Julio Héctor Estrada
Julio holds a BA in Economics from UFM in Guatemala and an MBA from INSEAD in France. Before joining the GLF programme, his background included founding and leading a 200+ employee firm in Guatemala, a small projects office NGO in Tecpan, strategy consulting for A.T. Kearney in Switzerland and Germany, and risk management with Citibank Switzerland. He joined the GLF programme in 2005, where he worked as Associate Director for Latin America until 2008. He was also very active in research and publishing efforts, having led scenario planning projects on China and banking, as well as a number of competitiveness studies on Latin America in cooperation with multilateral companies and the OECD development centre, among others. After the programme, Julio led the National Competitiveness Agency in Guatemala (PRONACOM), a public-private partnership in charge of the country’s most ambitious economic and administrative reforms aimed at modernizing and boosting productive capacity. In this role, he reported directly to the President of Guatemala. Julio left PRONACOM to work on a family real estate development venture, which is one of the top five housing developers in Guatemala. In late 2012, Julio returned to the public sector as Head of the Agency for Private-Public Partnerships in Infrastructure, a new government institution in charge of leading, structuring and seeing through private investments in transport, energy and other public service-related infrastructure. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is currently Senior Business Strategy Specialist at RTI International, one of the world s largest independent, non-profit institutes that provides scientific research and technical solutions to governments and businesses worldwide. Julio is dedicating much of his time on Data Revolution for Development activities to support how RTI can become a thought leader and product development innovator in Data Revolution initiatives. Julio believes the nexus between data for development to better inform policy responses is the key to the future. Before rejoining RTI, Julio was the Senior Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy. He was previously corporate director of Inversiones El Nacascolo, a family business in the real estate, tourism and agro industry sectors. Julio was also a member of the National Executive Council for ARENA, the main opposition political party in El Salvador. Previously he served as acting regional director for Central America and deputy director for the technical assistance provision program for El Salvador for RTI International. He has served as head of the research and policy division of the Social Investment Fund for Local Development (FISDL), where he coordinated local development projects with funding from World Bank, USAID and IADB. He worked for mayoral and presidential candidates and was the youngest city council candidate in recent history. Julio was recently chosen as a “Voice from the New Generation” by the Council of the Americas/Americas Society in New York City. He is a founding member of Fundación Juntos por la Ciudad and the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES). He is vice president of the National Council of the Scouts Association and on the Board of SalvaNATURA. He has a BS in economics and religious studies from Santa Clare University, an MA in community and rural development from Cornell University, and an MS in business and enterprise from Oxford Brookes University in England. He is married with two children. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Julio Zelaya is the Founder and President of the Learning Group, a leading Latin American corporation focused on development and implementation of corporate universities, executive education and specialized Entrepreneurship programs. He holds a Post Doctoral Degree in Management and Marketing from Tulane University, a PhD in Psychology from Universidad Mariano Gálvez, an MBA from INCAE Business School and has various certificates in entrepreneurship and management from institutions such as MIT, Harvard, Babson, Cornell University and ASTD. He has been professor of several MBA and PhD courses in Latin America. Julio is a bilingual, international speaker whose charismatic and inspiring style has led him to share the stage as a keynote speaker with some of the best in the world, the likes of Dave Ulrich and Sir Ken Robinson. He s been involved in the training and formation of over 250,000 people in the continental US as well as other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, sharing on how to live with purpose and entrepreneurship as a lifestyle. He was a conference speaker at TEDx Guatemala City sharing on The Gift of Dreaming. He is author of twelve books and his articles are commonly published in prestigious magazines of Central America. He co-authored the book Transform in English with Brian Tracy. He s currently working on his next book on how to live a life full of purpose. He has taught at conferences in Penn State University, Tulane University as well as in a number of entrepreneurial summits. He was selected as one of America s Premier Experts and has been featured on NBC
Karim Faraj is a member of the board of directors of the Tegucigalpa’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries (Cámara de Comercio e Industrias de Tegucigalpa), where he heads efforts to promote entrepreneurship and innovation through the flagship project Honduras Emprende, which he directs. As acting General Manager of Farmacéutica Internacional S.A. (Farinter), Medilab S.A., Cosmética Internacional S.A. (COINSA), and member of the board of directors Grupo Farinter, he is an active business leader with a long term vision, focused on continuous growth through strengthening of the group’s core businesses. Strong believers in corporate social responsibility, Grupo Farinter personnel created Fundación Kielsa, an initiative that Karim currently helps lead to promote the healthy development of more than 1,500 children in their first 1,000 days of life. Karim attended the University of Texas at Austin where he majored in chemical engineering and later obtained his M.B.A. He is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Corporate Affairs Director for Central America and the Caribbean & Latin American Gender Initiatives Coordinator at Intel. She has worked at Intel for more than 15 years, first starting as the Customs & Free Trade Zone Specialist in the Finance Department and then moving to Corporate Affairs as the Government Affairs Manager. Prior to Intel, Karla worked at PROCOMER- La Promotora de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica, the foreign trade corporation of Costa Rica. As Intel representative, she is a board member for the Industries Chamber and also in the Association of Businesses for Development (CSR). She is also a mentor for Unidas para Crecer , an organization that promotes women’s leadership based on values and the discovery of one’s potential. Karla studied customs administration and holds a MBA with international business emphasis.
Specialist in the subject of negotiation and alternative dispute resolution. She holds an MBA with an emphasis on Marketing and a degree in law. She had combined her career between the private and the public sector, with more than 15 years in the private practice of law and 10 in the public service. Her passion as a public servant allows her to become a champion on Road Safety agenda in her Country Costa Rica and in the International community. She served as undersecretary for transport for two years and secretary for Public Works and Transportation in Costa Rica for almost four years. Under her leadership the country fourfold increase in the investment of public works, finished the construction of important infrastructure projects, a highway and 2 international airports, all under the Public Private Partnership modality. Mrs. González is currently Manager in the World Bank for the transport practice in seven countries in the South Asia region. She is a member of the Road Safety international Committee, which is led by the Fundación Internacional de Automovilismo (International Automobile Foundation), a Fellow of the first class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Karla Menocal de Matta
Karla Menocal is an Entrepreneur in the logistics and transportation business. CPS has been in the market for 27 years. It currently operates in Central America, Miami and Panama, creating more than 200 direct jobs and connecting thousands of local companies and individuals in the world through logistics, transportation, Ecommerce cross border, first and last mile deliveries. Karla understands the importance of an agile, transparent and ethical business environment, so she worked in close cooperation with the Guatemala Tax Administration Superintendence (SAT) in the modernization of customs’ processes. In 2010 and 2017 she received a Merit Certificate from the World Customs Organization based in Brussels, for offering exceptional service to the international customs community through this work. Karla believes that a large part of our current problems are rooted in the way girls are growing up, so by offering them a healthy, safe and fair life we can create a better country. This conviction led her to actively participate in the Board of Directors of Asociación La Alianza, a shelter home for girls who are victims of sexual violence and human trafficking; and the Board of Directors of Vital Voices, global organization dedicated to empowering women and girls. Karla carries her message and reflection to all the spaces she participates in the private sector: Director of the council of FUNDESA (Fundacion para el Desarrollo), founding member of Fundación Guatemala sin Corrupción (Guatemala without Corruption Foundation), Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network member, Central American Leadership Initiative fellow and 2018 Alumna of The Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership.
