Secretary of Planning and Policies - Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation
Jorge Aguado is the Secretary of Planning and Policy of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation in Argentina where he is responsible for driving the policies defined by the Ministry. Previously, he was Undersecretary of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation at the Ministry and while he was working in the private sector, he was Marketing Manager for South America at IBM and Marketing Manager at Dell.
Mr. Aguado began his career in the public sphere in 2011 as Head of the Special Projects Unit “Comprehensive Digital Education Plan”, were he was in charge of Sarmiento BA Plan, the One-to-One Model in Buenos Aires. Between 2012 and 2015 Jorge leaded the General Direction of Educational Technology of the Buenos Aires City Ministry of Education.
Mr. Aguado holds a degree in industrial engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA).
Facundo López Raggi
Minister of Production and Industry - Government Neuquén Province
Facundo Lopez Raggi is the Minister of Production and Industries of the Government of Neuquen Province in Argentina. Previously, he served as General Manager at Neuquen Economic Development Agency, he was responsibly at the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation area in Northern Patagonia at National Institute of Agricultural Technology, and was professor in the School of Economics and Administration at Comahue National University. He also worked at international consulting companies, such as Arthur Andersen and Ernest & Young, participating in projects in Argentina and other Latin American countries.
Mr. Lopez Raggi holds a bachelor’s degree in administration and public accountant from the National University of La Plata.
Maria Virginia Ávila
Deputy Secretary - Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs Government of Tucuman
Virginia Ávila is the Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Tucuman Argentina, since 2017. She works together with the Argentine Chancellery in the following areas: International Cooperation, Commercial Development, Negotiations and Diplomacy. She takes part of international negotiations between Argentina and different countries since 2008, in order to benefit local exports with phytosanitary and custom barriers. Previously, she served as Coordinator of Exports Promotions in IDEP Tucuman. During the past 10 years, she worked together with private companies opening markets to export regional products, around Europe, North Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and North America.
Ms. Avila is an economist, candidate for M.B.A. program from UNSTA, Argentina.
Chief Executive Officer - Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce
Duane Belisle is the Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce in Belize where, inter alia, a key responsibility is to provide advice to the Government on sound policies that will create an enabling environment for investment, trade, enterprise, commerce, and standards development. Mr. Belisle, is also the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), the country’s leading economic development agency. Previously, he worked at the Ministry of Economic Development in various capacities, including Director of the Policy and Planning Unit.
Mr. Belisle holds an undergraduate degree in business administration, with a major in finance, awarded by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Lejia Melanie Gideon
General Manager, Enterprise and Innovation - Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE)
Lejia Melanie Gideon is the General Manager of Enterprise and Innovation and Acting General Manager of Investment Development at Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE). Ms. Gideon has served in various capacities at BELTRAIDE since 2003, including Director of Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Development, Director of Business Facilitation, Director of Administration and Projects and Deputy Executive Director. During her various capacities over the years, Ms. Gideon has lead the team that effectively first established the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Development Unit at BELTRAIDE in 2007 and again in 2012 with the successful redesigned and implementation of the SBDCBelize Unit, now considered a regional best-practice in the English Caribbean, as well as SBDCBelize’s sister unit, EXPORTBelize in 2014. Ms. Gideon is also spare heading the partnership with the largest university in Belize, to establish the country’s first series of business incubators in the country’s largest urban area and commercial hub – Belize City.
Ms. Gideon received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Florida International University and her MSc in International Development from The University of Manchester.
Luis Guillermo Pou Munt Serrano
President of the Economic and Tax Affairs Commission of the Confederation of Private Businessmen of Bolivia (CEPB)Majority shareholder and General Manager of the Business Group Pou Munt
Guillermo Pou Munt Serrano is the President of the Economic and Tax Affairs Commission of the Confederation of Private Businessmen of Bolivia (CEPB) and member of the Board of Directors of the CEPB in Bolivia, the highest national coordination entity representative of associations and private organizations in the country. He is the majority shareholder and General Manager of the Business Group “Pou Munt”, a private venture dedicated to developing solutions to address complex problems in the export industry. Two of the group companies, EOCE and CEAS are well known and recognized by their extensive experience in advising the largest Bolivian companies in sectors such as mining, agriculture, agro-industry, among other sectors. Previously, he served as President of the National Chamber of Bolivian Exporters.
