• Adrian Chinchilla

    Adrián is Partner and General Manager of Amrop Costa Rica, where he leads the search for senior executives and independent members of boards of directors for national companies, multinationals and family business groups.

    Over 25 years of managerial experience in the private and public sector, and as a member of boards of directors. In the financial sector, he has been the Pension Manager of the Corredores Asociados Group in Colombia, and a member of the Board of Directors of Banco Cathay, from 2010 to date. He led real estate companies for more than 15 years as General Manager of the European Real Estate Group DIURSA, General Manager of Futura Developments and President of Suburbia Developments.

    In the technological area, his experience has been focused on the real estate and financial sector, as General Manager of Conecta S.A. and as coordinator of the Cathay Bank Technology Committee from 2010 to date.

    In the public sector he held the position of Mayor of the Escazú County for 4 years, obtaining the recognition of the United Nations as a good example of best financial and administrative practices. General Manager of the presidential campaign of the Former President Laura Chinchilla Miranda, and President of the Inauguration Committee.

    Graduated in Economics from Los Andes University Colombia, where he also completed his postgraduate studies in economics. He was part of the Board of Directors of the Fundación Neotrópica a recognized environmental NGO in Costa Rica. He is an active member of the Central America Leadership Initiative, part of The Aspen Global Leadership Network.

    Adrián is an active golfer, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Golf Association and his golf club.



    Adrián is Founding partner at Carao Ventures. He has invested and worked with early stage startups based in Latin America and US for the past 10 years. His recent experience includes companies in the SaaS, consumer software, marketplaces, fintech, and education industries.
    Before founding Carao Ventures, Adrián was Associate at Mesoamerica, a leading consulting and private equity firm in Latin America. Also, he has an active role in relevant causes in Costa Rica such as marine conservation, public education improvement, and Internet openness and transparency.
    Adrián is father of 2 children and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with honors from the University of Texas in Austin, an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management, and he is a Fellow of the ninth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.


  • Adriana Echandi

    is the CEO for the travel retail division of Grupo Britt N.V. Adriana started her professional career in 2001 when Café Britt decided to create a new business division for travel retail stores starting as a sales person and quickly advanced to join the leadership team. Adriana oversaw different internal processes as training, purchasing, logistics, innovation, e-commerce, and the expansion plan to achieve a footprint in 11 countries, open 135 stores and grow to more than 1500 employees. In 2010 Adriana joined the INCAE Global Executive MBA. During the 16 years working for Britt, she has fostered different social programs within the communities that have given her the opportunity to work with local artisans; helped them to innovate their techniques, facilitate them with full knowledge of business, as well as introducing new products. Adriana was named as one of the 40 most influence leaders under 40 by a local economic newspaper, El Financiero. She also participated as one of three remarkable women executives for a local news channel special program, 7 Dias, in 2016. Adriana graduated from Universidad Internacional de las Américas in Costa Rica. Adriana had the opportunity to attend a finishing school in Switzerland at the age of eighteen, and since that moment realized how passionate she was for different cultures and gastronomy. Adriana is the youngest child of five, is married and mother of a fantastic 4-year-old boy. Adriana is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alan Tenenbaum


    Alan Tenenbaum is a motivational writer and speaker with the mission of inspiring and touching as many lives as possible, so that they see life and problems with a positive attitude. Alan would’ve never chosen to do this, but an accident he suffered in 2008 changed his plans. Alan is also the marketing director of TNBM Productions, an agency that specializes in producing advertising jingles. Before being on a wheelchair with a high-level spinal cord injury, he worked as a marketer and publicist for various companies and agencies. In 2014, Alan published his first novel; En la silla de Morfeo, which was the parting point to everything he is doing nowadays. To this day, Alan has published two novels and five children’s books, and plans to continue writing stories for kids to transmit positive messages for them. Along with his wife, Alan created Palante Guate in 2019, an initiative to improve wheelchair accessibility in establishments and streets of their home country, Guatemala. Alan has achieved many recognitions, like Guatemaltecos Ilustres in 2016, but what he values even more are the testimonials he receives (through his webpage, social media and in person) from people who, after reading his books or listening to his conferences, have decided to apply his ¡teikirizi & palante! life philosophy. Alan earned his bachelors degree in marketing from the University of Colorado. He is a Fellow of the 16th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a proud member of the Aspen Global Leadership Program.

  • Alejandra Colom

    Alejandra Colom is Senior Program Director of the Population Council’s activities in Guatemala. She focuses on improving the lives of rural, indigenous adolescent girls through Abriendo Oportunidades, a program that provides the most vulnerable indigenous Mayan girls and young women with personal and professional development skills, mentorship, and leadership opportunities. She is also collecting data on lifestyle changes that indigenous populations in Guatemala are making in response to climate change. Before joining the Council in 2010, Alejandra was associate director of the Rainforest Alliance’s forestry program in Guatemala. She also worked as a consultant in Central Africa for the World Wildlife Fund, Agreco, and other national and international organizations dedicated to conservation, livelihoods, forestry, and sustainable development. Alejandra has conducted research in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, East Timor, the United States, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She was a Fulbright Scholar and holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, a Master’s degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland, and is currently preparing to defend her PhD dissertation in Anthropology at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Alejandra is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alejandro Abufele


    Alejandro A. Abufele is President and founder of REALFA, an industrial and automotive products distribution company, and International Motors, a motorcycle distributor. He is currently on the board of directors of IVIHSA, the FIAT dealer for Honduras, FHIT (Fondo Hondureno de Inversion Turistica), EXA, a transportation and logistics company and INMAX, a real estate investment group. He oversees the management of four sugar cane plantations and has held the position of president over the last six years of FEHPROCA, the federation of Honduran sugar cane growers. He is also a member of the board of directors of the family founded non-profit organization CEPUDO which began training single mothers in various fields so that they may support their families and has expanded its projects to include housing, food for the needy, self-sustainable tilapia farms and agricultural projects, and aids many other non-profits. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law.

  • Alejandro Ferrer


    Alejandro Ferrer: Partner of the law firm Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee; Honorary Business Representative (Panama) for IE Singapore; Included in the Indicative List of Governmental and Non-Governmental Panelists, Dispute Settlement Body, World Trade Organization (WTO); Member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL), World Economic Forum; and President of the Board of Directors of the Amador Foundation-Biodiversity Museum. Has served as Minister of Commerce and Industry (2004-2008); Counselor of International Trade, Panamanian Embassy, Washington D.C. (1995-1996); Deputy Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations and other International Organizations, Geneva, Switzerland (1994-1995); and Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva, Switzerland (1994-1995). Has a Bachelor degree in Law and Political Sciences, graduating Summa Cum Laude, from Santa Maria La Antigua University; a Master in Laws, LL.M. and a Doctorate in Science of Law, S.J.D. from The University of Michigan Law School; were he was a Fulbright Scholar. Alejandro is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alejandro Poma


    Alejandro Poma es vicepresidente corporativo de Grupo Poma, un grupo empresarial familiar que opera cinco divisiones de negocios y tiene presencia en nueve países de las Américas. Dentro de Grupo Poma, Alejandro dirige Autofácil, Solaire, la división de inversiones y la Fundación Poma, institución dedicada a promover programas sociales enfocados en educación, salud y cultura. Adicionalmente, Alejandro es director de la Fundación Salvadoreña para la Salud y el Desarrollo Humano (FUSAL), presidente del Comité Ejecutivo de Libras de Amor y director de Proyecto País; es director de la Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios (ESEN), presidente del Comité Nacional de INCAE El Salvador y miembro del Consejo Directivo de esta institución. Por muchos años, ha sido miembro del capítulo de Young Presidents Organization (YPO) en El Salvador y del Consejo Empresario de América Latina (CEAL). En el año 2010, fue reconocido por el World Economic Forum como un Young Global Leader. Alejandro obtuvo un MBA de Kellogg School of Management en la Northwestern University, y un BA en Historia del Boston College. Es miembro de la clase inaugural del Central America Leadership Iniciative (CALI) y pertenece al Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN).

  • Alekcey Murillo


    Assistant chief medical officer at Hospital Clinica Biblica and executive director of Emmanuel Community Development Center in the Cabecar Indigenous Territory of Turrialba in Costa Rica. He has served with the U.S. Indian Health Services in Arizona and New Mexico. He received his medical degree from the Universidad Internacional de Las Américas in San José, Costa Rica, and completed his specialty in family Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. At Mayo, Alekcey was chief resident and received the Robert Avant Resident Leadership Award. He is board-certified by the American Board of Family Practice and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He sits on the board of Indigenous Community Development International and is an active member of the Social Action Council for ASEMECO, a philanthropic arm of Hospital Clínica Bíblica. Alekcey lives in Costa Rica with his wife, Judith, who is also a family physician. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alexandra Alfaro

    is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cable & Wireless Panama, the leading telecommunications company in Panama. She oversees Marketing, Advertising and Brands Communications for consumer and corporate services of CWP. She was previously the Regional Manager of Miller Genuine Draft for Latin America and before that the Marketing Director of Global Beer Brands at SAB Miller Panama. Before moving to Panama, she worked in her native El Salvador as Regional Marketing Director for Tecoloco.com, an online recruiting site where she was also partner. In parallel, she consulted in beverage portfolio strategies in Costa Rica and Panama. Alexandra worked for SAB Miller in El Salvador from 1999 to 2005 as marketing director for the mainstream beer brands portfolio, as well as for the Coca-Cola Company. Her biggest achievement in her career in the beverage industry was leading Miller Lite’s launch in Panama. This was catalogued as the most successful brand launch SAB Miller has seen in Latin America since entering the region back in 2002. Miller Lite’s results led her to win a Mercatus award (SAB Miller’s top award at a country level for excellence in marketing strategy and execution). Alexandra has been married to Alfonso Molina for five years and has two children, Ariela and Alfonso. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alexandra Kissling


