Brief profile of the
Speakers and Moderators


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GRACIA M. BARAHONA

Welcome

Economist with 19 years of experience in development banking, with a substantial portion of that time focused on the field of sustainable finance, including the design of numerous portfolios and innovative products in the areas of renewable energy, microfinance, biodiversity and climate change. As an experienced international fundraiser, she has been able to attract substantial financial resources to Central America for the implementation of regional sustainable development programs. She has advised the financial sector in the development of policies, structures and tools for strengthening and building capacities for environmental and social project management and the search for opportunities for incursion into the green business market. She is currently the Director of Ecobanking, CLACDS / INCAE, a visionary program that provides environmental and social management knowledge and tools to improve the competitiveness of financial institutions in the Latin American region.

She was the first Director of Biodiversity in Honduras, her country of origin. Gracia has an MBA, with a focus on sustainable development from INCAE Business School.


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KENNETH OCHOA

Session I

Director of environmental engineering at El Bosque University in Bogotá, Colombia, where he serves as a professor, as well as researcher and International Relations adviser to the Engineering department. Ochoa is the Science and Technology Focal Point for the United Nations Environment Program, the global framework for action that seeks to enhance international cooperation and accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in both developed and developing countries. Member of the Multi-Actor Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Program. He is also an advisor to the board of directors of Caretakers of the Environment International, a global organization in the area of ​​environmental education and oversight.

Kenneth is an environmental engineer at the El Bosque University, with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from the “Universidad de Los Andes” (Colombia). He is a PhD candidate in Cleaner Production and Industrial Ecology at Erasmus University (Netherlands).


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ANDREW SHAW

Session II

Senior Capacity Building Officer at FMO, the Dutch Development Bank – He heads the advisory services and the technical assistance grant fund for Latin America and the Caribbean – which enables FMO customers to acquire skills, knowledge and the experience they require to improve their performance, sustainability and impact. He has been responsible for the execution of some of the most innovative and impactful FMO projects in the region.


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MAURICIO VELÁSQUEZ

Session II

He graduated from the University of Guayaquil (1994), and received a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Environmental and Forest Biology from State University of New York (SUNY). He was granted a Chevening Diploma in Environmental Governance and Democracy from the University of Wolverhampton (UK).

Mauricio has extensive experience in the management of coastal resources, tunnels, river dredging, urban development projects and roads in different international companies. He worked as Undersecretary of Natural Capital at the Ministry of the Environment; as Director of Environment of the Municipality of Guayaquil and he has been a university professor of Ecology, Environmental Impact and Management of Protected Areas at the undergraduate and masters level at several institutions in Guayaquil.

He worked at the Galapagos National Park as a Research and Development Project Coordinator and in 2004 participated in the core group for the preparation of the Management Plan of the Galapagos National Park, as an AECI / Araucaria consultant. He also served as coordinator of the National Park Volunteer Program and Project Manager with IDB, UNDP-GEF, JICA, among others. He was president of the Guayaquil Association of Biologists from 2006 to 2008.

Since 2008, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Environment and Climate Change and Coordinator of the Strategic Program for Environmental and Social Management in CAF’s Financial Institutions (CORPORACION ANDINA DE FOMENTO). He is co-chair of the UNEP FI Latin-American Task Force from November 2014 to the present date.


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MIRIAM ORBEA B.

Moderator

Creator and Executive Director of the Ecuadorian Center for Resource Efficiency and P & L. She is a Chemical Engineer from the EPN and obtained a Master’s Degree in Technology and Environmental Management in Spain and a Diploma in Local Environmental Management in Colombia. Ms. Orbea has more than 18 years experience in environmental management, policy development and consulting in the development of more than 150 environmental studies for private companies, as well as the development of specific reports for the Ministry of Environment, Secretariat of Environment of Quito, Ministry of Industries and Productivity, and Ministry of Non-Renewable Natural Resources.