Mr. Pou Munt holds a degree in business administration.
Carlos E. Pereira
Director of Operations - Brazilian Agency for Industrial Research and Innovation (EMBRAPII)
Carlos Pereira is Director of Operations at Embrapii and Professor at the School of Engineering of Federal University of RGS in Brazil. At Embrapii, he is responsible for the coordination of a network of 42 applied research institutes in Brazil, which develop more than 450 projects with industries. Embrapii has a contract with the Brazilian Ministries of Science and Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to develop an organization similar to Fraunhofer Society in Germany. Additionally, he is Vice-Chair of the Technical Board of the International Federation on Automatic Control (IFAC).
Mr. Pereira is an electrical engineer and holds a PHD degree from the University of Stuttgart In Germany in the area of Industrial Automation.
Jackline Conca is currently the Deputy Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services in Brazil. Since 2014, she is responsible for programs of internationalization of start-ups, attraction of R&D centers to Brazil and intellectual property policies. Previously she had developed a career in the private sector in market analysis for the defense and healthcare industries.
Ms. Conca holds a degree in international relations from the University of São Paulo and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Barcelona.
Director of Administration - Studies and Projects Financier (FINEP)
Andre Godoy is the Director of Administration of the Studies and Projects Financier (FINEP) in Brazil, main Brazilian innovation agency. Previously, he held positions of Superintendent of Corporate Management, Compliance and Standardization Coordinator and Analyst of Science, Technology and Innovation Projects in the company. He also worked as a Public Policy and Government Management Specialist at the Planning and Management Secretariat of the State of Rio de Janeiro and as a professor and consultant at Fundação Getulio Vargas.
Mr. Godoy holds a master’s degree in public administration at the Brazilian School of Public Administration and Enterprises of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) and a degree in administration at Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).
Director of Administration - Studies and Projects Financier (FINEP)
Newton Kenji Hamatsu is the Advisor to the President of FINEP, Brazilian Agency for Research and Innovation, since 2016. Previously, he served as Advisor to the Director for Innovation of FINEP (2014-2016), Head of Fundraising Advisory Board of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (2014) and Analyst of the Department of Energy and Clean Technologies at FINEP (2013-2014). He has experience in the private sector in financial areas of companies such as Santander Bank (2006-2007), Upside Corporate Finance (2008-2009) and Time for Fun T4F (2012-2013).
He is an Economics PhD candidate at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, he holds a Master Degree in Economics from the University of Campinas (Unicamp, 2013), and a BA in International Relations from the University of São Paulo (USP, 2009). He studied one year at the University of Helsinki, Finland (2006-2007).
Executive Director - National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Ontario region
Michael Curry is the acting Executive Director of the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) for the Ontario region. Previously, Mr. Curry served as both a regional Director and an Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA) with IRAP, working with SMEs across the innovation spectrum. Prior to joining IRAP, he held management positions at Johnson Controls, as a Technical Manager and Technical Processing Manager, proceeded by various Engineering positions. Mr. Curry’s early career in engineering was spent at Fishercast and TriMag Magnesium Die Casting and Machining.
A professional engineer, Mr. Curry holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Lakehead University.
Director of Canadian and International Partnerships - Quebec Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation
Patrick Hyndman is the Director of Canadian and International Partnerships (science and innovation sector) at the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation of the Province of Quebec in Canada. Until recently, he represented Quebec in the United States for 8 years, first in Boston and then in New York City, as Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations. In that capacity, he oversaw relations between Quebec and the Northeast of the U.S. states notably in the fields of research and innovation. He worked in promoting partnerships between various Quebec and American universities and research centres. Previously, he worked for the associative sector in promoting the internationalization of Canadian universities.
Mr. Hyndman earned a master’s degree in international relations from Laval University in Quebec City.
Senior Director - Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED)
Erin Lynch is the Senior Director of Innovation Policy and Integration at Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada. Previously, Ms. Lynch served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and in various policy roles at Fisheries and Oceans, Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Department of National Defence.