Digital Strategist & Social Media Specialist, Tech Entrepreneur, Speaker, Social Activist & Woman Advocate. Dedicated to help people connect with the world and use their influence to improve it!
- Founder of the Program DIGITAL AWARENESS
- Co-Founder & Technology Evangelist of the Digital Agency MILKnCOOKIES
- Social Media Consultant for the GLOBAL AMBASSADORS PROGRAM of Vital Voices & Bank of America
- Founding Curator at GLOBAL SHAPERS GUATEMALA an initiative of the WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
- Regional Leader for WED Women’s Entrepreneurship Day
- Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Honors and Awards:
Karla has been invited on behalf of the President Barack Obama and the White House to be Speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 at Stanford University; Invited by the Aspen Institute to be part of the CENTRAL AMERICA LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE – CALI FELLOWSHIP 2016; she was chosen as 1 of the 5 women around the world to receive the Vital Voices GLOBAL LEADERSHIP AWARD 2015; Recognized as 1 OF THE 10 INNOVATORS IN LATIN AMERICA 2014 by the Inter-American Development Bank; Chosen as 1 of the 22 women around the world to participate in the GLOBAL WOMEN’S MENTORING PROGRAM 2014 organized by Fortune Most Powerful Women, U.S. State Department and Vital Voices. Chosen as 1 of the 60 specialist of the WORLD SUMMIT AWARD Jury in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Recognized as VISIONARY OF THE YEAR 2014 by the leading Guatemalan brand Saúl E. Mendez; Awarded as OUTSTANDING PROFESSOR OF THE YEAR IN 2014 by Universidad del Itsmo in Guatemala; Declared WOMEN OF THE YEAR 2013 by Look Magazine; Chosen as FOUNDING CURATOR of Global Shapers Guatemala by the World Economic Forum. Karla has been invited as SPEAKER for TEDx Guatemala and Costa Rica. Her company MILKnCOOKIES was declared 1 of the 8 WSIS + 10 GLOBAL CHAMPIONS by the World Summit Award in UNESCO and awarded as one of the Top 5 leaders in E-Entertainment by the World Summit Award, both are awards for “building knowledge societies for peace and sustainable development”.
Karla Ruiz Cofiño connects people through technology. The Guatemalan entrepreneur helps individuals and companies navigate, contribute and participate in an increasingly borderless world. Karla believes that having a digital presence is about more than just business. “Technology is reshaping the world,” says Karla. “I am convinced that rather than asking ‘What is technology doing to us?’, the right question is ‘What can we do with it?’”
As the pace of change accelerates, Karla believes that our ability to connect becomes all the more significant. By sharing information, experiences and wisdom, people around the world are building what Karla calls ‘collective intelligence.’ She is on a mission to harness this global pool of knowledge to positively impact our world in big and small ways. Karla equips people with the digital skills and knowledge they need to become active contributors to online communities.
Karla sees a future of interconnected global citizens who are keenly aware of the power they have and how to use it. She envisions a community of changemakers who connect through technology to improve the world.
For more information visit www.KarlaRuiz.com.
is Corporate Marketing and Sales Manager at Grupo Karim’s a multinational corporation with core business in textiles and real estate with operations in Central America, Dominican Republic, Mexico, United Sated and Pakistan. Before joining Grupo Karim’s, Kathia worked for 10 years in the textile industry holding key positions in company’s like Jockey International Inc. were she headed there western hemisphere sourcing department, and managed all the companies operations from their start up. Since 2010, Kathia heads the Marketing and Sales division for all of Grupo Karim’s companies both in the textile and real estate division including projects like Altia Smart City and Altara Shopping and Life Style Center, projects she helped develop from their start up. She is part of the executive committee and corporate governance for the group. Kathia has been responsible for the attraction of world-renowned BPO and call center companies that have started operations for the first time in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and which are expanding into Tegucigalpa and the rest of the region. She has promoted and placed Honduras as a world wide outsourcing destination, which has generated more than 7000 direct jobs in the country. Kathia was chosen as a delegate from the private sector in a government project in association with the international consulting firm Mckinsey to create a country road map to attract foreign investment to Honduras. Kathia has been ranked in the top 15 marketing leaders for Honduras and she was also ranked in the top 100 Marketing leaders for Central American and the Caribbean by the magazine Estrategia y Negocios, she has also been ranked in the Who is Who in the region edition of Summa magazine. Kathia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Loyola University New Orleans with a double major in International Business and Marketing, and also graduated first from her marketing class receiving the Outstanding Marketing Graduate Award. She then completed her studies in arts and languages in Paris, France. She is an active member of Grupo Karim’s social responsibility programs, and member of the executive committee of Fundacion Grupo Karim’s, which works in three main focus areas, education, health, and environment. One of there main projects in the education area is converting public schools to a bilingual school system. Kathia is working to help expand and incorporate more schools under this project. She is also an active member of Voces Vitales, organization that mentors women. She was born In San Pedro Sula, Honduras and has been married for 8 years, with 2 children, and has been able to balance work and family life. She enjoys running marathons, and she tries to complete one marathon a year. Kathia is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
Laetitia Deweer is the founder and Executive Director of CEPIA (Culture, Education and Psychology for Infants and Adolescents), an award-winning nationally accredited non-profit organization that serves over 1000 at-risk children and teenagers as well as 500 parents in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, through various education programs, psychological care and cultural activities. CEPIA created an Integrated Community Center, a model for social progress, dignity, solidarity and human capital development. The Community Center hosts programs for high-risk teenagers, children in extreme poverty, people with disabilities and children victims of violence. The Center also incorporates a couple of social businesses and governmental adult training programs. Laetitia was born in Belgium and as a university student she participated in social projects in Guatemala and Mexico. At age 23 she moved to Costa Rica and worked in a family business on the pacific coast, while she got involved as a volunteer with PANI (government child protection agency in Costa Rica). During this time, she became deeply concerned with the economic development shadowing extreme poverty and social exclusion. Laetitia studied Educational Sciences with emphasis on Family Education at the University of Ghent in Belgium. She also received a bachelors degree in psychology from the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. She has received several certificates in EMDR psychotherapy, energetic psychology and gender violence. Laetitia also runs a private psychotherapeutic counseling business and works as a consultant for NGOs and foundations to improve their impact on increasing human capital, happiness and eradicating poverty. Laetitia speaks Spanish, English, French, Dutch. She loves being a mother, as well as surfing, yoga and meditation. She is a fellow of the ninth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is currently head of national entrepreneurship of UNITEC Honduras. He earned his certificate of entrepreneurship facilitator from the International Entrepreneurship Institute in South Carolina in 2015. Leonardo won first place at the 2012 ÒYo Emprendo AwardÓ for creating his project Una Razón Para Despertar (A Reason to Wake Up), benefiting around 126 of the poorest families in Honduras, who once lived with less than $3.00 a day. His project allowed them to open up businesses, offering low interest loans sponsored by the CSR of private businesses, which also provided training, thus creating a new financial model for progress. Leonardo«s goal is to promote economic development and innovation, he believes in entrepreneurship and education focused on generating professionals who can have a positive impact in society. He was named fellow member of the International Youth Foundation. He earned his bachelor«s degree in business management from UNITEC Honduras and afterwards a master’s degree in business administration, graduating magna cum laude. He is married and has a daughter. Leonardo is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leonor Gutiérrez Fernández
Advancement Director at United World College. Previously she was Executive Director at TeenSmart. She is a self-motivated Costa Rican woman both in and outside work. Having found herself in an environment whereby she has to utilize her knowledge and skills in project design, management and research evaluation. Her extensive exposure and experience was greatly enhanced whilst working in the field of primary adolescent promotion at individual and community level. TeenSmart’s current achievements can speak for themselves, such as the realization of the TeenSmart web-based e-learning curriculum in 20 diverse organizations in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras (i.e., 5 public schools of over 6000 students, 5 church groups, 4 public libraries, 1 university, 5 technological community centers), she believes that further development can only enhance and add value to an individual’s quality of life, and that TeenSmart tools can coach teens to be more proactive a self confident. In coordinating the JovenSalud initiative, she hopes to envision the expansion of virtual risk prevention and health promotion services to all teenage Costa Rican population and incrementally to all Central America to be valued as a gradual and steady organic progress. She was awarded the Erasmus Mundus postgraduate scholarship that allowed her to further her studies in Public Health at the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) as well as in the field of Social and Health Protection at the Jagellonian University (Poland). Living, learning and teaching abroad was a valuable and rewarding experience in many ways. The daily interaction with students and locals required a level of empathy and sensitivity and made it necessary to recognize different beliefs, attitudes, values, expectations and behavior to preserve equilibrium of mutual respect.