    Leads Fundación Unidas para Crecer (Vital Voices Costa Rica), an organization that groups professional leader women who want to share her life experience with other women through mentoring in order to develop their leadership capacity and potential. She has been an instructor on deep relaxation techniques for Centro Chopra para el Bienestar (Chopra Wellness Center) in Carlsbad, California, since 1996. She is certified instructor for the HeartMath Institute in California since 2003. In 1987, she started the restaurant chain Rostipollos, along with another partners, becoming board member during 1987-1992. Alexandra was deputy director of the PRANA institute for Health Promotion from 1995 to 2002. She also was VP for Rasur Foundation and her main project was the Academia para la Paz de Costa Rica (Costa Rica Academy for Peace), between 2002 and 2010. Since 2001 Alexandra has been a member of the board for AED (Entrepreneurship for Development Asociation, for its Spanish acronym), an organization founded in 1997 to promote entrepreneurship social responsibility in Costa Rica, and she has been its VP for the last 5 years. She is a member of the INCAE Business School’s national committee since 2006 and recently became the director of their board. This initiative promotes value-based leadership to influence leaders in the region to contribute with sustainable human development in Central America. She studied psychology at Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Sociales. Alexandra is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alexis Weill


    Alexis Weill is founder and managing partner of WM Advisors, a multi-family office based in El Salvador offering sophisticated and customized investment advisory services for families and institutional clients. Since 2012 and leading to the founding of WM Advisors in 2020, Alexis has provided financial advice to a variety of companies and investors in the Latin American region, including merger and acquisition projects, public issues, new business launches and investment strategies. Such companies include Omnisport, Grupo Terra on its acquisition of Citibank’s assets in El Salvador (now Banco Cuscatlán), SigmaQ and BIMA (the world’s leading micro-insurance company). Prior to this Alexis worked in New York, initially as part of Credit Suisse’s investment banking team, specializing in financial institutions, and later at Corinthian Capital, a private equity fund where he completed investments through company acquisitions in a variety of industries. Alexis currently serves on the boards of Fundación Empresarial para el Desarrollo Educativo (FEPADE), Grupo de Sola, UassistMe, Grupo El ángel and SigmaQ’s financial subsidiaries; OroQ and PSQ. Alexis earned his BA in economics with a minor in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Alexis is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alfonso Bosch


    Alfonso is a member of the fourth generation of his family legacy. He currently works at the livestock industry business unit of Corporación Multi Inversiones, a family corporation of Central American origin that through its business units, creates sustainable impact in the communities where it operates. He serves in the board of directors of Alianza por la Nutrición, an alliance between different organizations committed to eliminate chronic mal nutrition in Guatemala. Before working on the family business Alfonso was a consultant at Accenture Interactive in charge of kick starting new projects with multi-shore teams. He started his career in Credit Suisse as a financial analyst, and then went on to co-found TransPagos, an electronic payment system for topping up “pay as you go” mobile phones through retailers’ cash registers in Guatemala. With a focus on starting to get involved in the family legacy, Alfonso was part of the team that started the executive committee of Corporación Multi Inversiones’ New Generation Club, which its main objective is to foster union and relationships between the new generation members, promote social responsibility and facilitate getting to know CMI’s businesses. He did both his undergrad and graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame majoring in Science Business (Undergrad) and mastering in Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship. In his spare time he enjoys music, looking for good quotes, barbecuing, and doing sports, especially board sports like wakeboarding and snowboarding. He has a passion for technology and for developing people. He is a proud father of two boys, Santiago and Nicolas and currently lives with them and his wife Paulina in Guatemala City. He believes that impacting the lives of others through sharing, building relationships and one’s example is the best way to leave a legacy and become immortal. He is a 2016 Central American Leadership Initiative fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alfredo Atanacio

    Alfredo Atanacio is co-founder of Uassist.ME, a boutique firm of virtual assistants skilled in administrative support currently providing services to startups, executives and entrepreneurs all over the world. In 2015 he also co-founded POINT, the first business center in El Salvador dedicated to entrepreneurs and is currently developing LIVE, a new housing concept for young students in the center of San Salvador city. He also co-wrote the book El país que viene: Una generación comprometida and is currently an op-ed columnist at El Diario de Hoy newspaper in El Salvador. In 2012 Alfredo was named one of the 30 Under 30 by Inc. Magazine and his business Uassist.ME was honored with the People’s Choice in the Empact Showcase on 2011. Alfredo earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and has always had a passion for entrepreneurship, so since 2011 he has been a part time teacher at ESEN, his alma mater, to convey his passion for business ventures to the new generations. Alfredo is currently a member of The YEC, past board member of the Chamber of Commerce in El Salvador and also a member of YPO. Alfredo lives in El Salvador together with his wife and two daughters: Elena, 9 and Lucia, 6. Alfredo is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alfredo Maul


    Estudio en la facultad de arquitectura del Savannah College of Art and Design en Georgia, Estados Unidos, donde obtuvo un B.A. (magna cum laude) y un M.A. en restauración de arquitectura. Es además electricista, tiene un diplomado en eficiencia energética y un diplomado en Gerencia de la Sostenibilidad del INCAE. Es autodidacta en temas ambientales y cuenta con más de 10 años de experiencia aplicada en varios países. Ha trabajado y vivido en Guatemala, Estados Unidos, España, Francia y Ucrania, llevando a cabo diferentes proyectos de investigación en movilidad urbana y arquitectura del pasado, presente y futuro.

    Ha asesorado numerosos proyectos y empresas en Eco-eficiencia y Motivación Ambiental como Director de Sostenibilidad de Maulprojects, es co-fundador del Movimiento Biciudad de Guatemala y es Director Creativo de la Asociación Ambiental G-22. Es autor y conferencista internacional y ha dictado numerosas conferencias en 17 países, incluyendo una conferencia TEDx en el 2015.

  • Alfredo Volio


    Alfredo Volio is managing director of Portafolio Inmobiliario, a real estate development and asset management company specializing in residental, retail, corporate, and industrial developments. Prior to joining Portafolio Inmobiliario, Alfredo worked for Securitas, Amazon, and Genesis Developers. Alfredo is a true believer that through the development of projects and the creation of memorable experiences in each of them, Portafolio Inmobiliario will be able to serve as a catalyst to transforms cities into sustainable urban communities that provoke integration, pride, and sense of belonging. Alfredo currently serves as a member of the board of directors in Jovenes por Costa Rica, El Observador CR, and Texas Tech University – Costa Rica. Alfredo also serves as the president of the Real Estate Development Committee of the Costa Rican Construction Chamber. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX, and his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Alfredo is married to Marianne, and they have two boys: Alfredo and Eduardo. Alfredo is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alida Boer

    is the founder and CEO of Maria’s Bag Inc, a high-end luxury accessories brand, which preserves the traditional Guatemalan textiles. Alida created a business model in 2011 with Marias, which empowers Guatemalan women from every social Class 2017. By creating Maria’s Bag Inc, Alida created over 500 jobs for women across different regions. Because of that unique business model, Alida was nominated General Manager of the Year for the Managers Association of Guatemala in 2014. And in the same year, Alida became the ambassador of FUNSEPA. This organization provides education through technology to undeveloped regions in Guatemala. Prior year, She was named Women of the Year by Look Magazine. In 2007, Alida won Miss Guatemala and competed in Miss Universe and Miss World. She traveled globally representing her country and developed her entrepreneurial, philanthropic, and creative instincts during this time. Alida began helping people in her homeland by being one of the board members to create the Foundation Cambiando Vidas – a Montessori school that provides education and proper nutrition to 240 kids. Alida is a board member of City Harvest in New York. Alida is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alina Nassar


    Alina Nassar is a partner at Nassar Abogados Centroamerica, in the office of Costa Rica. She chairs and co-chairs the firm’s regional Aviation/Aerospace and Competition practices, respectively. Alina has advised international corporations on legal matters in aviation, corporate, competition matters. She has represented companies before the competition and the civil aviation authorities; advised on aircraft financing transactions; directed regulatory filings for airlines and drone operators; and provided expert advice on aerospace issues. In 2018, she was recognized with the “Best in Aviation Award” by the Americas Women in Business Law Award, in New York. Alina held different positions in the board of directors of the International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA), including the presidency in 2018-2019, being IAWA’s first Latin American president. During her tenure, IAWA issued the first-ever report on gender equality in the aviation and aerospace industry, the “Soaring Through The Glass Ceiling”, in partnership with Korn Ferry and other organizations. She was vice-president of the International Airlines Association in Costa Rica, from 2018-2020, and served as comptroller of the Costa Rica Foreign Investment Agency (CINDE), from 2018-2021. Alina actively speaks at international conferences on air transportation and aerospace, as well as on gender equity and inclusion. She holds an LL.M. degree from the University of Texas at Austin; a J.D. degree -with honors- from the Universidad de Costa Rica, and a Diploma on Advanced Management and Leadership, from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. She is currently a candidate to Master of Science on Space Studies at KU Leuven University, in Belgium. Alina is a Fellow of the16th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative (CALI) and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Aline Flores