Ms. Lynch attained her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Mount Allison University and a Master’s in Political Science from Wilfred Laurier University.
Juan Carlos Garavito
General Manager - iNNpulsa Colombia
Juan Carlos Garavito, General Manager of iNNpulsa Colombia, where he has assumed the challenge of strengthening entrepreneurship and innovation in Colombia. Previously, Mr. Garavito served as a financial specialist in various positions in the fields of Marketing, Research & Development (R&D) at Roche Pharmaceutical, where he was eventually appointed Financial Manager of R&D, in Spain. He also led the Program of Productive Transformation of the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce in Colombia, where he worked in improving business processes related to market openings and employment generation. At the same time, he managed changes in various productive sectors of Colombia such as cosmetics, health tourism, BPO, auto parts and vehicles, chocolate and candy along with their raw materials, among others.
Mr. Garavito is an economist from Universidad Carlos III – Madrid, and has an Executive Postgraduate Degree in Strategic Finance from Oxford University. He also completed an In-Company program on Corporate and Management Development from Instituto de Empresa (IE), Madrid.
R&D Manager - Ruta N Medellin – Leading Institution in Science, Technology and Innovation
Leonor Hidalgo Ciro, is the current R&D Manager of Ruta N, which is the institution who leads the science, technology and innovation policy and programs in Medellín, the most innovative city in Colombia. In Ruta N, she is in charged to promote and increase the R&D investment. Previously, she was the advisor of the General Director at Administrative Department of Science, Technology and lnnovation of Colombia. She also occupied the position of coordinator of Technology Management at Ministry of Defense and previously she worked at Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje – SENA.
Ms. Hidalgo is a lawyer and holds a master’s degree in Politic Studies.
Deputy Director - Connect Bogota Region
Marcela Rueda is the Deputy Director at Connect Bogota Region, Bogota´s is innovation network, created seven year´s ago to help the Colombia´s capital become one of the three most innovative cities in Latin America by 2025. Connect is part of the Global Connect Network with chapters in 40 cities across the World. With 60 member organizations including it is a central actor in innovation and start-up scene. Programs lead by the organizations include the Region´s Technology Transfer Office, start-up acceleration, open innovation, training, and public policy, amongst others.
As Deputy Director, Marcela is responsible for developing and managing strategic and operational strategies, as well as managing the stakeholder network that includes 60 leaders from private companies, media, universities, industry associations and local Government. Previously, she had leadership roles in several public and private organizations, such as Ericsson in Australia and New Zealand, Deloitte in Australia, and Advisor to the Mayor of Bogota in international affairs.
Ms. Rueda holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Macquarie University in Australia, a Bachelor Degree in Finance and International Relations from Externado University in Bogotá, and she is certified in Innovation Management.
Head of Investment Climate - Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE)
Vanessa Gibson is Head of Investment Climate Director at the Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) where she oversees the coordination of several public-private partnership projects and programs, which aim to improve the investment and business environment of Costa Rica. Also, she works in research with the purpose of evolving Costa Rica’s new FDI sectors to make them more attractive in terms of investment. Previously at CINDE, she worked as economic researcher, Service Sector Manager and Aftercare Director. Ms. Gibson also worked at the Central Bank of Costa Rica as an economic assistant to the Agricultural Economics Department.
Ms. Gibson is an economist with a Master in Development Program and Project Evaluation from the University of Costa Rica.
María Walevska Villavicencio
CEO - Road Quality Firm - A regional consulting for business improvement
Ms. Walevska Villavicencio is CEO of the Road Quality Firm since 2009, where she leads consulting projects in companies regarding management improvement, information security, quality and processes in the public and private sector in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. She currently manages 5 new projects related to quality, processes, continuous improvement and information security in order to ensure that the knowledge and experiences acquired can come into practice. She is an international teacher that trains leading auditors in quality and information security with companies such as SGS International and IRCA. She has been a professor at universities in Ecuador on issues related to Quality and Processes.
Ms. Villacencio is a Commercial Engineer with a specialty in Quality and Productivity and a Master’s Degree in Integrated Management Systems in Quality, Environment and Social Responsibility.