Promover y facilitar oportunidades para los Pueblos Indígenas de Guatemala. Como parte esencial de este objetivo se encuentro directamente involucrada en programas que promueven la participación efectiva y el desarrollo de los pueblos indígenas de conformidad con nuestra cultura, estilos de vida y visión del mundo.
Actualmente es la Ministra de Trabajo y Previsión Social, nombrada por Acuerdo Gubernativo Número 09-2016, firmado por el Presidente Constitucional de Guatemala, Jimmy Morales el 14 de enero de 2016. Sus prioridades se centran en los siguientes temas:
- a) Erradicar el trabajo infantil
- b) Fortalecer la Inspección General de Trabajo
- c) Salud y seguridad ocupacional desde una perspectiva preventiva
- d) Elaborar la Política de Empleo Digno
- e) Cumplir con el marco legal e institucional de la cartera
- f) Adicional a ello, tiene mandato presidencial para liderar el proceso de viabilización de consulta a Pueblos Indígenas, de acuerdo a lo establecido en el Convenio 169 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo e implementar el funcionamiento del Gabinete de Pueblos Indígenas.
Participa activamente como:
- Miembro de América Joven Programa Business Trust (YABT), Organización de los Estados Americanos y Vital Voices Guatemala / Centroamérica.
- Miembro del Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas
- Miembro de la iniciativa Lead-On Juventud (ProLideres y organizaciones Poderosas)
- Cofundador de la Comisión Intercultural de FUNDESA
- Miembro de la Comisión Nacional de la Juventud para la Construcción de una Agenda de la Política Pública para la juventud maya, garífuna y xinca
- Punto de contacto para los programas de la juventud en el Banco Interamericano deDesarrollo (BID) y el Banco Mundial
Su liderazgo es reconocido a nivel nacional como internacional:
- EEUU Premio Embajada de Eagle. Abril 2015.
- Reconocimiento al trabajo en equipo ejemplar, durante la visita del vicepresidente Joseph Biden a Guatemala.
- USAID Servicio Exterior Nacional – FSN del año para la América Latina y el Caribe. Enero de 2008
- Reconocimiento a la contribución excepcional en la labor de desarrollo de Guatemala,
- Primera Dama, Wendy de Berger, excelentes relaciones entre los EE.UU. y Guatemala y el
- Compromiso de las mujeres con el desarrollo
- FSN del Año, Guatemala, mayo de 2007
- Múltiples reconocimientos USAID y la Embajada de Estados Unidos Premios 1994-2015
- Maestría en Administración Pública y Liderazgo Escuela de Gobierno 2013 – A la fecha
- Maestría en Administración de Empresas. Universidad de Preston. 2009
- Licenciatura en Administración de Empresas Universidad de Preston. 2008
- Innovación y Liderazgo en el Programa de Gobierno La Universidad de Georgetown, Washington DC. 2014
- Programa de Liderazgo de Centroamérica Iniciativa de Liderazgo de Centro América -CALI-, el Instituto Aspen. 2012
- Género, Multiculturalidad y el Programa de la Juventud. 2008 Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
- Programa de Prácticas Mujeres Jóvenes, Washington, DC. 2008 Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA)
- Programa de Derechos de las mujeres y de género. 2006 Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
is a Partner and director at FA Arias & Munoz, where she specializes in corporate, commercial, and banking law in Central America, as well as mergers and acquisitions and international transactions. Lilian has assisted many of the largest local and international companies in transactions dealing with mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, project finance and tax planning. These transactions totaled excess of US $2 billion. She is also active in her community. Lilian was listed in the “Forty under Forty” at the Latin Lawyer.com Magazine (forty outstanding female lawyers under forty years of age). She is a founding member and executive president of the LIDERA Foundation, the first pro-ethics foundation of the private sector, with members including universities, companies, and top law firms. She is also director of the board of the Young Presidents Organization (El Salvador Chapter). She is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Linda Swana is the Commercial Manager of Condado Naranjo, a real estate development company. Founding member of La Pietra Coallition, a global initiative focused on promoting women’s economic advancement to world decision makers to contribute to world growth. She is part of the Board of Directors and co-founder of Vital Voices Guatemala. Also, she is part of the Board of Directors of Fundación Proyecto de Vida, a non-profit organization promoting the Citizens Movement GuateAmala, in which she worked as the Executive Director from 2007 until 2010. During this time she created several movements, such as Youth Against Violence and the National Dialogues with Action. She is a MBA graduate from Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Chile and has an Industrial Engineering degree from Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala.
