, institutionality, and transparency. Prior to this, Antonio was the information and communication technologies (ICT) director for the National Assembly of Panama and a consultant for the Global Center for ICT in Parliaments, a joint initiative of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from the Latin University of Panama and a master´s degree in business administration (MBA) from Eada Business School, Barcelona, where he was elected President representing the class of 2012. He attended programs on strategy at Linköping University, Sweden, on leadership at the University of Bradford, UK, on disruptive innovation at New York University, United States and infrastructure in a market economy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, United States. Antonio is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Arianne M. Benedetti
Arianne M. Benedetti is a writer, director and producer. She is the Director of Meets Latin American Film Market, Founder and C.E.O. of TreeHouse Studios (Production and post production company) and is shareholder of Congo Films, which is the biggest and most important equipment rental company in all Central and South America. She is the former Panama Film Commissioner, and now she is a Senator for Panama at the Central American Parliament, who developed and helped pass the new Film Law in Panama. Arianne has produced and directed more than 300 Advertising Commercials. Arianne has 3 previous short films: “3 Left Feet”, “Peki”, and “It’s the way you see it”; and has directed and produced over 300 TV commercials. Furthermore, she directed the first TV Sitcom ever made in Panama in 1998. She is married and has a baby girl, Mila Camile. Arianne is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
He set up his own architecture practice in San Jose, Costa Rica in 2004. Benjamin studied architecture in Costa Rica at Universidad Veritas and later went on to receive a Professional Masters of Architecture Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, USA. He also holds a degree in Education for the Arts and Design from Brown University in USA and is actively involved as an invited lecturer at Universities in England, USA, and South America. As well as being the executive director of Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture, Benjamin is currently also an associate of British architect Sir Richard Rogers in London. He has personally participated in the design of large scale developments around the world; those which include Tower 3 of the World Trade Center in New York City, high end leisure, residential, and office schemes in Europe, Middle East and China; and more recently the design of a residential development in Monte Carlo for the prince of Monaco.
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 A. Motta
Carlos A. Motta is the Director of Motta International, S.A., a family business that distributes consumer electronics, liquor, fragrances, watches and other luxury goods items throughout Latin America. Motta International also owns and operates Duty Free Stores in airports and cruise ports, along with Specialty Stores / Boutiques in shopping malls through out the region. Carlos has held several positions at Motta International: Executive Vice President, Commercial Vice President for the Luxury Goods Division, Brand Manager of Wine, Spirits and Tobacco. Carlos serves on the the board of of Inversiones Bahia, Motta Internacional S. A., Motco Inc, Latamel SLU, CableOnda, Bahia Motors, Fundación Alberto C. Motta, Fundacion IFF Panama (Panama Film Festival), among others. Carlos also serves on the International Advisory Board of the IAE Business School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is a member of both YPO (Young Presidents Organization) and EO (Entrepreneurs Organization). Carlos received a BA in Marketing from Boston College and an MBA from Thunderbird (The American Graduate School of International Management). Carlos is married to and has three children.
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).
is the founder and general manager of Teleservicios de El Salvador, a logistics and delivery services company, which grew rapidly from 4 to 230 employees due to his vision and strategic outlook. Carlos is currently diversifying his line of business to a comprehensive outsourcing venture. He is also Director of Social Responsibility Initiatives. In 2014, Teleservicios de El Salvador was awarded ÒMARCA POSITIVA” by FUNDEMAS for its commitment to investing in and furthering the development of the local community. Previously, he worked as a private banking counselor at Banco de Madrid in Spain, and as a corporate advisor in Banco Cuscatlán, San Salvador. Carlos holds a law degree from Universidad de Navarra, Spain and a Masters degree in Private Banking by Escuela Superior de Economía in Madrid. He lives in El Salvador with his wife and 3 beautiful kids. Carlos is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
is board member of Grupo CISA AGRO, which is one of the biggest conglomerates from Nicaragua. From CISA AGRO he founded CIM where he currently serves as general manager and partner. He is director and treasurer for the Nicaraguan Chamber of Construction for two consecutive terms, as well as board member of ASOVAR (Subway) for many years. He founded Pequelú with his wife, which is an early stimulation center for children ages 4 and under. Served as financial director for TEDxManagua, where he helped integrate community service to the world-renowned platform of TEDx. Recently, he was appointed as a member of the Social Committee for FUNIDES, which is among the greatest think tanks in Latin America. Holds a degree in engineering from the University of Texas and a master’s from Tecnológico de Monterrey, as well as an executive education program from Kellogg School of Management. He is happily married to Antonella and proud father of 3 children: Antonella, Carlos, and Diego. Carlos is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