Andrea Pérez Castro
General Manager - Chamber of Commerce and Industry of El Salvador
Andrea Pérez Castro is the General Manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of El Salvador where she is responsible for the comprehensive support to more than 2,400 partners nationwide, leading the strategic development and business support, managing local, regional and international partnerships, and focusing on achieving operational excellence within the institution. Previously, she served as Senior Advisor at Yunus Social Business (YSB), as Country Director for YSB Colombia, and as Inclusive Business Consultant on early stage growth and scaling. She has also worked at the IADB and at Tindall Corporation. She was Professor on New Business and Creativity at Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios (ESEN) in El Salvador.
Ms. Perez Castro holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Fernando López Fernández
President, Grupo Polytec - Former President of the Latin American Industrial Association (LAIA)
Fernando López Fernández is the President of Grupo Polytec in Guatemala, a private group in the packaging and plastic sector established in 1989. He is also the Representative of the Private Sector in the Social and Economic Council of Guatemala (CES), member of the Private Competitiveness Council (CPC), trustee of Universidad Francisco Marroquin (UFM). Previously, he was President of LAIA – the Latin American Industrial Association and President and Vicepresident of Chamber of Industries in Guatemala, Director of CACIF (Umbrella organization for the industrial, agricultural and commercial chambers of Guatemala).
Mr. Lopez Fernandez holds a degree in chemical engineering.
Juan Carlos Paiz
President, Foundation for the Development of Guatemala (FUNDESA) - Director, National Competitiveness Program (PRONACOM) - CEO, Panifresh Company
Juan Carlos Paiz is President of FUNDESA, Director at PRONACOM, the National Competitiveness Program and Vice president of Private Competitiveness Council in Guatemala. He is also the President and founder of Pani Fresh, a business with around 700 employees, currently in the Bakery, Pet Food, Education and Technology Business with presence in US, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Previously, he was Presidential Commissioner for Competitiveness of Guatemala, responsible for economic design, improving 26 countries in the ranking of Doing Business and establishing a National Agenda for Competitiveness for every Government Institution. He is also the former president of Agexport (Guatemalan Export Association), CACIF (Guatemalan Business Council) and FECAEXCA (Export association of Central America).
Mr. Paiz holds a degree in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University, as well as a Master in Business Administration from INCAE and a Master in Productiveness from UFM.
General Director - Promotion Institution for Tourism Development (PRODETUR) & Two Centers for the Promotion of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (PROMIPYME PRODETUR)
Lucía Barreda is the General Director for Guatemala’s Promotion Institution for Tourism Development (PRODETUR), as such, she is responsible to lead initiatives related to maintain and expand relations between PRODETUR and other actors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Guatemala; with national and international partners that cooperate and co-finance its activities as: institutions of the public and private sectors, universities, international cooperation, bilateral and multilateral organizations, peer institutions; among others. Previously, she was Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism (INGUAT), President Pro Tempore of the Central American Council of Tourism (CCT) in the Central American Integration System (SICA); Director of the Tourism Department at the Isthmus University of Guatemala; and Executive Director of the Foundation for the Development of Guatemala (FUNDESA), among others.
Dr. Barreda is a professor in economics, tourism, tourism businesses and marketing in different universities of the country and South America. She holds a PhD in Political Science and Sociology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain; a Master in Marketing from the School of Business at the Mesoamerican University; a Master in Project Management from the University for International Cooperation of Costa Rica, and she is an Economist from the Rafael Landivar University of Guatemala
Clifford Réginald Nau
Economic Advisor Office of the President
Clifford Nau is Economic Adviser of the President of Haiti and Director of Private Sector Development Strategy Division (DPE) in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, focusing on economic reforms, entrepreneurial and innovation policies and business environment reform. Mr. Nau is currently working on several projects such as the new National Entrepreneurship Development Agency, the first public Tech Incubator in Haiti, and the design of the national innovation policy with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the organization of the scale up project with Babson College which focus on scaling up high growth potential businesses in Haiti. Previously Mr. Nau was deputy chief of staff of the Minister of Finance (2015-2016) and senior economist.