    Aline Flores is a Central American born in Honduras ,mother of two, Marketing and Finance major , MBA from INCAE , currently at law school. She is chairwoman and executive VP of Grupo Flores , Current president of the Honduras Chapter of the CEAL ( Consejo Empresarial de America Latina 2016-), She was president of the Honduran Business Council (Consejo Hondureño de La Empresa Privada, – COHEP 2012-2016) currently she is coordinating the Gender and inclusion Committee . She was president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tegucigalpa( 2009-2012), chairwoman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Central America 2011-2012 ) chairwoman of the Federation de Entidades Privadas de Centroamerica , Panama y Republica Dominicana .
    Socially, Aline is a member of FUNDAHRSE, a nonprofit organization for corporate social responsibility, chairwoman of the Honduran Junior Achievement Association, chairwoman of the Honduran Association of Automotive Distributors, director of the Honduran American Chamber of Commerce, and representative of Honduras at the First Meeting of Leadership for Social Cohesion in Latin America.
    Awarded Business Entrepreneur of the Year by the Latin Chamber of Commerce of The United States ( CAMACOl 2008-2009. She was awarded the Golden “Hoja de Liquidambar” medal by the mayor of Tegucigalpa ( 2010) . She is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alvaro Gómez


    Alvaro Gómez Prado is a psychotherapist from Panama City in private practice since 2001, dedicating most of his efforts to serving the LGBT population. Alvaro is a founding member of SOPAPSI (Sociedad Panameña de Psicoterapia) and co-author of the book Rompamos el Silencio about suicide prevention. As a by-product of his doctoral research on psychotherapy with gay men, Alvaro created a blog to mobilize the conversation about mental health issues in the LGBT population. The blog is now part of his professional page and covers topics like masculinity, sexual diversity and suicide prevention.
    Alvaro was a professor of Psychopathology at the University of Panama and the Universidad Santa María la Antigua from 2008 to 2015. He also helped create Convive Panamá, an NGO working with sexually diverse population, and supervised its support groups for homosexual men.
    In 2016 Alvaro co-created @EstosDOSmanes, a digital project (Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) seeking to provide a reference to Spanish-speaking audiences on the nature of same-sex couples. Using their own story as partners of more than a decade, Alvaro and Guille created digital content to answer questions about Sexual Diversity, Human Rights and Sex Education. In 2019, attempting to appease commonly heard fears about legalizing same-sex marriage in Panama, they co-produced “RecorriDOS: Países Bajos”, a documentary made in conjunction with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Panama in which they take a geographical and introspective journey to learn and show what life is like in a country where marriage equality is the norm.
    He has a degree in Psychology Cum Laude (Universidad Santa María la Antigua, 2001) a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology (Universidad de Panamá, 2003), a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Cum Laude (Universidad Santa María la Antigua, 2008) and is certified as a Psychotherapist by the World Council of Psychotherapy (2008). Alvaro is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alvaro Ramírez


    International Labor Organization officer in charge of a US-funded project aimed at strengthening tripartite social dialogue in the DR-CAFTA region. Before joining the ILO in May of 2004, Ramírez worked as the executive director of the Costa Rican peak business federation (UCCAEP) over an 8-year span. He participated in a number of tripartite entities such as the National Labor Council and the Minimum Wage Council. He was also member of the Legislative Committee on Fiscal Reform (2002-2003) and weekly columnist for La República. Ramírez was chosen in 2003 by El Financiero as one of the 40 outstanding young leaders of the country. A native of Costa Rica, Ramírez is an economist from the University of Costa Rica with a Master of Science in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

  • Ana Julia Urrutia

    is the regional manager for the Diagnostic Imaging business group in PROMED, which is a leading company for the distribution of medical and industrial equipment in the region. Her division manages GE Healthcare Diagnostic Imaging for Central America. Since 2013 Ana Julia has open new markets like Guatemala, El Salvador and Cuba with a continuous growth in market share. Her focus in creating business solutions and being a consultant for healthcare facilities has created a new form of doing business, leading PROMED and her team to win several awards as a GE Healthcare distributor in Latin America. In 2007 after obtaining her MBA from INCAE Business School Ana Julia began working for GE Healthcare as Service Sales Manager for Central America, Ecuador and Peru, at that time she created a new strategy for selling maintenance contracts of radiology equipment in developing countries, this opened new business opportunities in many countries and she received the Rookie of the Year award for this program. In 2010 Ana Julia worked for FitnessLatam a regional company which distributes fitness and lifestyle equipment, she oversaw the expansion of the company and opened new markets in all Central America and Dominican Republic. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering, from Universidad Católica Santa Maria La Antigua in Panama. Ana Julia is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Ana Lucrecia Tovar De Zarak


    Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zarak is a Partner at Fabrega, Molino & Mulino (FMM), leading the Banking, Securities and Trust Department. Previously, she served as Legal and Compliance Head of Citibank Panama. She is Director of the Board of Directors of The Superintendency of the Securities Market and Director of the Board of Directors of The Superintendency of Banks of the Republic of Panama. She has given lectures and been a trainer in Securities Law, for applicants to the Stock Broker, Executive Head Officer and Investment Manager Licenses, at USMA, ULACIT, Merrill Lynch, Banco General, Dresdner Bank, Banistmo, UBS Asesores, Money Managers & Co., among others. She is a member of the Panama Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the International Bar Association (IBA), the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP). President and Director of the Board of Directors of the Superintendence of the Securities Market of Panama (2012-2017). Ana Lucrecia received her Bachelor of Laws from Santa Maria La Antigua University (USMA) and a LLM Degree, American University, 1998 with concentration on securities regulations and finance law. She is married and has four children.

  • Ana María Vallarino


    Ana Maria Vallarino, Sales and Marketing VP of VerdeAzul Propiedades Exclusivas, the group s Real Estate branch, is in charge of VerdeAzul Propiedades Exclusivas commercialization, promotion and sales departments handling several projects in Panama City and beach areas on Panamas Pacific coastline. She completed university studies at the University of Virginia in the United States. She graduated with a Bachelor s degree in Liberal Arts with emphasis in Sociology. In 2004, she began her professional experience as event coordinator in Grupo Pompa, Panama s leading company in the organization, coordination and decoration of corporate and social events, becoming co-owner by 2006. In 2008, she joins GVA as Project Manager in charge of managing, planning, supervising, and executing special and timely projects for the Bristol Hospitality Group, hospitality branch of the group. In 2010, she takes post as Sales & Marketing VP of Desarrollo Turístico Buenaventura, which handled the development and sales for Buenaventura beach community. At the beginning of 2013, with the incorporation of new projects in Panama City and on the coasts of Panama s Pacific Ocean, VerdeAzul Propiedades Exclusivas was founded, where she works as VP of Sales & Marketing. Mrs. Vallarino is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bristol Hospitality Group hotels and several of GVAs housing projects. These companies are dedicated to hotel management, housing development and promoting real estate investments.

  • Ana Victoria López

    Ana Victoria López is the Language Program Coordinator at Kab’lajuj Ey, a program of Wuqu Kawoq a nongovernmental organization committed to facilitating excellence and linguistic competence in medical care delivery for indigenous communities of Guatemala. Soon after graduating from high school, Ana developed different projects that have improved the quality of life in Guatemala; her projects aimed at reducing malnutrition, supporting mothers, improving family nutrition, promoting self-sustainability and reducing dependence on domestic and foreign aid. Ana lived in the United States for 11 years and returned to Guatemala in August of 2012. While living in the United States, she worked as a teachers assistant in Spanish at Harvard University and a Kaqchikel Consultant for Field Methods at Harvard, Kansas University and MIT. She also worked as a para-educator, interpreter, and as a bilingual costumer service representative. Ana was a Cross-Cultural Trainer for Peace Corps – Guatemala. Ana graduated with a Bachelors degree in Food Science from South Dakota State University and obtained an associate degree in Food Science and Technology from Mount Hood Community College in Oregon. She is the recipient of several scholarships including the CASS, Albert & Edna Thompson Scholarship, the Lloyd Everson Scholarship. Ana is fluent in English, Spanish and Kaqchikel. Ana is married and has two children.

  • Anaís Henriquez


    Anaís Henríquez is the development economist and monitoring and evaluation specialist for USAID/Honduras. As the monitoring and evaluation specialist, Anaís provides leadership to USAID/Honduras in measuring and documenting high level results and impact resulting from USAID programs. She designed an innovative performance management system to track USAID/Honduras results, for which she received a meritorious honor award for innovation and performance. As the development economist, she is responsible for research and analysis of sectors in which USAID/Honduras invests. Anais has worked at USAID for three years and she has received two meritorious honors awards, one meritorious honor group award, and one on-the spot award for superior performance. Prior to joining USAID, Anaís worked for five years in coffee farm Montaña Santa Elisa. At Montaña Santa Elisa, she led the stringent and demanding process to achieve the ecological and social certification, Rainforest Alliance. While working in Montaña Santa Elisa, Anaís volunteered in social and environmental activities. For three years she directed the Fundación de Respaldo a la Infancia Rural, a children’s development foundation and was the foundation’s president since its creation in 2004 until 2008. She led reforestation efforts in a primary tropical rainforest and watershed surrounding Montaña Santa Elisa coffee farms. Under her leadership more than 20,000 trees have been planted. Anaís graduated from Whitman College magna Cum Laude in economics and received her Masters degree in economics from Washington University.

  • Anamari Eskildsen


    Anamari Eskildsen is the executive director of Fundación Pro Bienestar, a private foundation focused on social investments for improving education, health and the protection of children and the elderly. She is the author of Mía, suya, tuya, a memoir which follows her path from the illusion of solitude to the love she has found in spiritual unity, after her mothers death. Anamari hosts a podcast, Con intención, in which she interviews people who further inspire her journey as a mother, reparenting herself, and living each day with purpose.  

