• Alejandro Ferrer


    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Antonio Saad

    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.

  • 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 Araúz


    Carlos Araúz is a senior vice president at Towerbank International, Inc. in Panama. In 2010, Araúz was recognized for his contributions to the overall success of the aforementioned bank when awarded the “Espíritu Insuperable” recognition by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Also in 2010, Araúz published “¿Qué sería de Panamá sin el dólar?” in La Prensa. In 2008, Araúz was named one of the most influential business persons under 40 years old in Panama by Capital Financiero, a regional publication. In 2005, Araúz was appointed spokesperson for an independent association of business executives in negotiations with the government that led to changes in Tax and Social Security laws. Before joining Towerbank in 2007, Araúz worked for two multinational Banks living in Mexico, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Panama over 11 years. Born and raised in Panama, Araúz won an academic scholarship to attend Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee where he majored in Economics/Finance and has an MBA degree from Nova Southeastern University (St. Petersburg, Florida).

  • Carlos 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:

    1. A questionnaire addressed to a group of faculty to understand the existence of a burn out condition and its level.
    2. 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.

    Venture Goal

    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.

  • Carolina Freire


    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.

  • Cristina Salazar

    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.

  • Diego Eleta

    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

    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 Galvan


    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.

  • Eida Gabriela Saiz


    Eida Gabriela Saiz: Treasury and Finance Manager, Autoridad del Canal de Panama, where she is responsible for overseeing financial investment opportunities for the financial sources of ACP – Panama’s most important public corporation, currently engaging in the execution of the Expansion of the Panama Canal. She led the contracting of the external financing sources for the Expansion Program for US$2,300 million through the negotiation with five international development agencies. Prior joining ACP, she was Deputy Director of Public Credit for the Republic of Panama. Earned an M.B.A from INCAE Business School, and Nova Southeastern University and B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Gabriela is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Elizabeth Huertemate


    Elizabeth is currently a partner at Lopez, Villanueva & Huertematte (LOVILL) Attorneys at Law, named by Chambers and Partners as a Leading Firm in Latin America. She is a Board member and shareholder of Lovill Assets S.A., a corporate services company, and Lovill Trust, S.A., a trust and estate services company. She is also a member of the International Bar Association and the Panamanian Bar Association. She began her career as a lawyer at Morgan & Morgan, Attorneys at Law, as an Associate, from 2006-2011. She is Chairman of the Board of G.H. Management (Equity Fund with investments in real estate and financial products in Panama and abroad), Chairman of the Board of Hacienda San Jose, S.A., a 7,000 acre cattle ranch, agricultural and forestry operation in Pacora, Panama, Owner and Director of Campo Marzio Design Panama and brand representative in Panama (retail), Member of the Board of Directors of Sunstar Development, S.A., (Sheraton Bijao Hotel) and Metropolitan Hotels S.A., (Hilton Garden Inn Panama City), Member of the Board of ADESVA, a nonprofit organization working for the sustainable development of El Valle de Anton, Member of the Board of the Contemporary Museum of Panama (MAC), and Chairman of Fundación Heurtematte, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the arts, education and social support to underprivileged communities in Panama, and most recently, a Founding Member and Board Member of Women Corporate Directors, Panama Chapter. She has a B.A. in International Affairs and Latin American Studies of Georgetown University, Washington D.C., with concentrations in East Asian Studies, International Development and International Politics. Elizabeth has also a Minor in History, Summa Cum Laude and Distinguished Scholar, of Elliott School of International Affairs. She has a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, a B.A. in Law form Columbus Univsersity, Panama City, Panama, and a LLM in Law and Management from INIDEM Business Law School, Panama City, Panama. She is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.

  • Enrique Arturo de Obarrio


    Enrique Arturo de Obarrio is a founding partner of de Obarrio, Carles and Associates. Since he co-founded his practice, he has also been general counsel to Panama’s Superintendency of Banks and worked for the International Banking Center there. From 1990 to 1993 Enrique worked for the Organization of American States as political counselor and alternate ambassador of Panama. He is president of the board of directors of Elektra Panama, SA, counselor to the vice president of Banco Azteca for Latin America, founding vice president of the Organization of the Private Sector of the Americas, head representative of the NGO sector to Panama’s Consejo de la ConcertaciónNacionalpara el Desarrollo, alternate general coordinator of the Latin-American Network for Democracy, and founding member of Panama’s National Council for Ethical Culture. He presided over the United States-Panama Business Council Panama Chapter from 2007 until 2008 and the Panamanian Association of Business Executives from 2004 until 2006. He was the founding president of the National Center for Competitiveness, where he is also a trustee, and was the representative of the Panamanian private sector to the Mesoamerican Council for Competitiveness. He has been instrumental in passing the Panamanian Law on Transparency, the Panama Business Ethics Compact, the National Justice Compact, the Panama Canal expansion project, and the National Development Strategy for Panama. Enrique obtained his BA in law and political science from Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua, in Panama, in 1986; a year later, he did postgraduate studies in international and common law at the Georgetown University Law Center, in Washington, D.C. Enrique is fluent in English and Spanish and is married with three children. He is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Gabriela Aued