Mr. Nau has an advanced bachelor’s degree in quantitative applied economics from CTPEA and a Master in Public Policy from Georgia State University.
Executive on Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF)
Fabiola Antoine is an Executive on Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) of Haiti. She is one of the main responsible officials to move forward the development and consolidation of the country’s first public Tech Incubator, ALPHA Haiti, and the development of the National Innovation Policy of Haiti. Previously, Mrs. Antoine was a member of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (2015-2016) and serves at the International Cooperation Department at the MEF monitoring international cooperation projects (2016-2017).
Mrs. Antoine holds a degree from Collège Centre Alcibiade Pommayrac and a Post-graduate Degree in Applied Economic-Option Statistics from CTPEA.
General Director of Entrepreneurship Programs and Financing - Mexico’s National Entrepreneurship Institute (INADEM) Ministry of Economy
Itzel Villa is currently the General Director of Entrepreneurship Programs and Financing at the National Entrepreneurship Institute in Mexico. She is in charge of the promotion of high impact entrepreneurs and the development of different financing sources through both credit and capital means, with the goal of strengthening Mexico’s entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. She is also involved in initiatives of the entrepreneurial ecosystem on a national and an international level. Previously, she worked at NAFIN (Nacional Financiera) to actively monitor projects of the Angel Investors portal where she evaluated and linked more than 500 high impact project businesses. In 2014, Itzel participated in the leader emerging program “Mexican Innovative Entrepreneurship and technology transfer” from the Department of State. She also was part of the SME Policy Sharing Program in South Korea. She was in charge of the High Impact Direction at INADEM until 2016 and now serves as Mexico’s representative in the Community Startup Nations of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).
Ms. Villa holds a bachelor’s degree in business relations by the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN).
Director General - Council of Science, Technology and Innovation of State of Hidalgo
Mr. José Alonso Huerta Cruz is the Director General of the Council of Science, Technology and Innovation of the State of Hidalgo State (CITNOVA), the public agency responsible for promoting knowledge-based development in Hidalgo and coordinate all the state public policies to consolidate a knowledge economy. He is also the President of the National Network of Science and Technology Councils, National Coordinator of Nodes at Red Global MX and Vice-president of the Mexican Association of Executives of Applied Research and Technological Development in Mexico. His major professional experience is in the design and execution of public policies in economic development, competitiveness and innovation sectors.
Mr. Huerta has a Master in Economic and Financial Engineering, a master’s in business administration, a master’s in public management, a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in law.
Miguel Ángel Esbrí
Executive Secretary of Competitiveness and Investment - Ministry of the Presidency
Miguel Ángel Esbrí is the Executive Secretary to the Secretariat of Economic Affairs and Competitiveness at the Ministry of the Presidency in Panama. Previously, he was adviser to the Vicepresident and Chancellor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Director of Foundations on International Cooperation in Latin America, among other important roles. He was Professor of Roman Law at USMA Panama and manager for educational projects addressed for Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Miami and law practice, Medical College of Murcia, Spain.
Mr. Esbrí holds a bachelor’s degree of law from the University of Valencia and Murcia, Spain, a MBA from the University Francisco de Vitoria, a Master of International Business from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, and a PhD in Civil and International Law from the Universitat Jaume I, Castellón.
Rodrigo Gónzalez Paniza
Vice President of Innovation, Transformation and Experience - Banesco
Rodrigo Gónzalez Paniza serves as Vice President of Innovation, Transformation and Experience at Banesco Panama since March of 2018. Prior to joining Banesco, he served as Director of Digital Transformation and Innovation for Banistmo. Previously, he worked in multinational companies such as 3M and One Equity Partners (JP Morgan Chase), and financial bilateral institutions such as The World Bank, IMF and Interamerican Development Bank.
Mr. Gonzalez Paniza studied Law in Panama and Economy in China, holds a Master in Corporate Law in the US, and a Master in Economic Development for Growth Taiwan and a Diplomat on Leadership at INCAE.