    Anamari co-founded Camp Wandú in 2012, an impact business that combined her vocation and purpose, a summer camp focused on building a stronger sense of self in her staff and campers. Camp Wandú operated for 9 years before she decided to move on to new projects. During this time, Anamari founded the Panamanian Camp Association and was the first Panama ambassador for the International Camping Fellowship. Anamari began her professional career as a consultant at UNICEF coordinating an inclusion program in schools for the indigenous in Darien. Anamari is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Andrea Cardona

    is founder and CEO of The Altitude Company, which focuses on corporate health, wellness and technology. She is the author of ‘Sin Límites, Everest’ (Limitless, Everest) and is an international speaker. Born in Guatemala, as a little girl, she often travelled through the Guatemalan countryside with her family. She also lived for three years in Lake Atitlan as a teenager. These experiences aroused her interest to explore the world. After obtaining a scholarship, Andrea was able to study economy for tourism in the Università degli Studi di Genova, in Italy. Upon graduation she started her professional life by working for a major hotel chain. However, she still dreamed about traveling the world, after saving money, she was able to backpack through Asia for 8 months. This journey took Andrea to Everest Base Camp for the first time and gave her the opportunity to start working as a tour operator for an adventure agency. She continued to travel around 60 different countries in 5 years. In November of 2007, Andrea climbed her first snowy mountain: Island Peak (20,460 feet). This experience inspired her to attempt reaching the highest peak in the world. This was not an easy task as only one in every three people that attempt the climb, are able to summit. She designed an intensive training schedule, taking her to climb 13 different snowy peak mountains and trekking for months, as preparation for the biggest challenge. On May 23, 2010, Andrea became the first woman in Central America and the Caribbean to have reached the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest (8,805 meters). This makes her part of an exclusive group of climbers, as only around 275 women have been able to summit Mount Everest. On September 22, 2012, Andrea became one of only 42 people in history to have completed the Adventurer’s Grand Slam, which challenges climbers to summit the tallest peak in every continent and to ski to the geographical North and South Poles. Upon doing this, she became the first Latin American to have achieved this milestone. She collaborates with Funsepa as an “Education Hero” and volunteers with La Alianza, a home for sexually abused teenagers. Andrea is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Angélica Maytín Justiniani


    Angelica Maytin Justiniani is the executive president of the Foundation for Civil Liberties Development, the Panamanian Chapter of Transparency International (TI). She is also a labor affairs arbitrator with the Panama Canal Authority. She is a member of UNDP’s National Human Development Report Advisory Committee. She has consulted with the US Agency for International Development, the UN Development Program, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the Center for Public Integrity. She received the 2002 Panama Junior Chamber Young Overachiever Award: Moral Achievement Category and was selected as a “Protagonist of Development” in 2002 by the Inter-American Development Bank and a “Distinguished Woman” by the Panamanian Chamber of Soroptimist International in 2002. She received a bachelor’s degree in law and political science from the University of Panama, a diploma in open and participative government from the Monterrey Technological Institute and the World Bank, and two postgraduate degrees and a master’s degree in mediation, negotiation, and arbitration from the Latin-American Science and Technology University. She is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Antonieta Chaverri


    María Antonieta Chaverri es coach de ejecutivos y líderes empresariales para transformacion y trascendencia. Trabajó en Grupo Nación, la empresa de medios más relevante en Costa Rica, donde fue Gerente General de Medios y ocupó las direcciones corporativas de Estrategia y Sostenibilidad y Desarrollo Humano. También lideró Libros para Todos, una iniciativa del mismo Grupo que pretende que todos los estudiantes de educación pública en su país tengan libros de texto para estudiar. Es cofundadora y miembro de la Junta Directiva del Capítulo de Capitalismo Consciente en Costa Rica, miembro de la Junta Directiva de Voces Vitales Costa Rica y miembro del comité social de la Asociación Empresarial para el Desarrollo. Fue profesora de Maestría en la Universidad Juan Pablo II. Ha sido expositora de diversos foros relacionados con Capitalismo consciente, responsabilidad social empresarial, desarrollo de talento, estrategia y recursos humanos. Ha brindado consultorías en estrategia a empresas privadas y organizaciones no gubernamentales. Se ha dedicado al trabajo comunitario y proyectos sociales a través del Movimiento Rotario (2008-2012) y el Movimiento Vida Cristiana (desde 2006). María Antonieta tiene dos maestrías, una en el Arte de los Recursos Humanos de la Universidad de Minnesota, EE.UU. y otra en Administración de Negocios de la Universidad de Costa Rica, es bachiller en Administración Hotelera.

  • Antonio Saad

    Antonio Saad is Assistant Vice President of Strategic Projects for BAC Credomatic Panama. In this position, Antonio was appointed to lead the corporate strategic projects. He simultaneously serves as a member of Movin, an independent non-profit political organization, focusing on three main areas: citizen participation, institutionality, and transparency. Prior to this, Antonio was the business solutions and quality management manager for Copa Airlines, information and communication technologies (ICT) director for the National Assembly of Panama and a consultant for the Global Center for ICT in Parliaments, a joint initiative of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from the Latin University of Panama and a master ́s degree in business administration (MBA) from Eada Business School, Barcelona, where he was elected President representing the class of 2012. He attended programs on strategy at Linköping University, Sweden, on leadership at the University of Bradford, UK, on disruptive innovation at New York University, United States and infrastructure in a market economy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, United States. Antonio is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Arianne M. Benedetti

    Arianne M. Benedetti is a writer, director and producer. She is the Director of Meets Latin American Film Market, Founder and C.E.O. of TreeHouse Studios (Production and post production company) and is shareholder of Congo Films, which is the biggest and most important equipment rental company in all Central and South America. She is the former Panama Film Commissioner, and now she is a Senator for Panama at the Central American Parliament, who developed and helped pass the new Film Law in Panama. Arianne has produced and directed more than 300 Advertising Commercials. Arianne has 3 previous short films: “3 Left Feet”, “Peki”, and “It’s the way you see it”; and has directed and produced over 300 TV commercials. Furthermore, she directed the first TV Sitcom ever made in Panama in 1998. She is married and has a baby girl, Mila Camile. Arianne is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Ariela Nathusius

    Ariela Nathusius is senior vice president of Grupo Cemaco – a leading home improvement, home furnishings, toy and baby products retailer, operating in Guatemala for over 40 years. As head of new business, Ariela has been tasked with the transformation of the company, including Cemaco’s evolution to become an omni-channel business, the launch of a new in-home installations service and the introduction of new formats such as baby stores in 2012. Ariela is focused on making Cemaco a purpose driven company. As head of human and sustainable development, Ariela has worked to increase impact focusing on three pillars: team, community and environmental sustainability.
    Ariela is also co-founder and Executive Director of Futuro Verde – www.futuroverde.org. Futuro Verde is an organization that aims to create awareness of the consequences of climate change by educating and empowering Spanish speakers in US and Latin America. Since its founding in 2017, Futuro Verde has grown to a community of over 300K users and reached millions of people with climate change content.
    Ariela has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in international relations and economics from Tufts University. Ariela is a Fellow of the fifteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Ariela Suster

    is founder and creative director of SEQUENCE, a vibrant and impactful accessories line handcrafted by local artists in El Salvador. Growing up during the Salvadoran Civil War, Ariela and her family experienced the country’s violence firsthand. It rocked her to her core, but also lit in her a desire to change it. With high-style sartorial skills honed over a decade in New York s fashion industry, holding senior editorial roles at InStyle, Lucky, and Harpers Bazaar, Ariela saw an opportunity to disrupt the sequence of events that lead to violence by employing and empowering at-risk youth to create artisanal products in their own community. Through SEQUENCE, Ariela currently employs 30 young artists, providing them with a positive alternative to a life of violence, and by leveraging her familiarity with the fashion and editorial realms, she and her team have established a signature style of knots and braiding with modern pops of color that reflect El Salvador s positive side: its passion, its energy, and its people. Ariela holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a double minor in dance and government from Skidmore College, and a graduate certificate in marketing management from Harvard University.

  • Arturo Condo


    Full Professor and former President at INCAE Business School. He also works as an independent consultant in strategic planning and global strategy. He was previously a director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development. Arturo has a doctorate in business administration from Harvard Business School and a MBA with high honors from INCAE Business School. He serves as Senior Institute Associate of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School. He is an author and co-author of articles, books and teaching cases in his areas of expertise. Arturo was recognized as a 2008 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He is a member of the global advisory board of the Oath Project and Fundación Paniamor. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Arturo Sagrera


    Arturo is President of Empresas ADOC, a family business founded in 1953 with retail and shoe manufacturing divisions with presence throughout Central America. Additionally, he is VP of Grupo HILASAL, a family business founded in 1942 which operates a group of companies in the following industries: textiles, apparel, real estate and logistics.
    Arturo is Founder of Proyecto Pais, a community-based crime prevention and youth development model that focuses on promoting values, leadership and conflict resolution skills through sports and educational activities. He serves as Director General of Programa !Superate!, an educational social franchise focused on teaching English, computing, and values to underprivileged high school students in Central America. Additionally, he serves as a Director of Fundación Sagrera Palomo and Director of FUSAL.
    Arturo has an MBA from Babson College and a BA in Economics from Pepperdine University. He is a member of YPO El Salvador and a fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI) and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Aurelia Garrido


    Founder of Starfire Effect. Former VP of the Universidad Veritas, a leading university in the arts, design and architecture committed to academic excellence, innovation and sustainability. She is the former vice minister of Culture of Costa Rica, where she was responsible for the implementation of cultural policies and the coordination among 32 government entities that make up the culture sector. Aurelia has vast international experience in the promotion of sustainable development. As coordinator of strategic initiatives for the Avina Foundation, she managed the relationship with strategic partners in Latin America, United States and Spain, as well as joint initiatives for Latin America in the fields of education, corporate social responsibility and social integration. She was also regional operations manager and Project Manager for Avina Foundation. She has been a member of the board of FUNDES in Costa Rica and of the Advisor Committee for Costa Rica Joven. She has a summa cum laude bachelors degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Centroamerica, and an MBA from INCAE, where she graduated with the highest distinction, becoming the first woman to receive the award EscolastaDistinguida. Aurelia lives in San José and has two children. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Basilio Fuschich


    Basilio Fuschich is the general manager of Compañía Hondureña del Café S.A., the largest coffee export company in Honduras and Central America. He is also the vice-president of the COHONDUCAFE Foundation a non-profit organization that focuses on education for coffee producers. Rearing both organizations on the road to success, with clear, simple and defined criteria. Outstanding in his two previous positions, he is also the president of the coffee exporters association of Honduras (ADECAFEH) and president of the Caribbean Fishing Club of Honduras, a non-profit organization. Basilio also serves as vice-president of the Honduran-Chinese Chamber for Central America. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from el Zamorano University.