    Gaby Aued comenzó sus funciones en la empresa desde el año 2000, donde ha desarrollado su carrera en diferentes posiciones, incluyendo Especialista de Soluciones Financieras, y Gerente Regional de Soluciones Financieras. A lo largo de su carrera profesional ha participado y dirigido diferentes organizaciones sociales y empresariales. Gaby ha sido líder en la expansión de las operaciones de TECNASA en toda la región. En El Salvador, se destacó como Gerente General desde 2006 hasta 2011, para luego ser promovida a Gerente General de la sede de TECNASA en Panamá y CEO de Grupo TECNASA. Gaby es graduada de Brown University, con especialización en estrategia de las escuelas de negocio de Harvard y Stanford. Ella también es miembro de la Junta Directiva de TECNASA.

    Actualmente, es becaria del Instituto Aspen, becaria de Iniciativa de Liderazgo de Centroamérica (CALI) y parte de la Red Global de Liderazgo de Aspen. También es miembro de la Junta Asesora de NCR Corporation.

  • Gabriela Etchelecu


    Gabriela Etchelecu is a dedicated advocate for responsible environmental development with work experience in scientific institutions, NGO and the private sector. Etchelecu directed MarViva Foundation dedicated to protecting ocean resources. She was also the President of the Environmental Committee of the Business Association of Panama and is currently a member of their Board of Directors. She worked as a researcher at the Smithsonian Institute in Panama and is a SCUBA Diver Instructor Trainer. A Marine Docent since 1994, Gabriela has broad experience in Volunteer work and has been a commissioner in several environmental Committees. Gabriela was declared Daughter of David in 2010 for her community work with fishers. Was honored with the Keys of the City of Panama in 2008 and the Young Values Prize in 2007. Born in Panama. Earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Panamá in 1995 and has post graduate studies in Ecology and Biotechnology.

  • Gian Castillero


    Gian Castillero is part of the Arias, Fabrega & Fabrega team of lawyers since 1994. His principal areas of practice include corporate and commercial law, state organization, and maritime law. Castillero was attorney resident in the London office of Arias, Fabrega & Fabrega from 1994 to 2000 and coordinator of the Maritime Finance Department and Ship Registry from 2000 to 2006, actively engaged in transactions of the sale and financing of ships. Currently, Castillero directs the international corporate services department of Arias, Fabrega & Fabrega. He is responsible for administrative oversight of its network of offices in the British Virgin Islands, Belize, London, Geneva, Luxembourg and Hong Kong. Castillero is actively involved in advising private clients on a wide range of topics covering estate planning, structuring and administration of foundations and trusts, private companies advising various foreign jurisdictions (including Panama, British Virgin Islands, Belize and Hong Kong), philanthropic and tax planning and advising clients in institutional and commercial clients in corporate matters. Castillero is president of the International Lawyers Association and a member of the Comisión Alto Nivel designed by the National Government for the protection of international services in Panama. Previously, he presided the commission put forth by Maritime Authority of Panama to draft the actual General Law of the Marina Mercante Panameña.

  • Gisela Alvarez de Porras


    Gisela Alvarez de Porras is a managing partner with Arias & Muñoz, Panama. She launched Albacrome, a large commercial printing company, in Panama back in 2009. She is the former Minister of Trade and Industry in Panama. In government, she has been Director General of the Internal Revenue Services and Vice Minister of Finance. She has represented Panama before the Interamerican Center of Tax Administration and has been the head negotiator of the International Treaties to Avoid Double Taxation. She specialized in tax and estate planning as partner in the firm of Patton, Moreno &Asvat and was managing director of Assets Trust & Corporate Services. From 2004 to 2005, she was a member of the Presidential Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering, representing the private sector. She studied at the London School of Economics (LLM) and has a postgraduate degree from Stetson University in real estate, and a master of science from the Swiss Business School (SBS). She completed her MBA in 2009. Gisela is certified as a trust and estate practitioner by The Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (London) and is founding partner of the Panama branch. She is president of Vital Voices Panama and a member of the Panamanian Association of Exeuctives, where she was a member of the board. She is a member of the board of directors of the Panamanian Stock Exchange and Special Olympics. She is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Hildegard Vásquez