is a Salvadoran-born, New York-based, arts professional currently serving as director of external affairs at Creative Time, a longtime philanthropist, and El Salvador’s ambassador on special mission for cultural affairs. In 2016, she joined Creative Time, the public-arts nonprofit working with artists to produce large-scale socially engaged projects. Carolina’s role includes full oversight of fundraising, marketing, PR, social media and communications initiatives — leading a department she personally launched to seamlessly integrate the organization’s development and communications strategies. Previously, she served as head of communications at El Museo del Barrio, New York City’s leading Latin American cultural institution. Carolina’s parallel passion, philanthropy, has been central to her life since childhood, with an emphasis on Latin America. Currently she serves on the board of directors of Y.ES Contemporary, dedicated to supporting and developing contemporary art in El Salvador and beyond. While New York is Carolina’s primary residence, she maintains close personal and professional ties to El Salvador. She is co-owner and head of business development at Ceres Estates, her family’s specialty coffee operation dating back to 1895. In addition, she sits on the board of InnoGen Capital, an El Salvador based Venture Capital Fund. In 2017, El Salvador appointed her as its ambassador on special mission for cultural affairs, with the dual goals of strengthening and promoting her country’s culture worldwide (especially among the millions of Salvadorans abroad) and raising the visibility of Salvadoran artists by creating new opportunities for exposure and dialogue around their work. Carolina is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
AKA Fish was born and raised in Guatemala, received his bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a Finance specialty at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, graduating in 2005. His five roles in life are: 1) Happy Husband, 2) Proud Father, 3) Passionate Entrepreneur, 4) Proud Guatemalan and 5) Hungry learner. His last entrepreneurship is Corporación Arium which is a group of companies specialized in full service distribution of mass consumptions products, it has become one of the largest distribution companies in the country in just 2 years, responsible for +900 employees, with the goal to become the best full-service distribution company in Latin America. Previous to his recent venture, Christian’s experience for 12 years included positions such as regional executive in P&G specializing in marketing and sales in developing countries, expert in distribution management and product development specialist for products that improve the lives of low income consumers; resulting in a vast knowledge of Latin and Central American markets.
He has also been an active member of the board of directors of United Way Guatemala and was elected in 2018 as the vice president of the board, this entity focuses in uniting resources from various companies and voluntary individuals to maximize social impact in Guatemala, the core of such programs is ensuring correct development in early infancy. His values and main descriptors are: Entrepreneur soul – Never stop learning and learn from everyone – Passion – Excellence – Integrity. Christian is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is co-founder and CEO of Greenergyze and GreenFinance, a solar energy company and finance firm specializing in design, sales, installation, maintenance and financing of solar projects in Central America. Christian also serves on several boards of directors and is a member of the EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) Guatemalan Chapter. Christian graduated from ESADE Business School in Barcelona in 2009 where he obtained his MBA degree. Prior to moving to Barcelona, Christian worked for 7 years in Guatemala and Brazil at CBC (Pepsi’s Bottler for Central America and The Caribbean) and AmBev (currently ABInbev). During this time, he served in several roles for the company and successfully lunched Brava Beer in the Central American market. In 2001 he earned his industrial engineering degree, graduating magna cum laude, from North Carolina State University. Christian considers himself a family man, a sports enthusiast and passionate for new adventures; he is the oldest of three siblings. He has been married to Adriana for 11 years and together they have three beautiful children. Christian is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Christian Marín Muller
Christian Marín Muller is CEO of Speratum Cancer Therapeutics. Christian has worked in the field of cancer therapeutics for almost a decade, with a specific focus on the use of RNA interference technology. Christian’s work is based on the development of nanotechnology-based delivery of microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics against solid tumors. Christian discovered and patented a therapeutic miRNA treatment that can control a network of biomarkers responsible for aggressive growth and metastasis in pancreatic cancer, and has the potential to completely eliminate tumors both alone and in combination with existing modalities. In addition to his focus on research, he has also been heavily involved in the biotech industry ecosystem. Christian has co-founded three biotechnology related companies, and has worked as a consultant to multiple start-up and governmental organizations worldwide. Christian’s work has contributed to the advancement of projects ranging from medical devices to HIV vaccine development.