  • Benjamín García


    He set up his own architecture practice in San Jose, Costa Rica in 2004. Benjamin studied architecture in Costa Rica at Universidad Veritas and later went on to receive a Professional Masters of Architecture Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, USA. He also holds a degree in Education for the Arts and Design from Brown University in USA and is actively involved as an invited lecturer at Universities in England, USA, and South America. As well as being the executive director of Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture, Benjamin is currently also an associate of British architect Sir Richard Rogers in London. He has personally participated in the design of large scale developments around the world; those which include Tower 3 of the World Trade Center in New York City, high end leisure, residential, and office schemes in Europe, Middle East and China; and more recently the design of a residential development in Monte Carlo for the prince of Monaco.

  • Benjamín Sywulka

    Benjamin Sywulka is an innovation expert with a background in corporate, social and country-level innovation. He is currently the founder of Hapi, a company that seeks to solve systemic problems and generate income at the base of the pyramid through self- employment platforms. Before Hapi, he was the Corporate Innovation Manager for Multi Investment Corporation (CMI), where he led the innovation efforts in all business units. Before CMI, he was the Innovation Director for the Private Competitiveness Council of Guatemala where he led the country’s innovation strategy, working in conjunction with private, public and academic sectors. He was an innovation consultant at IXL Center, where he carried out innovation processes with multinationals, and an innovation professor at various universities. He worked in Silicon Valley in companies such as Google and Altavista, and led rural technology entrepreneurship and e- government initiatives in Central America and Paraguay. He has a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and an MBA and a Masters in Finance from Hult International Business School.
    Ben is a Fellow of the XII class of the Central America Leadership Initiative.

  • Billy Herron

    Producer, Composer, Guitarist, Multi-Instrumentalist
    Former member of the Panamanian rock band “Los 33”. He graduated from Villanova University in 2000 with a degree in marketing and later from Berklee College of Music in 2007, where he studied Music Production and Engineering. With the experience gained in the studio producing Rock, Jazz, Folk Music and Afro-Caribbean, he has collaborated with the most recognized Panamanian artists in record productions and film soundtracks. As an interpreter his main instrument is the guitar, where he distinguishes himself as he explores different musical styles of the world, he also plays bass and is one of the few interpreters of blues harmonica in Panama, endorsed by Hohner brand.
    Since 2005 he has been working in the organization of the Panama Jazz Festival, currently being the curator and programmer of the Global Stage, a space for showcases of upcoming World Music proposals.
    Since 2010, he has been the Admissions Officer of Berklee College of Music for Latin America, promoting academic programs and guiding musicians interested in pursuing music careers.
    He is currently vice president of the Danilo Pérez Foundation, a Panamanian NGO that develops music education programs for children and young people at risk, promoting music as a tool for social change.
    He is currently working with several artists in the production and cultural promotion of Afro-Panamanian music, mainly concentrated in the emblematic group from the province of Bocas del Toro, The Beachers, celebrating their 50th Anniversary of artistic career in addition to several other albums and documentary scores.
    Some of Billy Herron’s work has been featured in:
    • Premios Platino Spain 2017
    • Miami Film Festival
    • Circulart Music Market (Medellin, Colombia )
    • Panama International Film Festival.
    • Local Panamanian Television
    • Copa Airlines Inflight entertainment

  • Camilo de Castro Belli

    Camilo de Castro is a member of the coordinating team of the Academic and leadership training program of FLACSO Costa Rica, which seeks to empower and strengthen the strategic capacity of emerging leaders from Nicaragua. Since 2017, he has worked with Global Wildlife Conservation, the Rama and Kriol communities and the private sector in Nicaragua to promote actions that contribute to slowing the advance of the agricultural frontier in the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. In 2010, he founded CaLé producciones, a communications company for social change, which works with civil society organizations to strengthen their advocacy work. He has worked with indigenous communities, environmental groups and civil society youth organizations to develop strategies for incidence and leadership building. For eight years he was the leading investigative journalism for the news magazine program Esta Semana. In 2008, he received the Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Journalism Excellence Award – the most important journalism prize in Nicaragua – for Emergencia en el Bosque, a documentary about the illegal logging of forests in Nicaragua. In 2010, he received the award for a second time for an investigation into corruption in the Supreme Electoral Council, and the same year, he won the National Prize for Journalism and Communication María José Bravo. He directed El canto de Bosawas, a documentary about the Mayangna indigenous community in the Bosawas Natural Reserve and Sueños de birrete, a documentary that explains the challenges facing the education system in Nicaragua. He has a bachelor´s degree in history from Columbia University.

  • Carlos A. Motta

    Carlos is a Director and part of the executive committee of Motta International, S.A., a family business that distributes consumer electronics, liquor, fragrances, watches and other luxury goods throughout Latin America. Motta International also owns and operates over 100 retail stores (Duty Free Stores, Specialty Stores & Boutiques), in airports and shopping malls throughout the region. Carlos serves on the board of directors of Motta Internacional SA, Inversiones Bahia, Copa Holdings, ASSA Insurance Company, Motco Inc, Bahia Motors; TVN Media, Fundación Alberto C. Motta, Fundacion IFF Panama (Panama Film Festival), among others. Carlos also serves on the International Advisory Board of the IAE Business School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is a member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization); AGLN (The Aspen Global Leadership Network); CEAL (Consejo Empresarial de America Latina). Carlos received a BA in Marketing from Boston College and an MBA from Thunderbird (The American Graduate School of International Management). Carlos is married and has three children. He is a Fellow of the ninth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Carlos Araúz


    Carlos Araúz García is the founder and CEO of Fidinem Financial Advisory Services (2019) a specialized financial solutions provider with a different approach towards business analytics and problem solving.   Arauz was de CEO at AllBank up until February 2019 where he achieved a rapid turnaround of the operation.  Arauz has a distinguished career in banking throughout the region and his a frequent columnist at the local newspaper La Prensa as well as other media outlets.  Araúz is the content director and anchor of the news tv segment “Conexion Financiera” which airs every Thursday on national paid tv.  He was twiced named as one of the most influential business people under 40 by the publication Capital Financiero and has worked for various multinational banks while living in  México, El Salvador, Canadá y República Dominicana.   Born in Calidonia, Panama City, Arauz earned an academic scholarship to study in Tennessee, USA, where he attained a double major in Economics and finance with a Math minor (Summa Cum Laude) and has a Masters degree (Cum Laude) from Nova Southeastern University (St. Petersburg, Florida).    Araúz  is the vicepresidente of Fundación Calicanto since 2009 where he has supported the development of the Capta  CAPTA (Capacitación para el Trabajo) program and has supported Enlaces by Fundación Espacio Creativo (FEC), a program design to use modern contemporary dance as a medium to take children out of the streets and gangs.   Arauz is vicepresident of the Panamanian Basketball Federation where he implemented a program to provide scholarships to young athletes.  Arauz resides in Panama and has two children:  Julian and Valeria.  Araúz is a fellow of the Aspen Institute and CALI (Central American Leadership Initiative).

  • Carlos Avilés

    is the founder and general manager of Teleservicios de El Salvador, a logistics and delivery services company, which grew rapidly from 4 to 230 employees due to his vision and strategic outlook. Carlos is currently diversifying his line of business to a comprehensive outsourcing venture. He is also Director of Social Responsibility Initiatives. In 2014, Teleservicios de El Salvador was awarded ÒMARCA POSITIVA” by FUNDEMAS for its commitment to investing in and furthering the development of the local community. Previously, he worked as a private banking counselor at Banco de Madrid in Spain, and as a corporate advisor in Banco Cuscatlán, San Salvador. Carlos holds a law degree from Universidad de Navarra, Spain and a Masters degree in Private Banking by Escuela Superior de Economía in Madrid. He lives in El Salvador with his wife and 3 beautiful kids. Carlos is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Carlos Eduardo Borgonovo

    is Executive Director of BorgonovoPohl, S.A. de C.V, a leading coffee producer and export company in El Salvador. BorgonovoPohl has formed a partnership with ECOM COFFEE GROUP, which is a leading world coffee producer, exporter and trader. He is in the Board of Directors of Sacos Sintéticos Centroamericanos, a polypropylene production plant, Ingenio Taboga, a sugar mill in Costa Rica, Aquiares, a coffee producing and exporting farm in Costa Rica, and also a Director of the Chamber of Agriculture of El Salvador (CAMAGRO). For the past seven years, he has been President of Asociación Salvadoreña de Beneficiadores y Exportadores de Café (ABECAFE), which represents de private coffee export industry of El Salvador. Members of ABECAFE combine for over 60% of the country’s coffee exports. Earned a B.A. from Babson College and an M.B.A. from INCAE. Carlos is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network

  • Carlos Manuel Gómez

    About my venture

    The objective of my venture is to influence professors and lecturers to increase their motivational condition toward teaching through a structured academic program. After completing this program, the participants (professors and lecturers) are expected to become more motivated with their initial teaching passion and to create a larger impact in students by giving more passionate classes, more attention to their individual and group performance and to find “the way” to increase their learning process.
    Reasons about my venture

    As professors and lectures continue working in the higher education system, especially in State Universities with a lack of an effective control and evaluation system, the monotony of this activity along with the inexistence of a system of recognitions turn these professionals into burn out individuals. Since the level of motivation is continuously decreasing, professors and lecturers seem to lose their initial teaching passion to foster new young professionals.