    Hildegard Vasquez is head of the architecture office, HacheUve, which she founded in 1998. Her office has concentrated mostly on preservation and renovation of historic sites such as San Felipe Historic District in Panama or the city of Granada, Nicaragua. She served as head of Fundación Calicanto, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the cultural, historic, and human restoration of San Felipe. Its projects include the re-socialization of local gangs, educational programs for single mothers, multiple cultural events, and plans for the restoration of colonial churches. She has also been a member of the Inter Oceanic Canal Museum Board since its creation in 1997 and was part of the Contemporary Arts Museum Board from 2001 to 2005. Her office has worked on restoration projects such as Panama’s National Theater and Santo Domingo Convent and is currently working on a proposal for a contemporary arts center in the transitional area of San Felipe and Chorrillo. Hildegard has a BA and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s in historic restoration from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado


    Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado was elected Vice President of Panama in 2014. Formerlty, she was an independent development consultant at Stratego Consultores, SA, with particular expertise in governance, consensus building, state modernization, and civil society engagement in development. She was previously assistant resident representative for the United Nations Development Program in the Panama country office. She was responsible for projects and interventions in the areas of state modernization, governance, poverty, the environment, and other development areas. Isabel designed and led several democratic dialogue processes in Panama, such as the Bambito Process, Panama 2000, Vision 2020 and most recently the National Consensus Building Process for Development. She has been Ambassador of Panama to the United Nations at its New York City headquarters, as well as member of several Panamanian delegations for the negotiation of political and commercial agreements at the regional level. She is a member of the National Council of Foreign Affairs of Panama and of the Advisory Council of the Central American Institute for Research on Fiscal Policy. She holds a degree in international relations from St. Joseph’s University and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. She is married to Omar Alvarado and has three children Alberto, Carolina Isabel and Julio Raúl. She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Javier Bru

    is the founder and CEO of IME Marine Group of Companies, one of the largest marine surveying and consultancy companies in Latin America, which also has regional offices in United Arab Emirates, China, Paraguay, Spain (Canary Islands), Nigeria and Colombia, and representative offices in more than 25 countries worldwide. He has been invited as a speaker at the national and international maritime forums, and has been awarded several recognitions. Javier earned a bachelor’s degree in science, graduating cum laude, from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point and specializes in maritime safety, consultancy and logistics. He has completed three master’s degree in Marine, Naval and business management, from prestigious universities in Panama, Canada, Belgium and France. Javier has exerted his leadership with a strong human sensibility and vocation for social integration and equality. He is a member of the Rotary Club where he has been able to collectively address and support some of the basic needs of the Panamanian society. Javier is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Keyes Hardin


    Keyes Christopher “KC” Hardin is co-founder and president of Conservatorio SA, a company dedicated to the revitalization of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Panama City. Conservatorio was winner of Travel & Leisure Magazine’s Global Vision Award for its responsible approach to its work developing historic hotels, condominiums, affordable housing and social projects. Prior to moving to Panama, KC was a corporate lawyer in New York and Tokyo with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison where he focused primarily on mergers and acquisitions and private equity. He graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 1998 and from the University of Miami in 1994 with majors in Motion Pictures and Political Science.

  • Liza Dreszer

    Liza Dreszer is the founder and C.E.O of Jaspe Rock, a company established in 2001 which distributes goods to supermarket chains, pharmacies and department stores throughout Panama.  Its core business is the Personal Care & Cosmetic segment of the market.  Liza is a founding member and director of Fundación JUPA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and provide educational programs to underprivileged and at-risk youth in Panama.  She is a director of Superate Institutional based out of El Salvador and was key in establishing the Superate JUPA Center in Panama, which teaches students from 10thto 12thgrades; English, computer science, and values during a 3-year program.   She is part of the fundraising committee and coordinator of grants from the U.S Government to run the programs.  She is currently working on the expansion of Aprende Divirtiendote, a program designed to teach values through award winning children’s books.  This program aims to increase literacy, teach values and life skills to students from the 2ndto 4thgrades from public schools in Panama.   She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Babson University in Boston, with a Bachelor of Science in Business.  She lives in Panama, is married, and has two children.   Liza is a Fellow of the thirteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Lourdes Guerra

    is founder and director of La Granjerita, an agricultural entrepreneurship launched with the mission to grow food locally while also educating consumers about the importance of agro business, consuming home-grown products, and promoting respect for the local farmers. Lourdes worked as a Financial Analyst in 2010 for a local bank in Panama City. Prior to that she worked at HSBC Bank in New Castle, Delaware in the U.S. Eager to start her career path she moved back to her hometown in David – Chiriquí, where she found her inner passion for harvesting the land. In 2013, Lourdes decided to follow her dreams and became a farmer without having any prior experience in agriculture. She started harvesting her first vegetables in a ten square feet raised garden bed in her parent«s backyard, now farming in five acres of land. Lourdes earned her bachelor«s degree in finance and a marketing MBA from Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Delaware. Lourdes is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Madelka McCalla

