Luis Almagro Lemes was elected OAS Secretary General on March 18, 2015. As OAS Secretary General, he has prioritized the defense of democracy and human rights in his daily work, and has not hesitated to speak out when there have been abuses of democratic institutions, as in the case of Venezuela, where he requested the application of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the “Constitution of the Americas,” as he has described it. In addition to the crisis in Venezuela, Almagro has renewed the support of the OAS to the Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP) in Colombia; promoted the creation of the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) –the first OAS Mission of its kind-; renewed and expanded the Electoral Observation Missions of the OAS (with first-time visits to countries such as the US and Brazil); played a key role in the holding of elections in Haiti; and mediated the migratory crisis between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Andrés Cadena is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, and leads the Strategy & Corporate Finance, Financial Services, and Public Sector Practices in Latin America and heads the McKinsey Center for Government in the region. He is a member of the McKinsey Global Institute Council, which advises MGI research on global economic, business, and technology trends, and directs the firm’s work in Latin America on sustainable cities and economic development. Since joining McKinsey in 1997, Andres has led more than 250 client projects, with a focus on national and local governments, multilateral organizations, financial institutions, and consumer-goods companies. Andres serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations that focus on education, economic development, and social services in his native Colombia.
Maria Emilia Correa is a co-founder of Sistema B, a non-profit organization whose mission is to build favorable ecosystems for a market that solves social and environmental problems, and director of Academia B. She has dedicated her professional life to promoting business as a positive force for a better world. Correa was selected as one of the 30 most influential intellectuals in Ibero-America in 2017 by EsGlobal and got a position as a Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard in 2019. Visiting professor at several universities and frequent presenter at international seminars, her writings have appeared in world class publications. Member of the jury of the 2016 Global Rolex Award, she is an impact investor in Empresas B. Correa is member of the board of Crepes & Waffles and of Fundación Bancolombia, in Colombia, and of Grupo Córpora and BallonLatam in Chile.
Adriana Machado is one of Latin America’s most celebrated women business leaders and an outspoken advocate of the impact economy. She is a former CEO of GE Brazil and founder of Briyah Institute, a Benefit Corporation that bridges innovation, practice & purpose. She serves on several boards and is the Executive Director for the Brain Health Project (BHP), an initiative aimed at preventing Alzheimer’s Disease by promoting brain health and slowing cognitive decline. Her cross-cultural and cross-sector skills, from big business, government and nonprofit, grants her a unique perspective towards entrepreneurship, resilience and sustainability. Adriana serves on the board of the United Nations Association Miami Chapter and America Solidaria US.
PANEL I | Mobilizing for democracy in Nicaragua and Venezuela
Alex Arana. From his 11-year exile from Nicaragua, he has kept actively involved with the Nicaraguan community in South Florida, from a humanitarian perspective, trying to help the people in Nicaragua. As a professional he is managing partner of D-Signs-4U, a multi-channel printing and advertising company serving South Florida. Alex joined SOS Nicaragua Global, an initiative promoted by the Nicaraguan diaspora movement, directing all advertising media used for the campaign as well as constantly reaching out to new members that could organize the movement in different cities. The movement represents the joint effort of all Nicaraguans with one basic goal: justice, democracy and freedom.
Jeancarlo López is a member of the Verification and Security Commission and a dialogue member of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy in Nicaragua. He was one of the leaders of the Universidad Politécnica occupation and spokesperson of the Student Movement on April 19th 2018. Subject of political repression, López was expelled from the Systems Engineering career at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua.
Francisco Marquez-Lara is a Venezuelan lawyer and political activist. He obtained his Master in Public Policy degree at the Harvard Kennedy School (2012), and then worked on the presidential campaigns with Governor Henrique Capriles as well as Coordinator of Special Projects in the Office of the Lt. Governor of the State of Miranda. In 2014 he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Mayor of El Hatillo in Caracas working there until he was illegally detained for his political activism in June 2016. He was a political prisoner for four months and was forced into exile in the U.S by the Venezuelan Government. He is currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the Harvard Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Executive Director of Visión Democrática (Democratic Vision - NGO).
Maye Primera, is a Venezuelan journalist, editor for Latin America at Univision Noticias Digital. She has worked as a reporter and editor for more than 20 years, covering topics of regional policy, immigration, human rights, social justice, security and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Primera worked as a correspondent for El País in Caracas and the Caribbean. In Venezuela, she was editor in chief of TalCual newspaper. She is the author of the biography "Diógenes Escalante" (BBV, 2007), "La República alucinada" (Alfa, 2011) and of "Faces and voices against impunity" (Cofavic, 2011), and co-author in several anthologies of non-fiction literature.
PANEL II | Migration in Latin America: New trends
Sharon Granados, is a social geographer who specializes in international migration with an emphasis on multiculturalism, human rights, organized crime, territorial and urban transformations. She has worked as an expert advisor for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants in places of extreme poverty in Central America and Mexico, and as a Strategy and Development Researcher at Harvard University's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. Currently, Granados works as a Development Associate of the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) in New York. MS (c) in Urban Development from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a B.A. in Geographical Sciences from the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica.
