Alison Adriana Berbetty OmisteBolivia
Alison B. Omiste is a Systems Engineer and lawyer, both with mention of excellence. She has studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Hradec Králové University, Czech Republic, and Advanced Studies in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law at Washington College of Law. She is an activist for human rights, gender equality, and freedom. She is a former IACHR intern and lover of technology, particularly its use to build a fairer, more transparent, and equitable society. Alison has been a trainer and speaker in various academic and technological spaces and is the Co-Founder and current National Director of “Mujeres TICs Bolivia” (Women ICTs Bolivia), an organization that seeks to reduce the digital gender gap. Her organization has trained more than 500 women from peri-urban and rural areas of Bolivia on issues of technologies and digital inclusion and has impacted more than 2,000 people with different digital inclusion programs and workshops in STEM areas. She works in constant contributions and investigations presented as amicus curiae before the IACHR and has participated as a team coach and judge in international Human Rights competitions. She is the Vice-curator of the Global Shapers hub and a member of the Ladies of Liberty Alliance and Students of Liberty. Alison is also a Fellow of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and of the Ban Ki-Moon Center for Global Citizen. She is a CISCO instructor with experience as a mentor in digital education.
Benedicta Dawson-Amoah is a monitoring and evaluation professional with five years of experience in youth advocacy, gender, and rural development in the nonprofit sector. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. While working as the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Coordinator at Plan International Ghana, she led in tracking project outcomes and conducting surveys for evidence-based advocacy on the She Leads Project. Over the past three years, Benedicta has advocated for the meaningful engagement of young people in leadership and decision-making by supporting Restless Development Uganda and the Mastercard Foundation to deliver compelling research on Young People’s priorities under the Youth Think Tank project. Benedicta has contributed to the academic research paper “Making a Living: A Young Employment Agenda” by Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, and she continues to volunteer as a youth researcher for civil society organizations, including Restless Development USA, Mastercard Foundation, and the ILO. Through these experiences, Benedicta has developed strong skills in youth leadership, data analysis, and communication skills for project management. Benedicta envisions a world where data can be used to make better decisions, improve lives, and make lasting impact for development.
Maria Jose LopezNicaragua
Maria Jose Lopez Oporta is Chemical Engineer at the National University of Engineering in Nicaragua, specializing in environmental management with an emphasis on water and design of drinking water supply, among other studies and courses in environment and food, she has worked as a volunteer leader for non-profit organizations in WASH program for rural communities in her country, as well as designing a water system for rural communities also she has worked as an administrator in a wastewater treatment plant project. She has collaborated in urban and rural water and sanitation research programs to improve water quality, She won first place in the sanitation area of the E-Hackathon Cewas and Young water Solution. In addition to being a professional, she is also an entrepreneur throughout her years, she has been working on personal projects, She is creative and believes in empowering women.
Megan McKinleyUnited States & Canada
Megan McKinley hails from Ohio, United States of America, and has been living internationally since 2013. For her Undergraduate studies, she attended Long Island University’s Global College where her education took her out of the classroom and into the field of ten countries across five continents. Additionally, she holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification through the world-leading Project Management Institute. Megan believes that the best education is through experience and thus has made it her mission to work in organizations which break down barriers and provide alternative education opportunities to marginalized communities. Professionally, she has worked at Global Leadership Adventures, Guild Education, and is currently serving as a Banyan Impact Fellow in Chennai, India where she partners with Playquity, an early-phase NGO which focuses on providing gender equity programming in rural areas. Throughout her professional career, Megan has worked as a Program Manager, Education Coach, Advisor, and Project Lead. Through these experiences, she has realized she works best in diverse environments where she has the opportunity to collaborate with others and contribute her adaptability and organization. Megan is a firm believer that through daily choices, individuals hold the power to change the world.
Estefanía Alejandra Ibáñez OrtuñoBolivia
Estefania Ortuño has a degree in Business Administration from Universidad Catolica Boliviana in La Paz and graduated with a Master of Social Innovation and Solidarity Economy at the University of Salamanca, her origin and values prompted her to work for a sustainable world. In her ten years of professional experience, she sought to be part of institutions with a purpose aligned with her values. She currently works at BancoSol as Sustainably Senior leading the development and creation of the non-financial offer and supporting the evolutionary process towards the sustainability strategy with inclusion. Although support for vulnerable sectors was always one of her main focuses, without a doubt one of the most challenging labor was the one she faced at Banco Unión, where she began as National Head of CSR and was promoted to Management General Coordinator, supporting the coordination of the payment of bonds at the national level during the pandemic. In her extensive years of experience, she developed adaptability and international standards for the development of strategies in the generation of shared value and sustainability, all these skills were first started when she began his professional career in the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in the area of Sustainable Business Solutions and other projects, which gave her the opportunity to get to know different industries and companies. She has also volunteered from a young age at institutions such as Rotary, and Global Shapers Hub La Paz, becoming a curator at this last one.
Felix Rugama is an agronomist with more than ten years of experience working on topics related to agriculture, climate change, food security, gender, community organization, and empowerment. Lately, he is working at a nonprofit organization as a Project Manager, ensuring that girls and boys have access to basic services and that women and men have the same opportunities to achieve their social development goals. He has specialized studies in fields related to disaster risk management, climate change, child protection, gender, evaluation and monitoring, and girls and women empowerment. Felix is passionate about topics related to leadership, believing that we all can be leaders in any field and we all can contribute to making this world better and leaving a better future for the next generations.