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.
is general manager of Banco Lafise Honduras since June 2017, the seventh largest bank in Honduras. Lawyer of profession from 2002 to 2010 Lizzeth became general council of HSBC Honduras Bank. Lizzeth was the legal director of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) from 2010 to 2011, she became partner of the legal firm Casco-Fortin, Cruz & Associates in 2012 to strengthen its regulatory, commercial, banking, project finance, litigation practice. Her experience in regulatory and commercial matters has led her to be the advisor for various local and multinational companies and institutions. She holds an LLM in Intellectual Property from Turín, Italy University and WIPO, a master’s degree in commercial law from Honduras School of Law, graduating summa cum laude, has completed postgraduate studies in international business law at Georgetown University Law Centre, Washington D.C., and an advanced management (AMP) from INCAE Business School. She is married and a proud mother of twins. Lizzeth is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is director of commercial and corporate banking and the leasing business unit at BAC Credomatic. Since she was only 21 years old until today, BAC has given her the opportunity to grow as a professional. She started as a personal account executive and became the first female telemarketing chief at BAC, in charge of leading the mass opening of checking accounts in the national market for the first time. Afterwards, she led the Commercial Banking and Corporate Banking Unit for 12 years, and became the first generation of the Central American BAC Leaders Program. Lorena was born in San Carlos and attended María Inmaculada School in Ciudad Quesada. When she was 17 years old, she moved to San José to start her University degree. Since she was 13 years old, she was very clear about her future and decided to major in economics. Lorena is an economist from Universidad Latina, and also holds an MBA from National University, Banca INCAE, PAP INCAE Business School. Lorena is a mother, wife, an analytical woman, a goal-setter who loves teamwork, who is sensitive, and a BAC leader who wants to continue growing and making her mark in her country and the rest of Central America. Lorena is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Lorena Maduro is the Special Programs Manager at Inversiones La Paz, a family owned holding company in Honduras with diversified investments. She is an active member of non-profit organizations in the areas of education, culture, arts, and urban parks. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Museum for National Identity (Museo Para la Identidad Nacional – MIN) and the Tegucigalpa’s Ecologic Foundation (Fundación Ecológica de Tegucigalpa – FET). Prior to joining the family business, Lorena worked as Community Program Manager and as Marketing Director at a mobile healthcare company in the United States. During the 2002-2006 presidential administration in Honduras, Lorena served on the President’s communications strategy advisory committee. She also directed community service initiatives focusing on children, education, and public parks causes. During the 2001 presidential campaign, Lorena travelled extensively throughout Honduras and actively participated in the party’s youth organization. Lorena holds an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Lorena Mancía has 20 years of managerial experience in the construction industry. In her last position she served as Business Strategy Manager in Grupo Progreso, Cement Division. On that same group she held positions such as Lime Business Unit Manager, Construction and Infrastructure Business Unit Manager, and Mixto Listo Sales Manager. She previously worked 5 years at Grupo Amanco, another renowned regional company in the construction industry, as manager of one of their Divisions. She served as Board Member in Agromasa, Grupo Progreso, from 2010 to 2013. She is Board Member at FUNDES Guatemala, and she has been advisor to the Board of FUNDES International and to AVINA Mesoamérica in subject associated to regional development. Lorena earned a Post-graduate degree in Architecture, and a Masters degree in Business Engineering at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala.
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.
has been the director of the Instituto Nacional de la Juventud de Honduras (INJ) since 2006. Previously, she was the executive director at Logistic Integrated Services Group, a customs agency and distribution agent of raw materials and packaging in Central America. Prior to that, from 2000-2002, she was the marketing manager for Family Care Latin America and Brazil for Kimberly Clark Corporation. From 1995-1997, she held various positions at Corporación Cressida a consumer goods and manufacturing and distribution company in Central America. She holds a BS in industrial engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras and an MBA focusing on global marketing from Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management. She is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the Minister of Health of Guatemala. Before being appointed in July of 2016, Lucrecia coordinated the Alliance for Public and Universal Access to Health (ACCESA), and was a professor for the undergraduate school of Medicine and of the graduate program in Public Health, at Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala City. Her work has focused primarily on research and analysis of health policies, and health systems and services, and has been a consultant for Medicus Mundi Navarra and the Pan-American Health Organization; she has also collaborated in health projects for USAID and the United Nations Development Program. She received her M.D. degree from the University of San Carlos, and earned her public health master’s degree at the Rafael Landivar University; she also completed her master’s in Social Medicine and a doctorate in Collective Health at the Autonomous Metropolitan University, in Mexico City. She is a founding member of SOMOS GT, the Inclusive Health Institute (ISIS), and the Myrna Mack Foundation. Lucrecia is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Luis Atala is Executive Vice President of Ficohsa Financial Group (GRUPO FINANCIERO FICOHSA), which provides banking, insurance, and credit cards services in Central America. He joined the Group in 1996 as General Manager for the insurance branch of the group: Interamericana de Seguros, now Ficohsa Seguros. Under his guidance and administration Ficohsa Seguros has significantly grown its market share to become the current leader in the insurance market in Honduras, and among the largest in the region. Luis is currently President of the local Board of Insurance Companies (Cámara Hondureña de Aseguradores, CAHDA), member of the Board of Directors of COHEP (Honduran Council of Private Company ) Additionally, he serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for Assets Business Holding Company, a group of businesses in the commercial, real estate development, and health services industries. He participates in various foundations as a board member, most importantly: Fundación Ficohsa para la Educación Infantil, dedicated to providing access to preschool education to underprivileged children, HonduFuturo: Credit Program – Scholarship, it allows to study master’s, doctoral and specialization in the field of Health and Fundación Amigos del Hospital Maria, a public Children’s Hospital. He is also an active Member of the young president organization (YPO) chapter for Honduras. Luis is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, TX, with a degree in Business Administration, 1993. He lives in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with his wife and three daughters.
Luis Fernando Prado
Luis Fernando Prado is manager of the international division of Banco Industrial SA and its subsidiaries. He is responsible for all operations in foreign currency, associated international banks, remittances, and international expansion. The bank is strongly focused on retail and corporate banking. Luis is a member of the board of directors of the Guatemala Development Foundation, Instituto Neurológico de Guatemala, the Guatemala Country Rating Risk Bureau, Universidad de San Pablo de Guatemala, and the Pacunam Foundation. He has a degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Rafael Landívar and an MBA from INCAE. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Luis Javier Castro
“Mr. Luis Javier Castro is a Founding Partner and current President at Mesoamerica, a firm that invests consciously for an abundant Latin America by transforming businesses in the region and creating value for investors and society alike. He is also director of several companies in Mesoamerica’s portfolio, such as Mesofoods, Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy, Zuma Energía, among others.
Luis Javier began his career as associate in Bain and Company; working in strategic cases for several of the region’s largest companies. In 1996, 3 partners and himself founded Mesoamerica and raised the region’s largest private equity fund at the time.
His experience in Bain and Mesoamerica include a large variety of sectors, such as financial services, retail, beverages, airlines, hotels, tourism, and agribusiness. In 2015, Mesoamerica partnered with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, a Canadian leading pension fund, to invest in spanish-speaking Latin America.
He devotes a significant amount of time to social impact initiatives through several foundations, education institutions and associations. He instituted the Mesoamerica Foundation, which invests in four strategic areas, all of which he is greatly involved, including quality education, advocacy of Sustainabilty in the region through United Way and Asociación Empresarial para el Desarrollo (AED), entrepreneurship, through Yo Emprendedor and regional leadership and institutionalism, through the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI) and the Aspen Institute.
Luis Javier is the President of AED and also sits on the board of directors of United Way Worldwide, the largest non-profit organization of the world that seeks to mobilize communities to advance the common good. He is a member of the G-50, a select group of business leaders of the Americas, and Young Presidents Organization (YPO), among others.”