    is the global stakeholder relations director of AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 global power company, present in 17 countries. Prior to this position, Madelka served as AES stakeholder relations director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, where she supported businesses in the implementation of AES strategic vision. She also served as AES Africa corporate social responsibility director (2010 – 2013), where she developed a comprehensive CSR strategy for Nigeria and Cameroon for social investment projects. She was also a UN Coordination Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Panamá where she managed the UN Resident Coordinator’s communication with UN actors, to identify the countryís needs and priorities in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals. Madelka was part of the Panamanian Foreign service (2005 -2009) where she represented the government of Panamá as Political Counselor for the Embassy of Panamá in the United States and at the Permanent Mission of Panamá to the United Nations as Political Attaché. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in global governance and public policy with a minor concentration on development and technology for developing countries from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany. Madelka is an alumni of Georgetown Global Competitive Leadership for Ibero-American professionals. She is fluent in English, French, German and Spanish. Madelka is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Manuel Lorenzo


    Manuel Lorenzo is the director of City of Knowledge Foundation s Panama Business Accelerator, and general manager of Venture Club, the first and only business angel network in Panama. He is the national coordinator of the High-growth Entrepreneurship Support Program in Panama, of the Interamerican Development Banks Multilateral Investment Fund. He is a member of the board of Quantic Vision, an international information technology company. He has been consultant, investment banker, businessman, and university professor. Also he has been invited as a professor for Latin American Boards Global Competitiveness Leadership Program in Georgetown University. He holds an MBA from INCAE Business School (1996) and he is a Computer Systems Engineer from Monterrey Institute of Technology (1991). He was born and lives in Panama City, and he is married with two children.

  • María Antonietta Cassino


    María Antonietta Cassino, is the Executive Director of Fundación ProEd, an international award-winning organization, dedicated to the advancement of public education through the continuous professional development of educators in Panama. In 2007, Mary began her career in ProEd as a volunteer in a community service program. Mary’s commitment to public outreach earned her the position of Director of Programs in 2009 and in 2011, Mary took the helm at ProEd, as Executive Director. Mary is responsible for administration of ProEd, and the advancement of all ProEd training and development programs. In 2008, Mary participated in the 6-week Global Village for the Future of Business and Industry Leaders at the Iacocca Institute on the Lehigh University Campus. As a Global Villager, Mary participated in a variety of learning experiences that strengthened her competencies in leadership, teamwork and social entrepreneurship. Additionally, in 2008, Mary graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the InterAmerican University in Panama, which launched her professional career in the field of education and human development. In 2012, Mary participated in The International Visitor Leadership Program, which afforded her the opportunity to learn from a variety of international social service organizations.

  • María Luisa Navarro


    María Luisa Navarro has been the General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since July 2014. Before, she was the Executive Director of Swiss Arifa Trust Company, a joint venture between Arias, Fabrega & Fabrega (ARIFA) (a Panamanian law firm), and Swiss Independent Trustees (a Geneva based trust company), focusing her work on Trust Services, Family Consulting and Estate Planning. She is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She has also worked in investment banking and private banking. Maria Luisa graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor of science in Foreign Service. She majored in international politics and obtained certificates in economics and Latin American studies. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Maria Luisa lives in Panama with her husband Ricardo and their three children, Elena Isabel, Ricardo Alberto and Sofia Emilia.

  • María Luisa Romero

    is a human rights advocate who served as minister of government and vice-minister of government of the Republic of Panama (January 2017-April 2018; July 2014-January 2017). In the Ministry of Government María Luisa oversaw issues related to justice, governance, civil protection, refugees and indigenous peoples. She implemented reforms to make Panama’s prison system more humane and secure, establishing by law a civil career in the prison service and improving rehabilitation programs for persons deprived of liberty. Before entering public service, María Luisa worked as an independent human rights consultant (2013-2014); as a litigator in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City, where she advised clients with respect to regulatory, anti-corruption and human rights matters (2010-2013); and as an attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica (2008-2009). María Luisa started her human rights field work as a student member and later as a pro bono contributor to the International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard Law School (2006-2008, 2010-2012). María Luisa also worked at the Embassy of Panama in the United States, interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and has collaborated with civil society in Panama on various human rights matters. She has contributed to several publications regarding human rights investigations. María Luisa earned her juris doctor degree, graduating cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2008, and her bachelor’s degree in government, graduating magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 2004. María Luisa sits on the board of directors of Cable & Wireless Panama. She is married to José Ricardo Coleman Tió, with whom she has two children, José Ricardo and Victoria Ivana. María Luisa is a Fellow of the 14th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • María Luisa Salvador