Fernando Lara is a youth empowerment advocate with over four years of experience in the non-profit sector. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering at UNIAG University in Nicaragua in 2012. Since then, he has focused on environmental development, guiding and supporting more than 200 young volunteers to create and implement environmental campaign strategies to mitigate deforestation, promote ecological farming practices, and raise awareness of climate change in local rural communities while also collaborating actively with project partners and community leaders. Since 2016, Fernando has volunteered as a Facilitator in different projects and lately as an Operations Officer in Raleigh Costa Rica, supporting international volunteers during their deployment to projects in communities, national parks, and a leadership trek, providing pastoral support to team leaders, establishing safety and safeguarding measures and monitoring project results. Through these experiences, he has developed skills in capacity building, leadership development, and project planning and implementation. Fernando strives to reduce the impacts of climate change by promoting positive environmental practices while empowering youth capacity development.
Frank Sarria is a native of Managua, Nicaragua. He is a lawyer by profession, with a Master’s degree in Corporate Law and almost a decade of experience at the management level in the areas of marketing and sales in transnational companies such as Pepsi and Colgate-Palmolive among others. He has been responsible for the planning and execution of distribution channel development plans as well as commercial investment projects. Since March 2022, he assumed the challenge as Country General Manager with the Swiss organization Buy Food with Plastic, responsible for cementing the operational foundations of the organization for Nicaragua and providing support to the global management team in the elaboration of its development plans for India and Ghana towards 2025. https://www.linkedin.com/in/frank-ivan-sarria-palacios/ https://www.facebook.com/frank.i.sarria
Ian Serra has an undergraduate degree in Politics and an MSc in Sustainability and Management. He currently works for Andorra Research and Innovation, an entity in charge of generating and promoting knowledge, providing innovative solutions for sustainable development, and contributing to the economic diversification of Andorra. In this entity, he is involved in different projects involving the sustainability approaches of many stakeholders in the country. He is very interested in circular economy principles. These directly affect sustainability as a whole and can be used as drivers for social change. Similarly, he believes companies and society need to change their approach in many areas to be able to tackle climate change (energy, waste management, supply chains…).
Kathia Salazar is a development professional with over five years of experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholarship Recipient. Kathia leads fellowship program operations at Latitud, supporting founders building world-class tech companies in Latin America. She is a Global Changemaker Alumni and co-founder of the organization’s mentorship program, supporting youth through skills development and mentoring. Her involvement in entrepreneurship, innovation, and social impact has made her collaborate with different international and civil society organizations and the private and startup sectors. Kathia has been an External Youth Expert at the I-CoDI Challenge by the UN International Telecommunications Union to develop innovative solutions to youth challenges, an Online Moderator at UNESCO MGIEP to lead a series of discussions on Education and the Environment, and a Mentor at UNMGCY. As a former finance professional working in the banking sector, Kathia’s mission is to mobilize capital for development and bridge opportunities and talents to empower the next generation of leaders, especially youth and women from underrepresented communities.
Lestel Ma. Kelly Aburto is an afrodecendance woman with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication from the Universidad de las Regiones Autonomas de la Costa Caribe de Nicaragua URACCAN and Bluefields Indian & Caribbean University BICU. She is the Co-Founder of afrodescendance Woman in Nicaragua OMAN and Founder and CEO of Partners Construction S.A. PCONSA in Nicaragua. She also participated in several fellowships with the U.S. Department of State as leader of different groups in her community. She has previously worked in project management & community development with women, children and youths in areas like economical empowerment, combatting violence and drug abuse, human rights, and leadership. Lestel is particularly attracted to the quest of creating and enabling a safe environment for vulnerable groups. She has been involved in various initiatives to improve the quality of life among vulnerable women, youths, and children to increase school enrollment, gender inequality, poverty, child rights, and climate change. Her goal is to help people, especially vulnerable groups like women and youth where they could have more opportunities.
Saleta Ameixeiras is a Forest Engineer from the University of Santiago de Compostela with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Basque Country and a Social Innovation and Responsibility Diploma from the University of A Coruña. She has studied in various countries throughout Europe and Latin America learning about foreign languages and cultures. Her international experience makes her feel comfortable in multicultural environments and allows her to develop her ability to adapt to different working styles and groups. After her studies, she worked in the Environmental Impact Assessment department of TRAGSATEC, a Spanish state-owned company. For more than three years of working directly with political offices, she learned intensively about the field of environmental impact assessment projects, local and regional legislation, and procedures with public institutions. Afterwards, she started in a new position at ALLCOT, where she currently works as a Climate Change Consultant focusing on renewable energy projects. Since working at ALLCOT, she has learned about the carbon markets and different international carbon credit certification standards. She is also deeply skilled in working under pressure, multitasking, and teamworking. Since 2020, she has been a climate leader after completing training by the Climate Reality Project, an organization created by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and whose goals are to create climate leaders all over the world to raise awareness about climate change. Saleta is passionate about sustainability, ecosystem restoration, climate change, and believes in communication and climate leadership as the way to change climate change.