Luis Jose Kafie
is an active member of the board of directors of Grupo Luz y Fuerza (GLF), a Central American independent power producer with over 750 MW of installed capacity. The group has operations in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Colombia and is comprised of more than 1,000 team members operating 15 power plants. Luis José has more than 16 years of experience in the energy industry, directly involved in the development, financing, construction and operation of greenfield energy projects, ranging from hydro, solar, wind and thermal electric power plants. He has a strong commitment with corporate social responsibility, environmental conservation, sustainability, safety and operational excellence. He graduated from Babson College, with a degree in business administration and concentrations on entrepreneurship, finance and real estate. He lives in Honduras with his wife, three daughters and son. He enjoys running and outdoor activities. Luis José is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Luis Miguel Castillo
Luis Miguel Castillo is vice president of the Central America Beverage Corporation (CABCORP), the anchor bottler for Pepsi Cola in Central America. Under his leadership CABCORP became the first Central American corporation to issue bonds in the Luxemburg Stock Market and to obtain a rating from Moody’s Investor Service. He is also president of AmBevCentroamérica, S.A., a joint venture between CABCORP and AmBev (the largest beer company in the world) to develop of the beer market in Central America and the Caribbean. Luis Miguel serves as director of the Guatemalan Chamber of Industry. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization and ConsejoEmpresario de América Latina (CEAL) and is director of Invest in Guatemala, an entity that promotes the foreign investment for the country. He actively collaborates with charitable institutions such as Fundación Ayúdame a Vivir (AYUVI), a foundation established to cure pediatric cancer; the Valle de Los Angeles Orphanage; the María Luisa Monge de Castillo Foundation; and the Guatemalan Chapter of United Way. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in business administration and lives in Guatemala City with his wife and his 3 children. He is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Luis Pedro Alvarez
Congressman for the period 2012-2016, under the political party Encuentro por Guatemala. Former owner of “Alvarez Law”, Guatemala, Guatemala. He used to practice law as a sole practitioner focusing on commercial law, contract law and litigation. Has become a prominent journalist defending and promoting individual freedom and personal responsibility. He was part of a radio and Internet streamed talk show on the ideas of liberty. Co-founder of National Civic Monument (MCN). Served as Vice-President and President of the “Institute for Justice” in Guatemala and Director of the Guatemalan Chamber of Journalism. Pofessor of Criminal Law at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Earned his law degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquin, and attained a graduate degree as “Expert in Penal Law” from the University of Salamanca in Spain. He has a Ph.D. program in Political Science and Sociology through the University of Salamanca. Luis Pedro is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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 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.
CEO of Cuestamoras, a multi-business, family-owned Costa Rican Corporation. He is accountable for a wide range of businesses and investments including real estate, hospitality, financial assets management, and private equity. Before joining Cuestamoras in 2011, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Walmart, where he led its Central American operations. Manuel is a member of the board of directors of Asociación de Empresarios para el Desarrollo (AED), a private sector-sponsored development NPO, and a former board member of the Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce. Manuel holds a J.D. from Universidad de Costa Rica and an M.B.A. cum laude from Incae Business School. He is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He lives in San Jose with his wife, Evelyn and two children, Maria Laura and Andres.
Maralu Vega de Torres
is CEO and owner of Asesores Financieros Integrales, S. A., a financial and accounting outsourcing services and assessment provider for small and medium enterprises. Previously, she was chief financial officer for Digicel El Salvador. Before joining Digicel, Maralú was special projects manager at Multisectorial Investment Bank (BMI), a second tier bank that provides funding to development projects through the private banking sector. During her tenure, Maralú succeeded in forming the first mutual guarantee system in El Salvador, which allows people and small enterprises to borrow money without or with minimal collateral in the style of the Mutual Guarantee System of Spain. The mutual guarantee system in El Salvador has given access to capital to low-income entrepreneurs who previously had no source of funds and thus it has been an important driver in lifting people out of poverty. Maralú has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado in El Salvador and an MBA from INCAE Business School. She has participated in advanced training seminars for business executives at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA and the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Congresswoman Marcia Facusse de Villeda is the Alternate Second Vice President of the Honduran National Congress. She also presides over the Family and Children Commission of Congress. She is a member of the Telecommunications, Finance, and Women’s Commissions. She served as director of the First Lady’s Office at the Family and Children’s Institution (INFHA). When Honduras was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1997, she was named the official government liaison to the World Food Program. She was also a close collaborator with then President of Honduras, Carlos Roberto Flores de Facusse. She obtained a business administration degree from (UNITEL) Universidad Tecnologica at Honduras while raising her children. Her professional background is in business administration and media communications. She is the business manager for her family owned television production enterprise. Her voluntary activities include the Teleton Foundation focused on handicapped children, the Torax Hospital’s Advisory Committee. She was born and raised in Honduras and is of Arab descent. She is married and has 4 American children. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Marco Gómez is a Jesuit priest and anthropologist with an interest in education, social research, and youth culture. He has worked in the education sector of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in different countries. Marco is president of Instituto San José, a Jesuit high school in Honduras, where he currently resides. In Nicaragua he coordinated a pastoral program for the schools of Fe y Alegría, an international movement for integral popular education and social promotion. In the United States he has been a high school teacher and Director of Admissions at Arrupe Jesuit High School, a school offering college prep education and a Corporate Work Study Program for inner-city youth in Denver, CO. In El Salvador he coordinated a School of Political Education and was an instructor at the School of Pastoral Theology of the Universidad Centro Americana (UCA), providing political education and theological reflection for people in rural and marginalized areas. Marco also serves on the Board of Fe y Alegría Honduras and besides education he relates with the microfinance sector by serving on the Board of the Local Development Fund (FDL), leader entity in providing credit services to the disadvantaged rural and urban sectors in Nicaragua. He is a Fellow of the 10th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Marcos A. Antil
Marcos Andrés Antil is founder, and chief operating officer of XumaK, LLC; a leading digital marketing company. Since XumaK s inception in late 2003, it has provided services to companies across more than 25 countries worldwide. In 2008, Marcos led XumaK to expand its operations through Latin America and opened its first office in Guatemala, followed by Colombia. Marcos holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in Communications from the State University of Bakersfield in California. Marcos is heavily involved in his community; especially in his native Guatemala where plays an important role in promoting free education for children. In 2012, the government of Guatemala declared him an Ambassador for Peace, due to his contributions to education, and his inspirational story. In 2014, Marcos was keynote speaker for the MBA graduation ceremony at INCAE, Costa Rica, Latin America s highest ranked business university. That same year, Prensa Libre, the highest distributed newspaper in Guatemala; recognized him as Person of the Year for his achievements as an entrepreneur, migrant, and for his selfless work in education for Guatemala. Marcos is a columnist at Prensa Libre since early 2015, writing two articles a month in the section called Florescencia.
is the owner and CEO of OCTO, a new venture he started a few years ago specializing in corporate software sales, implementation and consulting. He is also the co-founder and President of CREO, an organization focused on teaching young Salvadorans classical liberal principals and motivating them to participate in areas of national development. Marcos is also a Board Member of the Salvadoran Chamber of Commerce and of the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES) where he participates in the think-tank’s Political Committee. Previously, Marcos participated on the Board of the National Representative Private Sector Commission for the political party ARENA where he was the chairman of its Research and Development Division. He was also the Academic Director of ARENA’s Political Institute and a Board Member of the Economic and Business Administration Institute (ISEADE). As a native Salvadoran, Marcos is passionate about his country and aspires to create a more free society, which facilitates its citizen’s pursuit of happiness.