    A large number of State Universities in Latin America are mostly subsidized by their country’s Governments with very low and symbolic enrolling fee. Because of this, a significant percentage of the students enrolling in higher education are not really committed to their careers during the first years of studies. The rate of dropouts is also significant when the cost of entering at the university level may not cause them further debts responsibilities along with a poorly motivated environment.
    This venture is supported just by empirical observation after about 20 years as lecturer in several state universities. An introductory research is planned for the next academic period (2017) by applying two questionnaires:

    1. A questionnaire addressed to a group of faculty to understand the existence of a burn out condition and its level.
    2. A questionnaire addressed to students (freshmen & sophomores) to capture their perception regarding their motivations to continue studies, the motivation projected by their professors and the students’ continuity in their careers due to the motivations of their mentors.

    Venture Goal

    In order to reduce the dropout rates and to increase the motivation of students to pursue their career goals, my venture proposes to create a “motivational program” addressed to professors and lecturers that feel that have been losing their teaching passion. This program will include a number of reading, lectures, discussions, videos and role-playing games that after completing this content the participants will deliver more motivated classes and attention to their students.

    With this objective in mind, we look forward to re-engineer the trainers of the new young professional leaders for our countries.

    Current state of the venture

    Unfortunately, the venture is still under preparation. The program has not been developed yet, but the research has been planned to obtain some quantitative elements to justify my pilot test. This pilot test is expected to take place at the University of Panama (Colón Branch) where I currently work as full-time professor. With these results, I do expect to receive an approval from University authorities in order to offer this program to a pilot group of professors and lecturers, and furtherly to measure the impact after successfully completing the program and working along with their students.

  • Carmen Aída Lazo

    Since 2012, has been the Dean of the faculty of Business and Economics at Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios – ESEN. Prior to this role, Carmen worked at UNDP (United Nations Program for Development – El Salvador) first serving as the Human Development Specialist and then as a Program Analyst where she was in charge of the National Human Development Report and poverty programs. Carmen also served as an advisor for two government parties. Carmen received a Bachelor s Degree in Business and Economics from ESEN and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specialized in International Development from Harvard University. She also has a master’s degree in applied macroeconomics from Pontíficia Universidad Católica de Chile. She is a Fullbright Scholar and received other scholarships such as the Joint Japan/World Bank Scholarship. She is married and a mother of two.

  • Carmen Irene Alas


    Carmen Irene Alas is a senior executive with over 25 years of experience and sound knowledge of the Central American region. Throughout her ventures, she has established strong relationships with Companies, Institutions, NGOs, Academia and Guilds.

    She is currently Executive Director of CIA Consulting Group, a regional firm which, over the course of eight years, has built ad-hoc ecosystems for its clients, through the design and implementation of communications, PR, Corporate Affairs and social media strategies which have contributed to value creation and sustainability.

    For Carmen Irene, the key is innovation and delivery of creative solutions for her clients. Alongside the firm Statknows, she added marketing and public opinion surveys through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to her portfolio.

    In 1998 she co-founded Estrategia & Negocios Magazine. By holding the Executive Director position until 2013, she was responsible for directing and coordinating the group’s editorial content, the business intelligence unit, and the development and promotion of vital and complementary online content.

    Carmen Irene has two bachelor degrees, one in Business Administration and one in Economics from Dr. José Matías Delgado University in El Salvador. This same institution recognized her with the “Distinguished Professional” award in 2008 for her professional contribution on both local and regional level. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Central American Leadership Initiative (CALI), a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

    In addition to her professional experience and academic background, she is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of El Salvador, member of the National Committee for INCAE Business School and member of the Board of Directors of the Corporate Foundation for the Development of Education (FEPADE). She also served as President and Co-Founder of the Vital Voices chapter for El Salvador, from 2008 to 2012.

    She is a proud grandmother of Julian and Sebastian, and mother to three children, María José, Juan Diego, and Javier.

  • Carolina Alvarez-Mathies

    Carolina Alvarez-Mathies is a Dallas-based Salvadoran arts professional working on strategy-building across creative industries with an emphasis on the intersection of art and social impact. She currently serves as Deputy Director at Dallas Contemporary.

    From marketing/communications strategy to business development and fundraising, Carolina’s innovative approach to building sustainable nonprofits led her to become Director of External Affairs at Creative Time, the New York-based public arts non-profit. During her tenure there, she seamlessly integrated the communications and development departments to foster intrapreneurship and innovative thinking in a rapidly changing fundraising climate.

    Previously, she served as Head of Communications at El Museo del Barrio, New York City’s leading Latin American cultural institution.

    Carolina serves on the Board of Directors of Y.ES Contemporary, dedicated to supporting and developing contemporary art in El Salvador and beyond, and is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative, making her a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.

    From 2017 to 2019, Carolina served as El Salvador’s Ambassador on Special Mission for Cultural Affairs, with the dual goals of strengthening and promoting her country’s culture worldwide (especially among the millions of Salvadorans abroad) and raising the visibility of Salvadoran artists by creating new opportunities for exposure and dialogue around their work.

    In addition, she is co-owner and head of business development at Ceres Estates, her family’s El Salvador based specialty-coffee operation, dating back to 1895.

  • Carolina Freire


    Carolina Freire is President of Voluntarios de Panamá, Panama’s national volunteer center that inspires and mobilizes citizens to transform lives and communities through service. She is a Senior Specialist in Social Protection and Health for the Inter-American Development Bank. She attended Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, majoring in international politics. She earned her master’s degree in public affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and Fellow of the sixth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI) of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Cecilia Dougherty

    Cecilia Dougherty is the current President of the Carlos F. Novella Foundation, related to Cementos Progreso in Guatemala, that supports education and community development projects and she is also part of the board in PAVA, a non-profit currently working with rural community libraries, where she has been involved for the last 18 years. She is also a well renowned dancer and performing arts manager, having worked in the country and abroad with dance, theatre and opera performing and staging. In 2007 she was awarded Best Actress in the Central American Icaro Film Festival and an Emerging Arstists medal in 1990 in Guatemala. She has a B.A in Management from Universidad Francisco Marroquín and a Dance B.A. from Universidad de San Carlos.

  • Cecilia Monge


    Dr. Cecilia Monge joined the Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch as Staff Oncology Physician in 2019 after finishing her oncology fellowship with an outstanding academic award at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She holds a Masters degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health and was selected to participate in the Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Monge completed her internal medicine training at Georgetown University after graduating from the Universidad de Costa Rica Medical School.

    Dr. Cecilia Monge is the recipient of multiple national and international academic and research awards in oncology and internal medicine. She serves as a reviewer for various oncology academic journals and is a member of the American Academy of Cardiology (ACC) Cardio-Oncology Guidelines Writing Committee and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Trainee Council. Dr. Monge also serves on the NIH National Cancer Institute Institutional Scientific Review Board (IRB) for Clinical Studies and she is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

  • Christian Fischer

    AKA Fish was born and raised in Guatemala, received his bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a Finance specialty at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, graduating in 2005. His five roles in life are: 1) Happy Husband, 2) Proud Father, 3) Passionate Entrepreneur, 4) Proud Guatemalan and 5) Hungry learner. His last entrepreneurship is Corporación Arium which is a group of companies specialized in full service distribution of mass consumptions products, it has become one of the largest distribution companies in the country in just 2 years, responsible for +900 employees, with the goal to become the best full-service distribution company in Latin America. Previous to his recent venture, Christian’s experience for 12 years included positions such as regional executive in P&G specializing in marketing and sales in developing countries, expert in distribution management and product development specialist for products that improve the lives of low income consumers; resulting in a vast knowledge of Latin and Central American markets.
    He has also been an active member of the board of directors of United Way Guatemala and was elected in 2018 as the vice president of the board, this entity focuses in uniting resources from various companies and voluntary individuals to maximize social impact in Guatemala, the core of such programs is ensuring correct development in early infancy. His values and main descriptors are: Entrepreneur soul – Never stop learning and learn from everyone – Passion – Excellence – Integrity. Christian is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Christian Klose

    is co-founder and CEO of Greenergyze and GreenFinance, a solar energy company and finance firm specializing in design, sales, installation, maintenance and financing of solar projects in Central America. Christian also serves on several boards of directors and is a member of the EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) Guatemalan Chapter. Christian graduated from ESADE Business School in Barcelona in 2009 where he obtained his MBA degree. Prior to moving to Barcelona, Christian worked for 7 years in Guatemala and Brazil at CBC (Pepsi’s Bottler for Central America and The Caribbean) and AmBev (currently ABInbev). During this time, he served in several roles for the company and successfully lunched Brava Beer in the Central American market. In 2001 he earned his industrial engineering degree, graduating magna cum laude, from North Carolina State University. Christian considers himself a family man, a sports enthusiast and passionate for new adventures; he is the oldest of three siblings. He has been married to Adriana for 11 years and together they have three beautiful children. Christian is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Christian Marín Muller

    Christian Marín Muller is CEO of Speratum Cancer Therapeutics. Christian has worked in the field of cancer therapeutics for almost a decade, with a specific focus on the use of RNA interference technology. Christian’s work is based on the development of nanotechnology-based delivery of microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics against solid tumors. Christian discovered and patented a therapeutic miRNA treatment that can control a network of biomarkers responsible for aggressive growth and metastasis in pancreatic cancer, and has the potential to completely eliminate tumors both alone and in combination with existing modalities. In addition to his focus on research, he has also been heavily involved in the biotech industry ecosystem. Christian has co-founded three biotechnology related companies, and has worked as a consultant to multiple start-up and governmental organizations worldwide. Christian’s work has contributed to the advancement of projects ranging from medical devices to HIV vaccine development.