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MARCELO VALANSI

Session III

Entrepreneur who is dedicated to the design, development and implementation of self-sustaining regenerative communities and projects. Marcelo has extensive experience in developing residential and commercial projects of varying sizes in several countries, such as Argentina, the United States, Panama and Costa Rica. His latest project in Costa Rica, where he currently resides with his family, is called La Ecovilla (www.laecovilla.com).  One of Marcelo´s passions is to seek out techniques and tools that allow us to live with greater comfort, in harmony with nature, with our neighbors, and with ourselves.


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SALVADOR RODRÍGUEZ KURI

Session III

Salvador is an architect with a Master’s degree and a PhD in Sustainable Energy Technologies for Buildings from the University of Nottingham, UK.  He has 15 years experience in the energy sector related to sustainable building and low carbon technologies. For over 7 years, he has worked as Project Leader and Expert for the Building Component of the German Development Cooperation’s (GIZ) Sustainable Energy Program in Mexico. Rodriguez Kuri has implemented technical assistance to the Government of Mexico related to rules and regulatory framework, and programs for building and strengthening capacities related to the sustainable construction sector. He participated in the development of the Sustainable Housing NAMA, the development of the Green Housing Assessment System (Sisevive- Ecocasa) and the Energy Efficiency Benchmarking System for buildings (based on Energy Star). He has also worked on updating regulations and building codes to include energy and water performance in buildings. Since 2012 he is Project Leader for the GIZ-Germany-Mexico-Colombia Triangular Cooperation Project whose objective is the transfer of best practices from Mexico to Colombia, such as Mortgage Green and Sisevive-Ecocasa. He also works in replicating sustainable urban development best practices from Colombia to Mexico.


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MILENA GONZÁLEZ

Moderator

Milena González is the Latin America Regional Program Manager of Climate Change Mitigation at the Global Environment Facility (GEF). She is Responsible for leading the development of proposals and supervising the execution of projects in the region. She also works on issues related to the role of the GEF as a financial mechanism for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She has extensive experience in climate finance and the development of renewable energy, with a focus on Latin America. Prior to joining GEF in 2014, Milena was an associate researcher at the Climate and Energy team of the Worldwatch Institute, a think tank based in Washington, DC.  Milena is a chemical engineer with a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering, with a concentration in atmosphere and energy, both degrees awarded by Stanford University. She is of Mexican and Panamanian nationality.


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HÉCTOR MENDOZA

Session IV

Hector Mendoza is a salvadoran electrical engineer from the José Simeón Cañas Catholic University. He is a results-oriented strategist, with strong technical and commercial skills. With more than 20 years of experience in the lighting industry, he has participated in more than 100 lighting projects throughout Latin America, from shopping centers to stadiums and buildings, one of the his flagship projects being the expansion of the Panama Canal. Hector started at Philips in 1994 as a project sales engineer and since then has developed a fast growing professional career in the company until becoming Product Manager and Commercial Director. He left Philips in 2008 to join AES El Salvador, the country’s largest power company.  At AES, he was in charge of managing large customers as well as the energy-management department, which included heading the team responsible for all energy operations in the country, thus obtaining interesting experience in energy markets. He went on to become AES Director of the Supplier Chain. In 2010, he returned to Philips Lighting Central America as general manager for the lighting business, where he tripled sales and increased Philips’ presence in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Curacao, San Marteen, Aruba, Suriname, among others), gaining significant market share in the region. Since 2015, in his position of Business Channels for North America (from Guatemala to Peru) his main challenge is to lead the LED technological revolution in the region.


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MARGARITA MARÍA ÁNGEL BERNAL

Session IV

Margarita Angel is a civil engineer from the University of Medellín and a Specialist in Senior Management with an emphasis on Quality from the University of Antioquia, in addition to having completed studies in the field of sustainability at Harvard University, as well as other studies in different national and international institutions. She has been the Manager of the Urban Development Company of Medellin, Secretary of Physical Infrastructure for the Integration and Development of Antioquia and Manager of Road Megaprojects for the same department; Operations and Maintenance Manager and General Manager at the Medellin Subway. Margarita has concentrated her professional experience of 35 years in urban infrastructure and transport, mobility systems (Metro, cables, monorail, tram, buses) and road infrastructure. He also has experience in soil management, social management, sustainable urban development, real estate management and financial management of public works. Ms. Angel has also served as a lecturer and consultant for the road plan of the Municipality of Bucaramanga and for the Implementation of the Lima Metro, among others. She is currently the Global Adviser to the United Nations Global Compact. Awards received include:

  • 2015: Elected one of the 100 most influential people in Ethical Business by the American Institute ETHISPHERE.
  • 2012 and 2015: one of the 20 most important leaders of the department of Antioquia.