Executive Manager of Innovation Culture - Banesco
Clara Chacón is the current Executive Manager of Culture Transformation at Banesco, Panama. She entered the bank as a Senior Innovation Consultant, with the aim of generating a culture of innovation to support digital transformation. Clara was also in charge of analyzing the interaction between clients and Banesco’s products and services, in order to redesign experiences based on the real needs of people. She was certified as an Ontological Coach at IESA (Instituto de Empresas Superiores y Administrativas) in Panama; also received a Design Thinking Certification from University of Virginia. Clara has been invited as a professor of innovation at INIDEM Law School. She previously worked as Operations Manager at OROBORO Multimedia Consulting and as a Strategic Planner at Publicis in Venezuela.
Ms. Chacon holds a degree in sociology from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.
Javier A. Arias-Real
Director - Panama National Metrology Institute (CENAMEP AIP)
Mr. Javier Arias-Real is the Director of the Panamanian National Metrology Institute since 2011, a Public-Private Government Association created by the Panamanian Secretariat of Science and Technology. CENAMEP AIP is also 1 of the 34 members of the Inter-American System of Metrology (SIM). Previously, he had a 20-years carrier as Regional, Commercial and Sales Director and Manager of several Electronic/Technology and Distribution, national and international companies such as SAMSUNG Electronics, Global-Star Satellite Communication, GATE Technology and IHD International Corp. He also opened a small Impo/Expo family business.
Mr. Arias holds an Electrical Electronic Engineering degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), where he also got a master’s degree in mathematics and a Master in Strategic Logistic Management and International Trade at the Universidad Latino Americana de Comercio Exterior (ULACEX).
Vice Minister of Commerce - Ministry of Industry and Commerce
Oscar Stark currently serves as Vice Minister of Commerce at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Paraguay. Previously, he was Vice Minister of Industry, General Manager of the Paraguayan Chamber of Processors and Exporters of Oilseeds and Cereals, National Director of the Investment and Exports Network (REDIEX), consulting manager in AYCA – Auditors and Associated Consultants. He was an Economic Consultant of the MERCOSUR Secretariat and Senior Technician of the FOCEM Technical Unit in Montevideo. He was Executive Secretary of the Secretary of State Reform, with the rank of Minister, Controller of the ANTELCO, President of COPACO S.A. and Telecommunications Sector Specialist of the State Reform Project, as a consultant to the World Bank Project. He was General Director of Internal Administration of the Municipality of Asunción and Coordinator of Economic and Financial Planning.
Mr. Stark is an economist with a master’s degree in economics, with an emphasis in international economics, from Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina.
Jhosep Guzmán Del Río
Jhosep Guzmán is co-founder and CEO of WAPOSAT S.A.C., a technological start-up for the monitoring of water quality in real time with application for the protection of rivers and the reduction of the water treatment cost. WAPOSAT have been implemented in rivers of Peru, and are helping authorities, communities and companies to better manage water resources. Mr. Guzman also founded the Institute for Technological Innovation to inspire and mentor entrepreneurs who want to solve their community’s problems through entrepreneurship and innovation with social impact. Until now INITEC impacted in more than one thousand entrepreneurs. He participated in the development of the first Peruvian research satellite (Chasqui I) that was launched into space in 2013 from the International Space Station and also he wrote and published papers and scientific and innovation articles.
Mr. Guzman studied chemical engineering at UNI and industrial engineering at the National University of Callao, specializing in a basic matrix of occupational health and safety training.
Program Manager Suriname Business Climate and Innovation Program
Ms. Susan Bansropansingh is Program Manager at Suriname Business Climate and Innovation Program and part time lecturer. Her main responsibilities are: management of the Program; coordination of all Program activities, monitoring and oversight of all projects, evaluations, and the Program’s human and financial resources; preparation of the annual budget and work plan; and preparation and submission of the following documents: monitoring and evaluation reports, Annual Operating Plans (AOPs), detailed activity plans, and Semi-annual Reports. She also leads projects/initiatives with the following portfolio regarding legal reforms, building of registers, Innovation for Firms, Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab). She received a partial scholarship to attend a two weeks training in “SME’S: Entrepreneurship & Innovative Management” at the Galilee International Management Institute in Israel in 2016 and for a one month’s training in Monitoring and Evaluation at the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) in Canada. She has over 14 years’ experience in working in projects with several international organizations.