José Tomás Vicuña SJ is the Nacional Director of the Jesuit Service for Migrants in Chile. Previously, he was the President of the Board of the Service and was manager at the office in Arica (2012-2014). Vicuña has combined his pastoral work with active roles in social organizations. He has been the Chaplain of the Christian Life Community (CLC) and of Techo (2010-2011 and 2015-2018), a Latin American NGO aimed at overcoming poverty situation in informal settlements, for Chile and Peru. Vicuña has been editor and co-author of publications related to migration in Chile. He has studies in science, economics, philosophy and theology.
Francisca Vigaud-Walsh is an expert on the protection of refugees and displaced persons, with nearly 20 years of experience in humanitarian action. She has been an emergency responder and advisor, leading protection programs at the onset of a conflict or natural disaster and influencing U.S., European and UN policy on protection in emergencies, with a focus on women and girls. Most recently, Francisca led Refugees International’s Women, Peace & Security research and advocacy. She has worked for multiple NGOs and the UN Refugee Agency. She currently sits on the OAS Working Group on Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants. Francisca holds an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Tamoa Calzadilla is a Venezuelan journalist with 21 years of experience, specializing in digital journalism and investigation. She is part of the Special Projects and Investigative of Univision Noticias, in Miami, USA. She awarded Special Citation of the Maria Moors Cabot Award 2014, (Columbia University, NYC New York). Winner of the Gabriel García Márquez 2014 award and the Best Investigation Award of 2014, by IPYS Venezuela (Instituto Prensa y Sociedad). She was part of the team of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) who worked in the global research called Panamá Papers (2016) and Paradise Papers (2017). She has published pieces that revealed the situation of Venezuelans immigrants in the US.
PANEL III | Innovating to address climate change and sustainable development
Ramón Bueno for the past 12 years he has specialized in the study and modeling of the economic impacts of climate change including social and environmental contexts. He has focused in the interconnections between economic development, population and social dynamics, climate science, health and governance when thinking about resilient communities - equitable and sustainable - with special interest in the coastal communities and the Caribbean. His prior professional experience included aero-spatial engineering and strategic and entrepreneurial intelligence information for decision making.
Matilde Mordt is the Head of the Sustainable Development and Resilience Cluster at the United Nations Development Program for Latin America and the Caribbean, providing technical assistance and policy advice in the areas of Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals, poverty reduction, environment and climate change, and disaster risk reduction. She has more than 25 years of experience in the region. She has participated in the elaboration of several of UNDP´s National and Regional Human Development Reports, and served as the Practice Manager of the Environment and Energy Group of the UNDP Bureau for Development Policy (2011-2014). Mordt holds a Doctorate in Human and Economic Geography, a Masters in International Economics and Business Administration, and a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Michel Santos is the Director Global Sustainability at Bunge, and has a career spanning more than 25 years working for major companies in agribusiness. Since 2006, he has been dedicated to sustainability governance in the value chain of Bunge, a leading player in global food and agribusiness segments for over 200 years. Bunge has been consistently named the best in sustainability for Brazilian agribusiness, and in 2015 was called the most sustainable in the country’s economy when Michel assumed the role of Director, Global Sustainability at Bunge’s headquarters in White Plains, NY. His major driver is the promotion of sustainable agricultural supply chains. Santos is an agronomist from the University of Sao Paulo and MBA from ESPM, Brazil.
PANEL IV | Organizing to advance gender equality
Karina Banfi is the National Representative of the Union Cívica Radical in the alliance "Cambiemos", for the Province of Buenos Aires. In 2016 and 2018 she signed the "Campaign for Legal, Safe and Free Abortion" for the legalization of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. She is an active member of the multiparty group of women representatives at the National Congress who achieved the half sanction of Legal, Safe and Free Abortion. A lawyer specialized in freedom of expression and access to public information, Banfi is co-founder and was executive secretary (2009-2013) of the Regional Alliance for Free Expression and Information, and is President of the Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality of ParlAméricas.
Mercedes D´Alessandro, PhD in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). She was a university professor, researcher and directed the Political Economy career at the Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento. In 2015, she launched the site "Economía Femini(s)ta" ("Feminist Economics"), where she discusses economics issues with a gender perspective. With the site, she quickly conquered social networks and installed this debate on the public agenda. In 2016 she published the book "Feminist Economics", which in May 2018 arrived in Spain, Mexico and Colombia. D´Alessandro is part of the Political Innovation Network in Latin America and the initiative "Activá el Congreso" (“Mobilize the Congress”).
Tarcila Rivera is one of the most recognized indigenous activists in Peru and the world. For more than 30 years she has been defending indigenous rights through her organization CHIRAPAQ, and her involvement in other networks and institutions. She has received awards of recognition from UNICEF, Ford Foundation, Sacred Fire Foundation, and the Minister of Culture of Peru for her distinguished trajectory and valued contributions to the promotion and defense of indigenous cultures and rights. She has been appointed as member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the 2017-2019 period.
Lucía Riojas is from Mexico City. She is a feminist, lesbian, drummer and independent congresswoman. She studied Communication in the Universidad Iberoamericana, where she joined the student movement #YoSoy132 (I’m132). In 2017, she founded the citizen initiative "Ahora" (“Now”), to face the pact of impunity of the political class and to dispute spaces of representation. Lucía has worked to end corruption and impunity, build peace in Mexico, defend the rights of women and LGBTTQ people, and democratize and dignify politics.