    Maria Luisa Salvador is national director for basic education at the Ministry of Education of Panama.   Prior to her work at the Ministry she worked for almost eight years at the Foundation Spirituality for Kids, Inc. During her work there, she developed social emotional learning programs for kids from six to twelve years of age in situations of extreme poverty, violence, and abuse. Marilu started at the foundation as a lead teacher and program director for the programs in Panama, was transferred to Mexico City to coordinate the programs for Latin America and then moved to Los Angeles, the main headquarters, as regional director for the United States and Latin America.   In these roles she gained experience supervising and mentoring education directors, training new teachers, and preparing trainings for teachers and parents. Marilu has more than 20 years of experience as teacher, professor and director for schools in Panama and in the United States. She has also given seminars and workshops for programs like “English for Life” of Gabriel Lewis Galindo Foundations and “Teachers Supporting Teachers”, Proed Foundation. She has a master’s degree in educational administration, curriculum development and policy studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington DC.

  • Mario E. Castrellón

    Mario E. Castrellón is a chef and owner of various restaurants in Panama. He has been a young entrepreneur who has already opened 3 different restaurants in the past 5 years, one of them being a local direct trade coffee roaster called UNIDO which is developing a new NGO where the 10% of each coffee sold will be used for projects supporting producers and the communities in the coffee growing regions of Panama. After finishing his studies in hospitality and tourism in Sant Pol de Mar (EUHT) in Barcelona, Mario decides to return to Panama with the vision of the new trends in Spain and the goal of defining a new cuisine to his country. After being the chef at two restaurants in Panama City, he begins to know the local palate, and decides to venture in opening his own restaurant, MAITO, where he presents his own concept of Panamanian food. In MAITO, Mario identifies an evolving Panamanian cuisine that is building a body with each passing day. Currently MAITO has inspired its menu with the Panama Canal, convinced that this wonder of the world is the main reason for the mix of techniques, influences, origins and flavors that can be identified with the flavor of the country. Through the years of investigation looking for Panamanian traditional ingredient, Mario has reached to different communities of difficult access where he learned of lost produces that the regular Panamanian does not consume or know off. With a joint venture with Nutre Hogar, one of the first NGO of the country that fights malnutrition, Mario became a loyal volunteer who has helped on various projects like building and teaching the first bakery of Kankintu in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Mario is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Marisa Arias


    Marisa Arias has been working as founding Executive Director of United Way Panamá since 2010. She was in charge of the organization´s start-up and after four years since its foundation, she has been vigorously working in a local strategy and action plan to increase community impact through collaborative leadership and aligning this vision and efforts with companies, nonprofit agencies and the government. She has been key in establishing UWP´s education programs and different programs aimed to strengthen Panama´s nonprofit sector. She is currently participating as first cohort of United Way Worldwide´s Executive Leadership Development Program and has been selected to participate in UW´s Latin American Regional Committee in the High-Performance Boards Initiative. Marisa was given the keys to the City of Panama in 2012, an honor given by the Mayor´s Office in recognition to her valuable and successful career as a professional and her ceaseless volunteer service to the wellbeing of cancer patients. Marisa worked as Executive Director of the Centro Empresarial de Inversión Social (CEDIS) an initiative funded by the Kellogg Foundation under the Leadership in Philanthropy in the Americas Program. In 2005, she was recruited by Telefónica start their Corporate Responsibility office as CSR Manager in Panamá. She led Fundación Telefónica´s regional program Proniño, dedicated to the eradication of child labor and re-launched their corporate volunteer program Voluntarios Telefónica . Marisa was chosen to represent the corporate sector towards the creation of the ISO 26000 the standard guidance on social responsible behavior and led the National Mirror Committee for this purpose, led the first cellphone recycling national program and created the annual CSR report for Panama and Central America for three consecutive years. She was recognized as one of Panama´s young emergent leaders by Capital Financiero by receiving the 40 Menores de 40 Award in 2009. She received her BA in Political Science from Vassar College in 1995 and continued master s studies in Non Profit Mangement in New York University s Wagner School of Public Administration. Because her mother fell ill to cancer, she was unable to finish her degree but returning to her native Panama, became one of the founders of FundaCáncer, a leading nonprofit dedicated to equip the only public Oncological Hospital in the country.