Ms. Bansropansingh holds a Master Degree in Business Economics from the Anton de Kom University of Suriname.
Jeffrey L. Lloyd
Minister - Ministry of Education
Mr. Jeffrey Leonard Lloyd is the Minister of Education, Science and Technology in the Bahamas. Previously, he was elected Member of Parliament for South Beach. He is an inactive partner in the law firm Colonels Chambers. He worked as a Communications Consultant for the company AT&T in Unites States, Country Manager for the Colgate-Palmolive Company in The Bahamas. He joined Love 97 FM Radio as News Director and host of the talk show “Face Off”, and later “Issues of the Day”, and he is former hosts the talk-shows “Jeffrey” on Star 106.5 FM, and “In Focus” on Cable Channel 12.
Mr. Llyod studied law at the University of Wolverhampton, England, and completed his Certificate of Legal Education at the Eugene Dupuch Law School in Nassau. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Xavier University, New Orleans in 1974.
Sharon Louise Poitier
Deputy Director of Education - Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
Ms. Sharon Poitier is the Deputy Director of Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in The Bahamas. Previously, she served as a classroom teacher of History and Social Studies before being promoted to Education Officer. She has moved up the ranks from Education Officer to Senior Education Officer and then to Assistant Director. During this time Ms. Poitier has overseen the development of the Social Studies Curriculum and currently has the responsibility for overseeing the development and/or revision of K-12 curricula.
Ms. Poitier has earned a Master of Arts Degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Minnesota.
Managing Director - GISCAD Limited
Desmond Dougall is founder and co-owner of GISCAD Limited in Trinidad and Tobago, currently in the role of Managing Director, providing GIS and Geospatial solutions and services to Governments and Industry. Operations include the largest GPS Fleet Management service in T&T and Guyana. He has extensive experience in technical design and implementation as well as national policy and business development in the field of Geographic and Land Information Systems throughout the Caribbean. He played a crucial role in the development of a National Land and Geographic Information System (GIS) policy for Trinidad and Tobago, as an advisor to the Minister of Planning and Development. His role as consultant to a regional IT conglomerate included responsibility for developing a regional services business based on GIS while developing, implementing and managing various projects.
Mr. Dougall holds an MSc in GIS from Netherlands and a Bachelor Environmental Sciences in Urban & Regional Planning from Canada.
Lecturer / Global Director - University of the West Indies (UWI) / Global Leadership Interlink
Graham King is in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of the West Indies (UWI) with 16 years of experience in the automotive industry. Graham is Coordinator of Enterprise Research and the Engineering Management MSc Programme. Promoting Innovation for National Development in Trinidad & Tobago, Graham recently led a UWI team to craft the EU Development Framework 11 programme for Trinidad & Tobago, focused on Innovation. He participates in the National Foresighting programme and collaborates with the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago in identifying innovation opportunities for Energy Services Companies in the Renewable Energy future. He trains local companies in developing an innovation culture through regular workshops. As Global Director of the Global Leadership Interlink, a professional network of values-based leaders with Chapters in 45 countries, Graham speaks regularly at conferences, seminars and training workshops around the world. He is a member of the Executive Team of Congress “Faith-Based Global Human Development” (WBN) with operations in 100+ countries.
Dr. King holds a BEng in Automotive Engineering from Longborough University, an MSc on Engineering Business and a EngD in Systems Modelling and Simulation in the Automotive Product Development process from the University of Warwick.
Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources University of California
Glenda Humiston Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of California. She brings over 30 years of policy development and program implementation supporting sustainability, including time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia and several years as a consultant on environmental and agricultural issues throughout the western states. President Obama appointed her California State Director for USDA’s Rural Development programs in 2009, where she served until 2015. From 1998 – 2001 she served President Clinton as Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA. Dr. Humiston managed the Sustainable Development Institute at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in South Africa and the 2006 World Water Forum in Mexico City.
Dr. Humiston earned her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management; a Master’s in International Agricultural Development from U.C. Davis and a Bachelor’s in Animal Science from Colorado State University.