She has contributed to or directed many publications, among them: “Equidad Territorial en Medellin”, “Medellin se pinta de vida”, “Jardín Circunvalar de Medellin- Nuestra Nueva Medellin”; “Nuevo Naranjal- Nuestra Nueva Medellin” , “Arquitectura Pública e Innovación Social” and the leaflet “Urbanismo Pedagógico”.


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VALERIA REVILLA

Session IV

An environmental engineer from the “Universidad Nuestra Señora de La Paz” in Bolivia, Valeria Revilla has extensive experience in project management within the framework of managing GHG emissions and climate change. She has been a member of the SASA team from the beginning, from the inception and design of the services they offer, regarding the measurement of Carbon Footprint -initially for companies- to their implementation and adaptation to cities and events of great magnitude. Since 2012, she is responsible for the technical management of the City Footprint Project in La Paz, Lima, Quito, Guayaquil, Fortaleza, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Cali, Loja, Tarija, Recife and Santa Cruz de Galápagos.


ArturoCondo

ARTURO CONDO

Closing Session

Arturo Condo is Ecuadorian by birth, Central American and Latin American at heart. He is a professor and past president of INCAE (2007-2015), the leading business school in Latin America. He is also a former Dean of Master’s programs, Dean of Innovation and Development and Director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS). In both INCAE and CLACDS, Dr. Condo and his teams have worked with public and private sector leaders to strengthen competitive clusters and promote sustainable development. At INCAE, they renewed the executive leadership structure of the school, promoted a new generation of Executive Education programs, attracted a renewed community of allies and donors, and maintained INCAE’s commitment to the Central American Integration process with a regional and global vision. He has worked to favor greater participation of women in high leadership positions and the adoption of the MBA Oath, a compendium of ethical principles for business leaders.

He earned his doctorate in business strategy and competitiveness at Harvard Business School and was recognized as “Distinguished Scholar” during his MBA at INCAE. Arturo also serves as Senior Associate Researcher at the Harvard Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness led by Professor Michael Porter. His research has been focused on developing successful strategies and sustainable competitive advantages of Latin American companies both locally and internationally.

He has been a consultant in strategic planning and competitive, corporate and internationalization strategy for companies and organizations in Latin America and Asia. He has also been advisor to multilateral organizations such as the IDB and the World Bank. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Bancolombia, Colombia’s largest bank.

He has taught in executive programs and master’s degrees at INCAE and is the author and co-author of articles, books and case studies on topics including strategy, international business, competitiveness and sustainable development. He is a strong believer in the power of youth to change the world.

Arturo Condo highlights:

  • He was invited to be part of the inaugural class of the 2006 Central American Leadership Initiative (CALI), an Aspen Institute fellowship.
  • He was recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as Young Global Leader (YGL), an honor confered to “recognize the most extraordinary leaders in the world under 40 years.” He was co-founder of the YGL Business Oath and later a founding member of the Global Business Oath Project, projects that seek to change the ethical behavior of business leaders.
  • He is a Major promoter of the MBA Oath Club of INCAE, an organization that aims to raise awareness among INCAE students and graduates about the importance of professional ethics and values ​​in the business world. His work is focused on gender equality
  • He launched the strategic information company Keyword Central America, of which he is the Chairman.
  • He founded the Center for Women’s Leadership at INCAE. Since then he has been a Member of the Inter-American Dialogue.
  • He founded the Global Shapers community in San José, Costa Rica, which is part of the World Economic Forum.
  • He is a founding member of the Central American Private Sector Initiative (CAPSI), a group of regional leaders focused on improving the quality of life of Central Americans through regional actions.