  • Michelle Muschett


    Michelle Muschett is the current Vice Minister of Social Development in the Republic of Panama and the Technical Coordinator of the Social Cabinet. She has a broad professional experience ranging from the legal field and cultural affairs to social development. She graduated from Bachelor of Laws and Social Sciences at Santa Maria La Antigua University (Suma Cum Laude). She earned a degree in Commercial Law at the Externado de Colombia University, a Postgraduate degree in International Business and Private Law at Carlos III University in Madrid, a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Social Policy and International Development Studies at Cornell University and a Master’s in Cultural Assets and Events Management at the Instituto per l’Arte e il Restauro Palazzo Spinelli in Florence, Italy. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Miguel Fábrega


    Miguel Fábrega is the president and creative director of NEO!, a creative consulting firm that specializes in business strategy and creative solutions for all types of business. He is also the founding partner of Diablo Rosso, a think-tank space and launching pad for emerging artists and creators of all types and partner for the Daily Senet, an insiders guide to 32 cities in the world.  In 2006 his international art career began with the help of Dean Project gallery in NYC. In the past, he has worked as the Creative Director for staples as Oglivy, JWT and Young and Rubicam. During his 9 years with the WPP group he worked in various countries including Argentina, Mexico and New York and was part of global creative teams for Samsung and Colgate. Miguel also co-founded MOGO magazine, the first Intelecto-cultural publication in the region. Miguel has shown his work across Latin America, the U.S., Europe, the middle east and Japan. He won first prize in the Central American emerging artist Triennal at the Museo de Arte y Diseño de Costa Rica, has represented his country in the Bienalle de Centro America and has been nominated twice for the prestigious CIFO (Cisnero-Fontanals) grant. He has been a columnist for AGENDA magazine and a Ted Talker and fellowship finalist. He graduated in marketing and advertising with additional studies in photography and cinema.

  • Mirei Endara de Heras


    Mirei Endara de Heras served as Minister of Environment (2014-2017) and as Administrator of the Panama Environmental Authority (1994-1999), leading important institutional transformation in each term, most recently elevating the environment to a cabinet level position. The legislation passed in each of those terms allowed not only for the increased institutional capacity and authority, but also allowed an integrated and holistic approach to environment and natural resource management, pushing forward a sustainable development vision and agenda for the country. Mirei was the first Executive Director of the Fundación CALI (Central America Leadership Initiative), helping create the Central American portion of AGLN with the region’s founders in 2005. She is a board member of Fundación Smithsonian, a local not-for-profit created to support and divulge the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s work in Panama and Latin America, a position she has held since 2000. She has also held board positions in ANCON (Asociación Nacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza) the oldest conservation organization in Panama, Fundación NATURA and Fundación Centro de Ciencias y Arte. From 2000 to 2003 she established and directed the Nature Conservancy’s Panama Program. Mirei is now investing a lot of her time in addressing marine and coastal trash, as well as water management issues, focusing on how can private sector and civil society be more proactive and involved. She holds an undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and a Masters in Environmental Studies from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Management. She is married to Miguel Heras and has 2 children, Miguel and Sofia. She is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Mitzi Alfaro

    is the founder of MAS Solutions, an independent consulting firm that specializes in financial planning and strategic advisory focusing on small and medium size companies. In 2016, she started the set up and management of a single-family office, advising them in establishing governance mechanisms, tax and estate planning, philanthropic initiatives, and the evaluation of new business opportunities. That same year, Mitzi executed the first nationally broadcasted edition of the now-annual Contest for Education and Excellence, where standardized testing in math, science, and languages was provided to several public schools in Panama. In 2013, she left her position as assistant vice president for treasury and investment in Banco General, after over 15 years working on the banking sector. During 2007, Mitzi lead the treasury and financial institution fronts during the merger of Banco General and Banco Continental, the two largest Panamanian banks at the time. She currently serves as an International Finance Corporation board nominee for Banco la Hipotecaria and a board member for Grupo Power Club fitnesss gyms. Mitzi is a board member in various nonprofit organizations such as Pro Niñez, Fundación para la Promoción de la Excelencia Educativa, and Fundación Escuela San Pedro Nolasco all in which the quality of education is promoted through several initiatives. Mitzi was valedictorian from INCAE EMBA class of 2009 and earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and international business graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2002. A proud mother of three children, Alessandra, Miguel, and Diego, Mitzi enjoys spending time with her family, serving at her church, running, reading and working on social projects involving children that will leave a positive footprint in remote communities. She is also a member of the Comité Nacional de INCAE, the Georgetown Alumni Association and associate member of Women Corporate Directors. Mitzi is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Nilson Ariel Espino


    Nilson Ariel Espino is president of SUMA Architects and Urban Planners, a private firm specializing in urban-scale projects including public-private partnernships and social-environmental components. He was previously executive director of the Office of the Old City, an agency administered through the United Nations Development Program and whose mission is the renovation of the colonial neighborhood of Panama City, a World Heritage Site. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Catholic University in Panama, a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Rice University. He is married and has two sons. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Pablo de la Guardia


    Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Alliances, Copa Airlines, Panamá.