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.
Maria del Rosario Selman-Housein
Maria del Rosario Selman-Housein has been, since 2008, CEO of Grupo Financiero del Pais, S.A. a honduran financial group formed by Banco del Pais, S.A. , the fifth largest bank in the country , and Seguros del Pais, S.A. , an insurance company. GrupoFinanciero del Pais, S.A. is, since December 2007, a member of CorporacionBanco Industrial of Guatemala. Banco del Pais, S.A., tending both the corporate, and commercial as well as the retail markets, operates nationwide with more than 140 service points. Banco del Pais, S.A. has been selected by The Bankers magazine as Bank of the Year on six occasions, and consecutively for the past four years. Prior to joining GrupoFinanciero del Pais, S.A., she worked for 15 years with GrupoFinancieroCuscatlan , her last position being General Manager of their operation in Honduras, BancoCuscatlan de Honduras, S.A.. She has a Law degree, with a major in Commercial Law, from the Universidad NacionalAutonoma de Honduras, and a MBA in Marketing, and International Commerce. She lives with her husband and three children in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
María Isabel Luján-Zilbermann
As partner of the Guatemalan law firm QIL+4 Abogados, María Isabel focuses in corporate law, international business transactions, mergers & acquisitions, and international financings. She serves as member of several boards of directors of Guatemalan companies and has taught Commercial Law at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. María Isabel is also a board member of Fundación para el Desarrollo de Guatemala (FUNDESA); board member and pro bono legal advisor of Fundación Vital Voices (Guatemala); co-founder, board member and pro bono legal advisor of Fundación Proyecto de Vida, a non-profit organization that promotes the GuateAmala Movement; and, was a co-founder, board member and pro bono legal advisor of Asociación Civil Cuatro Grados Norte (4°norte). She earned a Master in International and Comparative Law (LLM) from Vrije Universiteit Brusel (Belgium) in 1997, a Master in Comparative Jurisprudence (MCJ) from New York University (NYU) School of Law as a Fulbright Scholar in 1995, and graduated as attorney-at-law, notary public and licentiate in juridical sciences from the Law School of Universidad Francisco Marroquín (Guatemala) in 1993.
María Isabel Mayorga
María Isabel Mayorga is Executive Director at Fundación Gedeón, a nonprofit with the purpose to transform Guatemalan institutions and culture (attitudes, mindsets, beliefs, habits) by promoting a culture that leads towards progress. She was Executive Director of Vital Voices Guatemala and Central American Network, and the citizen movement GuateAmala. For more than 15 years, she has worked in various roles and projects with the purpose of releasing individuals’ potential and building networks that contribute to economic and social development. Since 2011, she is a volunteer and advisor at Vida Plenas, a Christian organization serving the inhabitants of La Limonada, Central America s largest urban slum, located in Guatemala City. María Isabel graduated from Universidad Rafael Landívar with a degree in Industrial Engineering and received an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management – Erasmus University in the Netherlands, through a scholarship from the Dutch government. She is fluent in Spanish, English and German. She is married and the proud mother of two.
co-founded Zen Interactive Media almost six years ago with the vision of creating a new, dynamic and boutique digital agency in Guatemala. At Zen, María is leading the team to differentiate the agency by giving clients a more personalized service tailored to digital industry trends. María has several years of experience in the advertising and digital industry in Guatemala and has worked with lists of clients, including several multinational companies and local business conglomerates. She also has different endeavors in the digital communication sector. After graduating in 2006 with a B.A. in advertising from Southern Methodist University, she also went for a specialization program in marketing and sales management from San Francisco University, concluding with honors. In 2015 she finished her master’s degree in corporate communication at IE Business School in Spain. In 2015 she imported “Creative Mornings” to Guatemala and since then she co-organizes these inspiring monthly lectures. Maria is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including, but not limited to, the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program from Georgetown University, selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and was named one of Guatemala’s top 10 Women Entrepreneurs in 2015 by Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization. She currently is a Faculty Professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquín and was elected as the youngest women board member of FUNDESA where she participates in some of its commissions and projects for the social and economic development of Guatemala, and recently she was certified as a Climate Change Leader. María is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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
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 and Fundación Libertad Ciudadana, the local chapter of Transparency International in Panama. She was elected as independent expert for the United Nations Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture for the 2019-2022 period. 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 fourteenth 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.
María Pacheco, President and Founder, WAKAMI
María Pacheco is the founder of Wakami, a fashion-accessory social business connecting rural communities with global markets. This connection is achieved through a system that allows female entrepreneurs to generate income and sustained prosperity in rural communities of Guatemala and of other countries facing similar challenges. Wakami has recently placed third among the 27 best social businesses of the world in the Chivas The Venture competition.
The Wakami fashion accessories are entirely handmade, following ancestral Mayan weaving techniques, and are exported to 20 countries. Currently, these products are being produced by almost 500 women belonging to 20 communities of Guatemala. The income generated by the producers and business owners translates into formal education for their children (especially for girls) and a better nutritional status, both of which being the key issues of the country.
María served as a consultant to both private businesses and governmental institutions on the implementation of her Inclusive Business methodology to connect rural communities to global markets. Her objective has always been to provide market access to vulnerable communities of Guatemala as a way to transform cycles of poverty into cycles of prosperity.
María was a member of the team leading the design of the “Economic Development from the rural areas” 60-million-dollar loan, granted to Guatemala by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Economy. This loan allowed more than 300 rural businesses to access global markets. María also partnered with the United Nations Foundation, Chemonics/USAID and other institutions to implement the Inclusive-Business Methodology.
In addition, she was the Executive Director of the Chorti Project for the fiber industry and, the Sacalá Project for the wood industry and owner of the CAUQUE organic farms.
A Universidad del Valle Biology graduate, María was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship to attend the Agriculture Masters Degree at Cornell University.
She has co-created the Guatemalan chapter of the Vital Voices Central American Network and she is also part of the Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Insititue.
Beginning in 2003, María has actively participated in Guatemalan organizations such as AGEXPORT, AGER, CENTRARSE and served as a FUNDESA Director.
In 2007 María received the “Vital Voices Washington Global Economic Development” award and, many more, such as: the DVF Award from the Diller – von Fustenberg Foundation, as one of the 5 women of the world who impulse positive change especially for women; the Stephan Schmidheiny award for Innovation in Latin America; the INCAE Challenge Award, as one of the new voices of innovation in business education in the region. She was nominated by Revista Estrategia y Negocios, a Central American and Caribbean business magazine, as one the top-3 influential women on Central America.
In 2017 Maria got the Most Powerful Women award by Goldman Sachs and Fortune Magazine.