    He made Costa Rica his base of operations two years ago, with the goal in mind of using the unique opportunity presented by his technology to help foster biotechnology development in the country. Christian led the construction of a state-of-the-art pre-clinical research facility (first of its kind in Central America), and coordinated the very first inter-institutional contracts between the National Center for Technology and private enterprise to promote collaboration in research. Christian currently serves on the Scientific Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Science, where he’s helping to craft the governing laws and protocols that will allow for Phase I Clinical Studies to be conducted in the country for the first time in almost a decade. He is also co-investigator in a medical device clinical trial with the NIH soon to be launched in the country, and is also acting spokesperson for the CR Biomed Biotechnology Cluster, an initiative to foster collaboration between academia, industry, and government. Christian has a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from Baylor College of Medicine, an MS in Biotechnology Entrepreneurship from Case Western Reserve University and an MS in Molecular Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology. Christian is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Christina Murray

    is a goal-oriented and passionate individual with an MBA from Instituto de Empresa, and 12 years of professional experience at Industrias La Constancia, a subsidiary of SABMiller and Coca-Cola bottler in El Salvador. Throughout her career in the commercial area, she has had the opportunity to develop a broad network base by leading multidisciplinary teams, and by working one-on-one with clients and customers alike. Throughout this journey she has gained an in-depth understanding of retailer, shopper, and consumer needs, barriers, and behavior, and how to succeed in a challenging and ever-changing environment. However, she is now ready to move on and apply her experience and knowledge to fulfill other personal interests. In this new phase of her life, she is exploring new projects which will enable her to dedicate quality time to her 2-year-old son, while also satiating her thirst for learning and giving back to her community.

  • Christopher Haughey

    is founder and chief innovation officer of Tegu, an award-winning toy design, manufacturing and distribution company created to bring employment and prosperity to the country and people of Honduras. Chris runs Manufactura Tegu, the Company’s manufacturing operation in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He is the primary inventor listed on Tegu’s manufacturing-focused patents and has been an instrumental contributor to bringing Tegu’s unique line of magnetic wooden building blocks to market. Prior to starting Tegu, Chris was a consultant with the Los Angeles practice of The Boston Consulting Group, from 2004 to 2007. He was a missionary working with university students with Campus Crusade for Christ in Mexico City in 2002-2003. Chris is a Praxis Fellow (Christian entrepreneurship network) and an Agora Fellow (Latin American social entrepreneurship network), and he was a member of the founding classes of both accelerator programs. He serves on the board of directors of Inversiones La Paz, a Honduran family owned business with diverse investments and retail operations. Chris speaks Spanish and German fluently, loves sports and the outdoors and lives in the mountains above Tegucigalpa with his wife Cindy, their sons Corin and Callan and four labradors. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Chris is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Claudia Cristiani

    Claudia Cristiani is founder and executive director of Fundación AccesArte, a private non-profit dedicated to strengthening the role that culture plays in human development processes through research, dissemination, and debate. She is currently the public leader for Creative Commons El Salvador, local chapter of Creative Commons, a non-profit that enables the sharing and use of human creativity and strives for universal access to knowledge. Claudia is a board member of the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development, FUSADES, the most important political, economical, and social think-tank in El Salvador. She is also responsible for overseeing the social investment strategies of her family’s businesses managed through Fundación Raíces. A Bachelor of Cultural Heritage Conservation from the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museography (ENCRyM) of the National Institute of History and Anthropology (INAH), Mexico, Claudia also holds Diplomas in Cultural Development from the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), Mexico; Cultural Resources Management from the University of Victoria, Canada; and General Aspects of the Political System and Public Management from the Central American School of Government and Democracy (ECADE), El Salvador. She currently resides in San Salvador, El Salvador.

  • Claudia Eunice Cruz

    Claudia Cruz is a professional on corporate communications and sustainability programs.
    She currently acts as Executive Director of Vital Voices El Salvador, working on empowering women in the economic area.
    She founded Ubuntu Consulting, a multidisciplinary holistic approach business and personal advisory firm, focusing on sustainability and stakeholder relations.
    She previously worked as the communications and marketing director of ASESUISA (Sura Group), one of the main insurance companies in El Salvador.
    During 13 years, Claudia was corporate communications manager at Cenergica-Nejapa Power Company(IC Power – Israel Corporation). Her experience includes managing public relations and corporate social responsibility programs, providing communications counsel in energy market, legal, labor and environmental issues, as well as mergers and acquisitions.
    She is an advocate for responsible business and actively collaborates in several committees in FUNDEMAS the nation’s leading CSR organization. Claudia serves as a board member of FUNDEMAS, and previously Glasswing International and Vital Voices El Salvador Chapter.
    In 2010. she created a leadership project to strengthen students’ self-esteem and teach them values through music. The Glee Club Project was established in alliance with Glasswing International. In 2016, the project had 52 glee clubs, 100 volunteers and over 1200 students involved in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
    She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of the Ozarks (USA) and a Master in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Barcelona (Spain). Claudia is a Fellow of the fifth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
  • Claudia Ramírez

    is deputy information manager at La Prensa Gráfica, the most important newspaper in El Salvador. Claudia has worked in the newspaper for 16 years and began when she was a university student, through an internship. Claudia has worked in many different positions at the newspaper, developing the ability to manage many roles in every section that is now under her leadership. Claudia has a special interest in the areas of education, youth, sexual education in schools and climate change. She regularly publishes editorial articles in the newspaper about various topics of relevance in her country, such as: politics, education, and other social issues. Claudia designed and launched the Education Section of the newspaper, and a theater program to keep young people out of the streets. She has received awards for her work in HIV Coverage, education Programs, environmental issues, and sports. She graduated in Journalism and Social Communication from Universidad José Simeón Ca–as in El Salvador, and has a certificate in Editorial Publishing in the Globalization Era of the Catholic University of Valparaiso Chile, and a certificate from ADEN International Business School in Women and Management. Claudia is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Claudia Romero de Ibañez

    is the Corporate Affairs Manager of Walmart – México y Centroamérica. She oversees community development, social corporate responsibility, volunteering and she promotes projects against hunger, natural disasters, environmental issues and sustainability. Since 2012 Claudia has been the President of AmCham (El Salvador’s Chamber of Commerce). She is an advisor to the executive committee of ANEP – Asociación Nacional de la Empresa Privada (National Association of Private Enterprise). Prior to working at Walmart, she worked for six years as the Communications Manager for the Asociación Salvadoreña de Industriales (Salvadoran Association of Industrialists), nonprofit dedicated to the economic and social development through strengthening the industrial sector. She was also an account executive in the advertising agency Molina Bianchi. Claudia is a committee member of Fundemas and a board member of ANEP and CASALCO- La Cámara Salvadoreña de la Industria de la Construcción (The Salvadoran Chamber of Construction Industry). Claudia received her bachelors degree in communications from Universidad José Matías Delgado and has an MBA from ISEADE / FEPADE in El Salvador with a specialization in International Negotiations, awarded by the Anahuac in Mexico. Claudia is married and mother of a teenager. She lives in San Salvador, El Salvador.

  • Claudia Umaña

    Claudia Umaña Araujo is a lawyer, activist and legal researcher born in San Salvador, El Salvador. While studying for her law degree from the University Dr. Jose Matías Delgado, the country went through one of its most convulsive times. These circumstances had a great impact on her life and is what has lead her to devote most of her career to the pursuit of modernization of the State, search of opportunities through trade and the promotion of the importance of transparency and rule of law as the path to prosperity and peace.

    She is the current President of the NGO: Democracy – Transparency – Justice (DTJ), which promotes transparency and woman’s rights, and Vice President of FUSADES, which has been ranked among the top ten in Latin America according the “Think Tank Initiative.” She is also the Coordinator of the Political and Legal Studies of FUSADES. She also served as the Director of the Department of Legal Studies of FUSADES for almost ten years.

    Claudia was also a public servant for almost a decade working as the Director of Trade/Commercial Policy of the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador, with the rank of Special Ambassador for Trade Negotiations. During the years that she held office she coordinated the team that negotiated the WTO, CAFTA, Central America and Chile, among other trade treaties. She was also the head of the Central American Integration Treaty. In 2014, she was awarded the “Order of Bernardo O’Higgins” in rank of Officer, by the Government of Chile. She is a Fellow of the sixth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Corrina Grace

    Social Innovator | Weaver | Systems Builder

    Corrina is a socially-driven entrepreneur, hybrid thinker and sustainability leader with almost 20 years working in the field. and brings 15 years of experience as a practitioner living and leading in proximity with communities facing extreme environmental degradation and economic poverty in Central America.

    10+ years living and working with disenfranchised, economically marginalized communities with the folks on the frontlines of climate change has solidified a personal commitment to ensuring justice and equality for People + Planet, a commitment that shapes her work at all levels.