    Pablo de la Guardia is the Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Alliances for Copa Airlines, one of Latin America´s leading airline groups with service to 70 destinations in 30 countries.

    His responsibilities include strategic alliance development, international affairs, regulatory affairs, and analysis of legislative policy. He serves as principle liaison of the company with multiple governmental agencies throughout Latin America. He represents the company in local and regional business and industry groups.

    Prior to joining Copa Airlines, Pablo de la Guardia worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as Legislative Aide to Hon. Xavier Becerra, Member of Congress from California. He has also held several posts in Panama’s private and non-profit sector.

    Pablo earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Business Administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio).

    Pablo is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Patricia Planells


    Patricia Planells de Rengifo currently heads the Corporate Lending team at BAC Panama, a GrupoAval affiliate, which incorporates banking operations throughout Central America. Since 1998, Mrs. Rengifo has been involved in higher education through instructional posts at the USMA – Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua, distinguished as the top private center for higher education in Panama, and the International Banking Institute, academic branch for the Panamanian Bankers Association, leading the instruction of different finance and bank related topics. Mrs. Rengifo has published articles in the Banca y Mercado Magazine, the official magazine of the Panamanian Bankers Association. Mrs. Rengifo has given pro bono efforts as financial advisor for several non for profit organizations such as the Fundación de Amigos del Niño con Leucemia y Cancer, and the orphanage house Malambo. Before joining BAC in 1997, Mrs. Rengifo served as Credit Officer at Bank Boston Panama Branch, and Production Plant Engineer for Kraft Foods Panama. Born and raised in Panama City, Panama, Rengifo is a Magna Cum Laude Engineer from the USMA, and a Master in Business Administration with honors from the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencias y Tecnologia – ULACIT.

  • Rabbi Gustavo Kraselnik


    Rabbi Gustavo Kraselnik is the spiritual leader of the Congregation KolShearith Israel in Panama since 2002, and is the Executive Director of the Panamanian Jewish Congress. It is also a member of the Interfaith Committee of Panama. He is coauthor of the book Parashah Commentaries (Notes from the weekly Torah readings), and published in major newspapers several articles on current topics related to Judaism. Gustavo was ordained by the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano, in 1996 and served as Rabbi of the Jewish Community of El Salvador from 1996 until 2002. He graduated in Business Administration from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Gustavo participated in the program “Senior Educators” at The Melton Centre for Jewish Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has been Professor of Rabbinical Literature at the University Jose Simeon Cañas (UCA) in El Salvador, and Professor of Jewish Studies at the University Santa Maria La Antigua (USMA) in Panama. Gustavo is from Argentina, is married and has one son.

  • Raisa Bainfield


    Raisa Banfield is director of the Environmental Advocacy Center. She offers conferences on civil participation, conservation, and development in order to provide information access to communities. She has created workshops and expert exchanges on urban and environmental topics as well as published diverse opinion articles in various news organs. In 2007, she won a scholarship from the US government to train in topics related to urbanism and the environment. Recently, she was invited by the Environmental Leadership Training Initiative, a program of the Smithsonian Institute of Tropical Research and the Yale University School of Forestry to take part in the conference “Financing for the Conservation of Nature in the Americas.” She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Rita Vásquez

    Rita Vásquez is the sub-director of the newspaper La Prensa. This is her second stint for the newspaper, having returned in March 2015 after spending three-and-a-half years as a human resources manager for the Panama office of VF Corporation. Rita first joined La Prensa in 2007, where she held the title of junior sub-director before leaving for VF in 2011. Prior to entering the newspaper industry, Rita worked as managing director of the BVI office for the law firm Sucre, Arias and Reyes, and later as an associate for the firm’s office in Panama. While in the BVI, Rita was a board member of the Association of Registered Agents, the leading advocacy group for the financial services industry. In 2015, Rita was elected vice president of the National Journalism Council, an organization founded to protect the right to freedom of expression and information in Panama. In 2016, she was elected president of that organization. Rita was also the leader of La Prensa’s team that was part of the global investigation that became known as “The Panama Papers.” Rita is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Robbie García


    is founder and managing partner of Versata Capital, a boutique investment bank based out of Panama, serving clients with corporate finance and M&A advisory services. He also serves as Chairman of Executive Forums (Panama Chapter), a President/CEO peer group advisory board. Robbie’s previous experience includes leadership positions at Valor Capital, Dell, Grupo Financiero Uno, and Visa Latin America. He began early in his career as a management consultant for Bain & Company serving mainly Latin American clients in a diverse set of industries. Robbie earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University. He serves on the board of directors of Cochez & Cia., CM Realty (REIT), and the Harvard Club of Panama; Also a member of the Biodiversity Museum’s Development Committee and a member of the advisory board of FranklinCovey Latin America North. Robbie lives in Panama with his wife Claudia and his two boys, Roberto and Sebastian. In his free time he enjoys running, biking, swimming and playing soccer. Robbie is a Fellow of the eleventh class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Roberto Motta III