He made Costa Rica his base of operations two years ago, with the goal in mind of using the unique opportunity presented by his technology to help foster biotechnology development in the country. Christian led the construction of a state-of-the-art pre-clinical research facility (first of its kind in Central America), and coordinated the very first inter-institutional contracts between the National Center for Technology and private enterprise to promote collaboration in research. Christian currently serves on the Scientific Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Science, where he’s helping to craft the governing laws and protocols that will allow for Phase I Clinical Studies to be conducted in the country for the first time in almost a decade. He is also co-investigator in a medical device clinical trial with the NIH soon to be launched in the country, and is also acting spokesperson for the CR Biomed Biotechnology Cluster, an initiative to foster collaboration between academia, industry, and government. Christian has a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from Baylor College of Medicine, an MS in Biotechnology Entrepreneurship from Case Western Reserve University and an MS in Molecular Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology. Christian is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American 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.
is founder and chief innovation officer of Tegu, an award-winning toy design, manufacturing and distribution company created to bring employment and prosperity to the country and people of Honduras. Chris runs Manufactura Tegu, the Company’s manufacturing operation in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He is the primary inventor listed on Tegu’s manufacturing-focused patents and has been an instrumental contributor to bringing Tegu’s unique line of magnetic wooden building blocks to market. Prior to starting Tegu, Chris was a consultant with the Los Angeles practice of The Boston Consulting Group, from 2004 to 2007. He was a missionary working with university students with Campus Crusade for Christ in Mexico City in 2002-2003. Chris is a Praxis Fellow (Christian entrepreneurship network) and an Agora Fellow (Latin American social entrepreneurship network), and he was a member of the founding classes of both accelerator programs. He serves on the board of directors of Inversiones La Paz, a Honduran family owned business with diverse investments and retail operations. Chris speaks Spanish and German fluently, loves sports and the outdoors and lives in the mountains above Tegucigalpa with his wife Cindy, their sons Corin and Callan and four labradors. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Chris is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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 deputy information manager at La Prensa Gráfica, the most important newspaper in El Salvador. Claudia has worked in the newspaper for 16 years and began when she was a university student, through an internship. Claudia has worked in many different positions at the newspaper, developing the ability to manage many roles in every section that is now under her leadership. Claudia has a special interest in the areas of education, youth, sexual education in schools and climate change. She regularly publishes editorial articles in the newspaper about various topics of relevance in her country, such as: politics, education, and other social issues. Claudia designed and launched the Education Section of the newspaper, and a theater program to keep young people out of the streets. She has received awards for her work in HIV Coverage, education Programs, environmental issues, and sports. She graduated in Journalism and Social Communication from Universidad José Simeón Ca–as in El Salvador, and has a certificate in Editorial Publishing in the Globalization Era of the Catholic University of Valparaiso Chile, and a certificate from ADEN International Business School in Women and Management. Claudia is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
Claudia Umaña Araujo is a lawyer, activist and legal researcher born in San Salvador, El Salvador. While studying for her law degree from the University Dr. Jose Matías Delgado, the country went through one of its most convulsive times. These circumstances had a great impact on her life and is what has lead her to devote most of her career to the pursuit of modernization of the State, search of opportunities through trade and the promotion of the importance of transparency and rule of law as the path to prosperity and peace.
She is the current President of the NGO: Democracy – Transparency – Justice (DTJ), which promotes transparency and woman’s rights, and Vice President of FUSADES, which has been ranked among the top ten in Latin America according the “Think Tank Initiative.” She is also the Coordinator of the Political and Legal Studies of FUSADES. She also served as the Director of the Department of Legal Studies of FUSADES for almost ten years.