María. Alejandra Ramos
Maria Alejandra works full time as a doctor (endocrinologist) in both public and private hospitals. She is the Head of services of the Hospital Escuela Universitario and a Professor ad-honorem of postgraduate in Internal Medicine. She has done research on Diabetes Mellitus, thyroid cancer and hypoglycemia. She is also a thesis advisor to graduates aspiring for Internal Medicine Degree. She considers herself an extremely determined, energetic, caring individual who enjoys reading, traveling and learning about new places, spending time with her family and doing her job with passion. She has lived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for most of her 37 years- 11 of which she has been happily married to an amazing man with whom she has two incredible children; a boy and a girl. Maria Alejandra loves to go to museums and do outdoor hiking. Maria Alejandra is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
Mario Hernández is founder and CEO of Monibyte, an innovative web-based corporate payments platform and a principal member and issuer of Visa and Mastercard credit cards. In January 2015, less than a year after Monibyte was released, he received an international award for Best Innovation in Retail and Commercial Banking and was interviewed at the London Stock Exchange. Mario is an expert in payments solutions focusing on new technologies and innovation. He has had a successful trajectory of more than 16 years in the financial sector in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. In 2008, he was transferred to Toronto and appointed Credit Cards Director for Latin America and Caribbean at the corporate offices of Scotiabank in Toronto Canada.
Mario completed his undergraduate studies at ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico, obtaining a degree in industrial and systems engineering. He earned his MBA from Bryant University in 1997, and in 2008 he completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He has been a teacher at the level of graduate studies in several universities and has been invited to lectures, conferences and training courses in several countries including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the United States, Chile, Canada and Kazakhstan. He has published numerous articles in leading financial newspapers and magazines and was recognized as an outstanding 40 Under 40 Leader by El Financiero in 2008. Mario currently lives in Costa Rica with his wife and his three children and likes to practice karate. 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 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.
Marisol Argueta de Barillas
is the senior director for Latin America for the World Economic Forum. She previously served as the Foreign Minister of El Salvador. Prior to that, she was senior advisor to the foreign minister, general director of foreign policy, minister counselor at the embassy of El Salvador in Washington, DC, and alternate representative of El Salvador to the United Nations. She was elected vice president of the Organization of American States’ National Authorities Meeting for the Development of Women and headed different Salvadoran official delegations in various international meetings. She represented her country in the Presidential Commission for the revision of the Central American Integration System and was the national coordinator of El Salvador’s participation in all international presidential summits. She has led an international initiative on financing for development to enhance international cooperation for middle-income country development. Marisol has also been an assistant professor of constitutional law and political law at a private university in El Salvador. She is a member of the board of directors of two private businesses and has been a member of Hogares CREA-El Salvador, The Salvadoran Foundation for the Elderly, and the International Institute for Women. Marisol has a postgraduate degree in diplomatic studies from the University of Oxford. She has also taken courses in international affairs, human rights, negotiations and conflict resolution, peacekeeping, and development at New York University, Harvard, and the International Peace Academy. She is an active member of the Oxford Union Society. She speaks Spanish, English, French, and Arabic. She is married to Carlos R. Barillas and has three daughters: Alexia, Florence and Gabriela. She is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is an attorney and Senior Analyst of the Investment Climate Area at the Department of Legal Studies of FUSADES. She has participated in various national public -private dialogue spaces as a representative of the academic sector. Formerly participated in the Competitive Initiative, and at the Economic and Social Council, and is currently participating as Technical Panel of the Growth Council, under the Partnership for Growth between El Salvador and the United States of America, and also participates as technical panel in the Consultive Council under the Alliance for the Prosperity of the Northern Triangle. She was recently the first Salvadoran woman selected by the State Department of the United States and Fortune Magazine to represent El Salvador in the Fortune/US State Department Global Women´s Mentoring Partnership, a program that draws on the knowledge and expertise of America´s most accomplished leaders to empower aspiring women professionals across the globe. She is now working as an active member of Vital Voices El Salvador, which is an NGO that promotes female empowerment. Previously, she worked as Legal Advisor of PROESA, presided by El Salvador´s former Vice President, institution in charge of promoting FDI and exports. She worked in the Ministry of Economy as a member of the Salvadoran negotiating team of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, Dominican Republic and the United States, DR-CAFTA. She is the mother of two, Diego and Ariana. With her husband, Alvaro, they have recently started a family project focused on leadership and personal growth called a.m. Consulting & Coaching. Marjorie is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Marlon Hernández Anzora
was an advisor to the Ministry of the Economy (2010-2011) and was a professor of political science and theory of government at the University of El Salvador and the Jesuit University of El Salvador, UCA. Was also the national youth coordinator of a political party in the government (2009 to 2011). He founds a youth social democrat movement call Juventudes Socialdemócratas de El Salvador (JSD) in 2007 and was his president until 2012. Marlon was also the director of the political science e-newsletter of the Faculty of Law at University of El Salvador (2007 to 2010). He earned his master’s degree from the International and Iberoamerican Foundation of Public Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), in Madrid, Spain. At this moment he is junior researcher for the IKG-Bielefeld University from Germany. Marlon is a Fellow of the fifth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Mateo M. Yibrin is CEO of Grupo Cadelga. Grupo Cadelga produces sugar, renewable energy, molasses, trades and distributes agricultural supplies including seeds, crop protection products employing more than 2,000 people. Mateo is member of the board and contributor of social responsible organizations such as CEHDES, and FUNDHARSE (Fundación Hondureña de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial). Also actively participates as member of the board of APAH (Honduras Sugar Producers Association), member of AICA (Central America Sugar Producers Association), president of FUNAZUCAR (Honduras Sugar Producers’ Social Foundation), and as comitte member of Honduras soccer national team. He is a former President of Real Club Deportivo España (Honduras most important Soccer Club). Mateo has a degree in management and finance as well as a MBA from Loyola University in New Orleans. Mateo is a CALI fellow (Central America Leadership Initiative) and a member AGLN (Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network).
Mey Lang Hung
Mey Hung Honduran, she is the corporate affairs manager of Walmart in Honduras since 2007, a significant part of her functions is focused on issues of corporate social responsibility, gender, sustainability, SME development, management of institutional and community relationships as well as the corporate communications of the company. She is the president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Honduras since 2014; member of the board of the Honduran National Business Council (COHEP) since 2015, and of the National Industrial Association (ANDI) since 2008.
Mey has vast experience working in the public and private sector and with international cooperation: she served for six years in the Ministry of the Presidency (SDP) on issues related to the poverty reduction Strategy, international cooperation, citizen participation and governance. She has also worked in the area of governance and corporate management of the Economic and Social Research Center (CIES) of the COHEP and with the ASDI-BID Partnership the InterAmerican Development Bank in Honduras.
From a young age, she has identified with diverse social causes, acting as volunteer for various charities and business organizations: founding curator in Honduras of the Global Shapers Hub / World Economic Forum (WEF); former coordinator of the Gender Committee of COHEP; Funding President of the Honduras Food Bank (BAH); president of the Association of Young Industrials (JOVIN); and actual member of the Women Committee for the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce (CCIT).
In 2001, she obtained her MBA in international business administration from Schiller International University, Florida, United Sates; and in 1998, graduated in third place within her major in international relations and diplomacy from the Catholic University of Honduras. Mey is a high school graduate from the Elvel School in 1994.