    Roberto Motta III is president and CEO of Agencias Motta, S.A., Envasadora Comercial, S.A. and FAMOSA GROUP, S.A., companies dedicated to the manufacturing and distribution of fragrances, health and beauty products, in local and international markets. He has more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning for development of new markets and product management. He also has interests in real estate projects. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Panama, the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE), and Entrepreneurs Organization, (EO) and was the president of AEROCLUB. He is a member of the board of directors of Novey, SA, Cochez, FETESA, and Euroautos Group of Centroamérica. Roberto Motta graduated from Babson College in Massachusetts and obtained an MBA from INCAE, as well as participated in high-performance managers program. In his leisure time, he is an avid airplane pilot. He is married and has four children. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Rodrigo González


    Rodrigo Gonzalez Paniza is currently the Operations AVP for the LATAM Region in EGS, private multinational BPO Company, part of the private equity arm of JP Morgan Chase. His responsibilities are to ensure lean, optimum and profitable operations, generate corporate stability and standardization, business performance innovation, as well as strategic planning and ensuring attainment of corporate financial and operational objective. He has also worked as a consultant in the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank as counterpart to various governments in the region on loans given by these institutions for economic development programs, on a period of approximately 6 years. After the banks he moved over to 3M as Lean Six Sigma Director and Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs Regional Manager, then promoted to Commercialization Manager and Strategic Planner for the region as well. He then moved to independent private consulting after almost 6 years in 3M, advising clients on process optimization, change management, etc., such as Tetra-Pak, HSBC, Halliburton, Suzuki, Generali, as well as other national and regional enterprises. He sold the business to another consulting firm. He is a Lawyer, specialized in Economy and certified Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

  • Sabrina Bacal


    Sabrina Bacal es politóloga de formación y periodista con 19 años de experiencia en Panamá. Actualmente es la Vicepresidenta de Asuntos Informativos y Asesora Ejecutiva de RSE en TVN Media. Además dirige el programa Radar  y el especial anual Héroes por Panamá.  Entre los años 2004 y 2010 fue Directora de TVN Noticias y condujo al canal televisivo a los primeros lugares de credibilidad y audiencia.
    La trayectoria periodística de Sabrina también incluye su paso por el diario La Prensa (donde fue analista, columnista y miembro de la Junta Directiva), por la emisora radial Omega Stereo (como panelista de Infoanalisis y creadora del programa Sal y Pimienta) y el ejercicio de la docencia en Periodismo y Opinión Pública en la Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua (USMA).
    Sabrina Bacal también ha sido consultora del Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina (CAF), partícipe de la Iniciativa de Liderazgo de Centroamérica del Aspen Institute (CALI), miembro del Consejo de Relaciones Exteriores (CONAREX) y de  las Juntas Directivas de la Fundación PROED y  la Fundación Amador.

  • Vali Maduro de Gateno


    Vali Maduro de Gateño: Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice, Panama, Republic of Panama. For the past 16 years Vali has treated individuals, couples and families. She is part of the faculty of the International Psychotherapy Institute (IPI) in Washington, DC and Panama and is the current Director of the IPI – Panama. She is a member of the Fundación Relaciones Sanas where she was the Coordinator and Developer of Teen Screen Panama, a Program that seeks to prevent adolescent suicide and is still acts as liaison with Columbia University’s TeenScreen Program. Vali is one of two Spanish Speaking Master Trainers for the American Association of Suicidology where she trains Mental Health professionals to evaluate and treat patients at risk. She is a volunteer with different associations and is always involved in the promotion and education of mental health issues in the public and private sectors in Panama. Vali earned her B.S. in Psychology from Florida International University, her Masters in Psychology from Miami Institute of Psychology, her Post Graduate Studies in Object Relations Theory and Therapy from the International Psychology Institute and her Ph.D. from California Southern University. Vali is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Víctor Vial


    Victor Vial is chief financial officer for Copa Airlines, which provides service to 31 destinations in 20 countries in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the United States from its “Hub of the Americas” at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama. Victor joined Copa Airlines in October 1995 as director of planning. During his tenure, Victor was involved in negotiations for Copa’s affiliation and strategic alliance with Continental Airlines. During the past four years, Victor has overseen the second phase of the airline’s fleet renovation. He graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in international business administration. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.