Claudia was also a public servant for almost a decade working as the Director of Trade/Commercial Policy of the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador, with the rank of Special Ambassador for Trade Negotiations. During the years that she held office she coordinated the team that negotiated the WTO, CAFTA, Central America and Chile, among other trade treaties. She was also the head of the Central American Integration Treaty. In 2014, she was awarded the “Order of Bernardo O’Higgins” in rank of Officer, by the Government of Chile. She is a Fellow of the sixth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
Cristina Salazar is currently Chief Financial Officer of Cusezar International Group, one of Latin America’s leading real estate development companies with branches in Colombia, Panama (Provivienda), Mexico (Davivir) and El Salvador. As part of her role, she is helping increase corporate governance, create a new family charter, and is head of the company’s investment committee. She also manages the Salazar family office which invests in private equity and hedge funds around the world. Within the company she is currently serving as Project Manager for a large office development in Panama City and for Titan Plaza Centro Comercial y Empresarial, one of Colombia’s largest and most innovative shopping mall and office developments with over 180,000 square meters. Prior to joining Cusezar in 2008, Cristina worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York City focusing on private equity. During her tenure at Goldman Sachs she helped invest over USD$9 billion in real estate assets throughout the world and $8 billion in companies and private equity funds. Cristina is an active board member of Fundación Bolívar Davivienda, one of Colombia’s largest philanthropic organizations, and was on the Construction Credit Approval Committee of Banco Davivienda. In Panama City she has started a project to improve the quality of the schools in the residential communities that Provivienda develops and she hopes to expand this and other educational efforts into a foundation for the company in the near future. She received a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. Cristina is fluent in Spanish, English, and Portuguese and is proficient in French. She is married to Juan Camilo Reyes and they have two children: Federico and Santiago. Cristina is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is a consultant and entrepreneur dedicated to integrating authentic leadership, exponential innovation and open governance into public service in Latin America. David left his role as director of innovation for the Costa Rican Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications in 2018, where he worked with allies across sectors to build capacities in the innovation ecosystem. Prior to joining in 2014, David was based in other government offices, leading the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade’s work on innovation and global value chains and facilitating the development of the South Sudanese Ministry of Commerce’s first private sector development plan. Prior to his time in government, David worked in the social sector managing impact evaluations of programs intended to stimulate entrepreneurship in Peru with innovations for poverty action, and advising microfinance institutions in India as a consultant with access development services. Prior to living in India, he managed product and process innovation projects for Black and Decker in various positions in the United States and Mexico. In 2012, David received the Accenture Public Service Innovation award and was selected as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Is a member of the Costa Rica USA Foundation’s millennials committee, David has also been a member of the OECD´s Working Group on Technology and Innovation Policy and an advisor to the Presidential Council for Innovation and Human Talent. David earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, graduating summa cum laude from Messiah College, and later obtained a Master in Public Administration in international development from the Harvard Kennedy School. He lives with his wife Monica in Costa Rica, where he spends as much time as he can in nature. David is a Fellow of the fourteenth 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.
Diego Herrera has been a partner with the Panamanian law firm Galindo, Arias &López since 2003. He joined the firm in 1986 as a legal assistant and in 1991 became an associate. He leads the team that advises the Panama Canal Authority overseeing the legal aspects of the Panama Canal Expansion Project. His practice has an emphasis in multinational and large national corporations in the financial and industrial sectors as well as public telecommunications utilities. He has represented, pro bono, Fundación de Lupus de Panamá, Fundación Amador and the Central America Leadership Initiative Foundation (CALI). He collaborated in the drafting of the Panamanian Call Center legislation, is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of INCAE’s National Committee and is a member of AMCHAM, TAGLaw, Lawyers Associated Worldwide and of the Alianza Legal Lationamericana. He is married, has three children and likes to play golf. He has bachelor’s degrees in law and political science from Santa María La Antigua University in Panama, a master’s in law from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, and an MBA from INCAE in Costa Rica. He is married, has three children and likes to play golf. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Diógenes Galván is the founder of Heroes c3, a scientific project of collective improvement to enhance the quality of life in Colon, Panama for its citizens, based on human development. He is a naval engineer who has specialized in maritime transportation. He has also been a senior pilot for the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) since 1998. He is the President of APEDE Colón (Panamanian Association of Business Executives) and an active member of APOM (Panamanian Association of Marine Officers). Diógenes is in charge of vessel navigation and security while the ships cross the Canal and until they depart from Panama waters. He has an M.B.A., a master’s in Project Management, and a master’s in Planning and Evolution of Investment. He is also certified in Leadership and Effective Communication. Mr. Galván is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He is married and is father of Alexie, Sydney, and Diollenis.
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, El Salvador, and online: from 1hr photo stores, to computer superstores, to wine distribution and retail. Today he has shifted his entrepreneurial interests towards online training through OSTraining.com, the #1 online training company for open source content management systems (CMS’s) like WordPress.
Eddie’s greatest passion is social housing. He is proud of his work with Habitat for Humanity where he started in Guatemala in 2000. Today. the Guatemalan program is serving the 100,000th 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 which oversees the program in the whole world. He served as board treasurer, chair of the Audit Committee, and chair of the Latin American Committee.
In 2016 he was named president of the Guatemalan equivalent of the Federal Housing Administration – – a platform he uses to advocate for housing for the poor. In 2017, as part of his CALI-AGLN project, Eddie started his most ambitious project to date: to design and develop, write the bill and pass the law to create a housing provident fund that will help millions of Guatemalans save and obtain guaranteed access to financing for housing.
He serves as treasurer of the Union Church of Guatemala. 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.