Mey is a Fellow of the sixth class of the Central America Leadership Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Michael Dieckmann is the commercial director for Jetstereo SA, the largest retail electronics chain in the Honduras. He is also the president of Fundación Para la Eduación Ricardo Ernesto MaduroAndreu FEREMA the leading education NGO in the country. FEREMA seeks to coordinate efforts with other NGOs and international aid agencies in order to ensure that governments have consistent education policies focused on long term objectives. The foundation also developed an alternate method for delivering preschool content to poor and rural communities. The program is used in over 6,300 centers benefiting almost 90,000 children every year. Michael is a board member of Hondufuturo Foundation and is a member of Young Presidents Organization YPO. Fluent in German, English and Spanish, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and international business from Florida International University.
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 Ángel Siman
is Chairman of Inversiones Simco, a division of the Simán Group, and has had a significant career in the private and public sectors. In 2014, as the General Coordinator of Plan País”, he led a broad and diverse team of experts to develop a national plan intended to serve as the governments platform to address social, economic, and political issues, and recommend public policy initiatives and programs, for the local and national levels. Miguel Angel has served as Vice-President of the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), and is active in various non-profit foundations and organizations. From 1999-2004, he served in El Salvador’s Government as the Presidential Commissioner for Public Investment, a ministry level position to oversee government s investment programs; and as the President of the Social Investment Fund for Local Development (FISDL). From 2005-2009, he served as the Salvadoran Director for the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE). Miguel Ángel has been a member of the International Council of the Harris School for Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and has taught at Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado, and Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios (ESEN). He holds an undergraduate degree from Loyola University and a MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife Marlene are parents to Miguel and Santiago. Miguel Angel is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
He is the Executive Director of Real Estate Development in Grupo IDC, Guatemala. In this role, he leads the developing group for Condado Naranjo, an innovative project that will create a community based on a comprehensive master plan. At IDC, Miguel has also worked in the areas of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions on a regional level. Prior to IDC, Miguel worked as manager at Protego Asesores (presently Evercore), an investment banking advice firm in Monterrey, Mexico. Miguel is a board member of the American School of Guatemala, a trustee of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and an active member and former president of the Young Presidents Organization, YPO-Chapter Guatemala. Miguel obtained his degree in industrial engineering from Rafael Landivar University and received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University. He is a Fulbright scholar. Miguel has run several marathons and he lives in Guatemala City with is wife and three children.
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.
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.
is partner director at Audienz, a corporate communications consulting firm. She has been communications specialist for over 20 years and it has developed communication strategies and crisis management plans for industries such as banking, energy, real estate, technology, and personal care. Nadina was Director at Ogilvy Public Relations El Salvador and worked at the Communications Secretariat of Salvadoran government. She was editor at La Prensa Gráfica; and Director of Communications of the Secretariat of Central American Integration, SICA and the Salvadoran Banking Association, ABANSA. Her areas of expertise are: strategic communications planning, spokesperson’s training, personal and corporate reputation, and crisis communications. She has a degree in Communications Sciences and has studies in psychology and political sciences; and serves as a Board Member of the non-profit Vital Voices El Salvador Chapter. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Nery Ramón Granados
currently serves as Legal Adviser to the Vice President of the country and since 2015 is also a member of the City Council of Santa Tecla, on behalf of the political party FMLN. Nery has extensive experience in the public sector, especially in the municipal area. From 2004 to 2014 he worked for the Municipality of Santa Tecla , playing several positions, most notably as Legal Adviser to the Mayor, Head of the Legal Department, City Clerk. Nery earned a Bachelor’s degree in Laws, from Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador in 2005, and was authorized as a Lawyer in 2006. In 2008, he earned a Master’s in International Business Law, graduating with honors from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City. He did long term studies on Business English and Translation. Then, in 2013, Nery was authorized as a Public Notary by the Supreme Court of Justice. Nery lives in San Salvador and he enjoys the theater and outdoor activities. Nery is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American 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.
is a visiting professor and researcher, University of Arizona; and Senior Fellow, National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade. Octavio has been working for the past three years on several initiatives to better the legal infrastructure used for trade between the United States and Latin American countries. Prior to this, he was Minister of Culture and Presidential Advisor for Property Reform under the Maduro Administration in Honduras. Before entering government he practice as a private lawyer and advise several financial institutions in his home country. He is the author and translator of several books on history and property. He is a lawyer from the National University of Honduras (Summa Cum Laude); and holds an LLM with concentration in International Finance from the Harvard Law School (Landon H. Gammon Fellow, 2000). Octavio is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and 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.
Pablo Jenkins is Co-Founder and President of Ideas en Acción, a donor-advised fund and co-creation platform that implements regionally scalable projects combining technology, social innovation, and youth leadership. He is also an active investor focusing on sustainable development through impact investing in wellbeing, education and technology. Pablo is co-founder of the Costa Rica Chapter of Conscious Capitalism. Pablo has served as an advisor to four Ministers of Science and Technology of Costa Rica on topics related to broadband and innovation policy. He was Intel Capital’s youngest strategic investment manager, Director of International Expansion for Endeavor Global during its expansion into the Middle East and Asia, and the co-creator of the Sustainable Investments Group in Brazil, with leading local family offices. Pablo has been co-organizer of TEDxPuraVidaJoven since 2011 and the first Do Lectures in Latin America.
Pablo graduated with a B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA and an MPA from Harvard University. Pablo is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a 2015 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. He is on the board of directors of Estrategia Siglo XXI, Fundación Gente, and Cenfotec University.
President of the Castro Carazo Metropolitan University (UMCA), the second largest private university in Costa Rica established in 1936. In this role, Ms. Villalobos is accountable for the formulation and implementation of strategic and budgetary plans to advance the University s goals and for the definition of priorities in all departments. She is also on the executive board of La Marta Wildlife Refuge, a tropical rainforest with more than 1500 acres located in Turrialba, Costa Rica, where she helps execute conservation and sustainable development strategies with the local community and experts in the field. Previously, Ms. Villalobos was president of the Latin American University of Science and Technology (ULACIT). Ms. Villalobos was also responsible for developing consulting services for Hispanic-owned businesses in Southern California through the Small Business Administration (SBA). She received her Bachelor of Science in Business from the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT) in Costa Rica and a Master of Business Administration from the University of La Verne in California.
Pamela Molina is Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Agrolibano. She also holds a place on the Board of Director and serves as the President of Fundación Agrolibano and Fundación Pro Improvement of the Hospital of San Lorenzo. She began her professional career in 1993 for Agrolíbano starting in the area of Marketing and Exports, from 2000 to 2010 she served as the VP of Finance and Treasury and since mid-2008 she has been responsible for establishing the division of Social Responsibility of Agrolíbano. It was under her management that Agrolíbano first achieved in 2013 the title of a social responsible company. As president of the Foundation for support of HSL she lead and achieved a physical transformation of the Public Hospital of San Lorenzo, promoting since 2014 a model of: decentralized Hospital Management for results with systemic approach whose main axis the patient. She is currently seeking for this model to be replicated in other hospitals in Honduras. Pamela holds a degree in Industrial Business and Administration from the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana UNITEC. She has continued her education through, seminars and professional graduate certificates from universities such as Yale, Harvard, INCAE, Universidad de Los Andes, among others.
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.