    Corrina is the Founder of SERES, an UNESCO award-winning organization that cultivates and catalyzes youth leaders to build more just and sustainable futures in Central America. She holds a Masters in Social Innovation for Sustainable Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Corrina brings an engineer’s love for solving problems, a pioneering spirit and entrepreneurial attitude to everything she does. She is a Fellow of the 10th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Cristina Salazar

    Cristina Salazar is currently Chief Financial Officer of Cusezar International Group, one of Latin America’s leading real estate development companies with branches in Colombia, Panama (Provivienda), Mexico (Davivir) and El Salvador.  As part of her role, she is helping increase corporate governance, create a new family charter, and is head of the company’s investment committee.  She also manages the Salazar family office which invests in private equity and hedge funds around the world.  Within the company she is currently serving as Project Manager for a large office development in Panama City and for Titan Plaza Centro Comercial y Empresarial, one of Colombia’s largest and most innovative shopping mall and office developments with over 180,000 square meters. Prior to joining Cusezar in 2008, Cristina worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York City focusing on private equity.  During her tenure at Goldman Sachs she helped invest over USD$9 billion in real estate assets throughout the world and $8 billion in companies and private equity funds.  Cristina is an active board member of Fundación Bolívar Davivienda, one of Colombia’s largest philanthropic organizations, and was on the Construction Credit Approval Committee of Banco Davivienda.   In Panama City she has started a project to improve the quality of the schools in the residential communities that Provivienda develops and she hopes to expand this and other educational efforts into a foundation for the company in the near future.  She received a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004.  Cristina is fluent in Spanish, English, and Portuguese and is proficient in French.   She is married to Juan Camilo Reyes and they have two children: Federico and Santiago. Cristina is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Dar Vanderbeck


    Dar Vanderbeck recently joined the Aspen Institute as Vice President of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
    Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Dar served as the first Chief Innovation Officer at CARE USA where she was responsible for driving the transformation and leading the creation of the 75-year-old organizations global innovation strategy. Previously, she was Managing Director for Teach for Americas Innovation and Values-Based Leadership team, tasked with building TFA alumni cohorts across the country to help drive values-based innovation. Dar is also a founder of several organizations, most recently Canopy Collective, an organization with a mission to end and heal from racialized violence by building a transnational coalition of people advancing truth-telling and reparative justice worldwide. She co-founded Imperative, a technology platform to unlock purpose in the workplace, and has held positions at McKinsey & Company, and USAID, where she worked at the Office of Transition Initiatives in Afghanistan. Dar began her career in Kenya working with the grassroots organization MUHURI (Muslims for Human Rights) and co-founding the Roosevelt Campus Network. She has served on the Boards of MicroVest Holdings, CARE Social Ventures, Rhize and Chrysalis Ltd – Sri Lanka, and as an advisor for Groundwater Institute, among others. Dar is also a death doula.
    Dar earned her B.A from Bates College in a self-designed interdisciplinary major called Political Economies in Transition. She is currently finishing a Masters of Divinity in Social Transformation from the Pacific School of Religion (PSR) in Berkeley, CA and her interreligious chaplaincy degree. Dar is based in Los Angeles with her husband Andy is a pediatrician at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), son Gaèl and dog Remy. Dar is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • David Bullón

    is a consultant and entrepreneur dedicated to integrating authentic leadership, exponential innovation and open governance into public service in Latin America. David left his role as director of innovation for the Costa Rican Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications in 2018, where he worked with allies across sectors to build capacities in the innovation ecosystem. Prior to joining in 2014, David was based in other government offices, leading the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade’s work on innovation and global value chains and facilitating the development of the South Sudanese Ministry of Commerce’s first private sector development plan. Prior to his time in government, David worked in the social sector managing impact evaluations of programs intended to stimulate entrepreneurship in Peru with innovations for poverty action, and advising microfinance institutions in India as a consultant with access development services. Prior to living in India, he managed product and process innovation projects for Black and Decker in various positions in the United States and Mexico. In 2012, David received the Accenture Public Service Innovation award and was selected as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Is a member of the Costa Rica USA Foundation’s millennials committee, David has also been a member of the OECD´s Working Group on Technology and Innovation Policy and an advisor to the Presidential Council for Innovation and Human Talent. David earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, graduating summa cum laude from Messiah College, and later obtained a Master in Public Administration in international development from the Harvard Kennedy School. He lives with his wife Monica in Costa Rica, where he spends as much time as he can in nature. David is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • David Falkenstein

    is the managing and founding partner of Cadejo Brewing Company, the first craft-brewery of El Salvador and the first brewery of any kind to establish itself in the country in over 100 years. He is creating a different type of corporation than is common in his home country, focusing on empowering individuals and creating a culture of camaraderie, personal development and innovation. Mr. Falkenstein previously co-founded a financial research sales firm in New York, New York in 2002; a venture whose operations he later moved to his home country of El Salvador in 2008. He obtained a degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1995 and spent the next 7 years working for IBM Consulting Group in the Midwestern United States and in New York. He is a member of the Republican Party of El Salvador (ARENA) where he seeks to promote his libertarian ideals in the pursuit of a freer society. He has been very active in furthering transparency and democracy inside the party.

  • David Gutierrez


    David Gutiérrez is a founding partner of BLP one of the largest, most recommended and innovative law firms in Central America. He is currently based in Madrid, Spain, where he heads BLP’s office in Europe. He connects people and companies on both sides of the Atlantic, enabling business and serving as a translator of cultures.
    BLP is the only law firm in the region certified as carbon-neutral, the first signatory of the Pro Bono Declaration for the Americas, with an international recognized sustainability program. Through the BLP Foundation, the law firm is a leader on the field of Pro Bono, human rights and environmental work. David has participated in the largest M&A and project finance transactions in the region and has been consistently ranked as one of the best attorneys in the region.
    He is currently a member of the board of WSG – World Services Group, one of the largest and most recognized professional associations in the world. He served as Latin American Chair of the IBA, the largest organization of lawyers in the world and President of Fundacion CRUSA, the most influential NGO in Costa Rica.
    David loves football, and was a member of the board of Deportivo Saprissa, the most popular and successful team in Central America. He was also a member of the board of the Costa Rica Football Federation.
    He graduated from the University of Costa Rica’s Law School and Georgetown University Law Center with honors, with both a Fulbright and an Organization of American States scholarship.
    He is married to Carolina and the proud father of Alberto and Felipe.
    David is a fellow of the ninth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • David Reyes

    Born in San Salvador on March 31, 1981. In 2009, David became the first person with a disability in the history of El Salvador to be elected as a Congressman of the Legislative Assembly. Thanks to the results delivered to the nation in each legislature, he was reelected for four consecutive terms.
    He has a degree in Public Administration Management from the University of Chile (Chile), and in Management of Entrepreneurship and Innovation projects of International Cooperation from the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso (Chile).
    He has participated in various courses, forums and conferences, including: The New Strategies Forum for Training and Employment of people with disabilities, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; the International Visitor Leadership Program, in Washington DC, United States; and the Global Summit on Disability and Inclusion in Argentina.
    David is also fellow of international organizations such as the Central Americas Leadership Initiative (CALI), and the Latin American Network of Young Parliamentarians. He is a founding member of the Democracy and Justice Foundation (DTJ).



    His life has been an inspiration to many, and he is constantly invited to give inspirational and motivational talks to students in universities, schools, colleges, executives of private companies and civil society organizations, in general.
    He is the forerunner of Fundación Sin Límites, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting initiatives in favor of the sector of people with disabilities, as well as promoting respect for their rights. He was Vice President of Special Olympics of El Salvador.



    David has given life to important laws and reforms, staying close and open to the proposals of different civil organizations and the different productive sectors at the national level.
    During his performance as Congressman, he initiated and accompanied in the law formation process, a diversity of relevant issues, focused on five main areas:

  • Debra Gittler

    Debra Gittler is founder and executive director of ConTextos, an educational NGO established in El Salvador and the USA. ConTextos’ mission is to transform the educational experience so students go beyond rote, mechanical learning to develop authentic literacy skills such as deep-thinking, interpretation, analysis and creativity. El Salvador is now the most violent country in the world; ConTextos works in schools, prisons and juvenile facilities throughout the country to improve education as a tool for peace and democratic principles. With a unique evaluation model that doesn’t just measure if youth get better at reading and writing—but measure how reading and writing make youth into better people, with increased tolerance, empathy, expression and life-projection. Debra has a master’s from Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus on international policy and social entrepreneurship. Previously, she worked as the Coordinator and Lead Author of El Salvador’s national teacher training strategy in the area of literacy, and was a teacher in Honduras and the South Bronx. In 2013, Debra was recognized as a Global Fellow by the Echoing Green Foundation and in 2015 a CALI Fellow by the Aspen Institute.

  • Denise Vargas


    Denise Vargas es poeta, gestora cultural y consultora independiente.  Estudió literatura, lenguas romances y psicología en la universidad de Dartmouth, al norte de Estados Unidos, y posteriormente obtuvo un MBA con énfasis en Finanzas.  Su libro de poesía, Martes como toda vida, fue publicado en Costa Rica en agosto de 2016 por Ediciones Perro Azul.  Denise pertenece al taller de poesía Alicanto.  En el ámbito laboral, Denise fundó recientemente la empresa Impact Strategy, cuya misión es aplicar su experiencia corporativa de más de 15 años en puestos ejecutivos con el fin de apoyar el desarrollo de la región mediante consultorías y talleres de estrategia, desarrollo de marca, crecimiento personal y liderazgo basado en fortalezas.   Impact Strategy dedicará un porcentaje de sus utilidades para apoyar proyectos culturales y sociales específicos en Honduras. Adicionalmente, Denise es miembro de la Junta Directiva de la empresa Sanitas desde el 2008.  Aparte de su experiencia en la empresa privada, Denise fue Consejero de la Misión de Honduras ante las Naciones Unidas, donde se especializó en temas de desarrollo social, sobre los cuales se pronunció frente a la Asamblea General y el Consejo de Seguridad.  Denise habla español, inglés, francés  y tiene dominio básico del italiano.  Es fellow del Central American Leadership Initiative y miembro del Aspen Global Leadership Network. Actualmente reside en Tegucigalpa, Honduras.