Timothy E. Kelley
President / Chief Executive Officer - Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation
Timothy E. Kelley is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation (IVEDC), United States. In his current position, he is responsible for the implementation of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) plan, as well as engaging initiatives that strengthen and grow the regional economy. He is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors and currently VP of International Trade and Investment of TeamCalifornia, a statewide organization that promotes national and international trade and investment for California. He is the current Chair of the Board for the Department of Commerce San Diego- Imperial District Export Council; serves on the Board of Directors of the Imperial County Overall Economic Development Commission; serves on the Board of Directors of Imperial Capital Ventures. Mr. Kelley also serves on several other board and commissions related to economic development, workforce and education including the Imperial County Workforce Development Board and Brawley Airport Commission as Chairman.
Mr. Kelley holds a bachelor’s in communications arts and sciences from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California.
CEO - Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County
John Sternlicht, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County in the State of Washington, United States. He is an attorney and Certified Economic Developer. Previously he served as Senior Advisor to the King County Executive, Senior Manager at SRI International, General Counsel of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council.
Mr. Sternlicht earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Judith A. Sheft
Associate Vice President Technology & Enterprise Development New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
Judith A. Sheft is the Associate Vice President of Technology and Enterprise Development at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in the United States. She manages the university’s technology commercialization efforts through programs and policies focusing on patent creation, intellectual property valuation, strategic use and protection of IP assets. She works with faculty and students to create start-up companies. She is involved with regional economic development having responsibilities for the management of NJTI’s high technology / life sciences business accelerator/incubator, the HealthIT Connections entrepreneurial cluster development program and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center. She is on the Board of Advisors to the NJIT Murray Women’s Center and helps mentor students and faculty. She is a member of the NJ – Israel Commission and serves on the Board of the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Network, Greater Newark Enterprise Corporation, Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship Corporation and Einstein’s Alley, working to assist early stage tech and life sciences entrepreneurs.
Ms. Sheft holds a Master of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
CEO - Opa locka Community Development Corporation
Willie Logan is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation in the United States. The OLCDC has expanded from a $25,000 per year non-profit to a multi-million dollar corporation with twenty-five for-profit subsidiaries and one Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Previously, he served in the Florida House of Representatives, where he chaired the Finance & Tax Committee, ranked as the most effective Democrat in the Legislature for the Legislative sessions, and won election as Democrat Speaker-Designate for 1998 to 2000. He also served as Mayor of the City of Opa-locka from 1980 to 1982.
Mr. Logan earned his PhD in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and his MBA and Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Miami, where he is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Architecture.
President / CEO - San Joaquin Partnership
Mike Ammann is the President and Chief Executive Officer of San Joaquin Partnership, United States. He is a public-private partnership organizational leader with start-up, turnaround and organizational renewal experience in multi-jurisdictional economic development marketing organizations and a metro chamber of commerce. He has skills and experience in bringing together public private partnerships in association with elected and appointed public officials, business and university leaders, and additional private sector business start-up and management experience in high technology companies. Other skills include technology transfer, faculty start-ups and commercialization skills at University of Michigan and understanding real estate development through management of Arizona State University Research Park and the day to day practice of economic development.
Mr. Ammann holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in Marketing by the Seidman Graduate School of Business.
Denisse M. Rodríguez
Director and Executive Advisor to the CEO - Puerto Rico Science Technology & Research Trust
Denisse Rodríguez is the Director and Executive Advisor to the CEO at the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust, where she leads Colmena66, a program which helps entrepreneurs find all the resources they need to start or grow their business. Prior to that she was the Chief Operating Officer at Codetrotters, the first coding school in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, where she also led the Codetrotters Fellowship, which connects the best talent with global startups. Denisse was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper, a global network of young leaders committed to improving their communities. Previously, she worked as Program Manager at Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) and was Deputy Fiscal Agent at the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico (GDB). During her time at GDB, she was named Executive Director of the José M. Berrocal Institute for Economics and Finance. She also worked at Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division in New York City, where she financed and advised not-for-profit healthcare institutions.
Ms. Rodriguez obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance and Marketing with honors from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.
Deputy Head of International Business Development Fraunhofer
Adelheid Adam is the Deputy Head of the Department for International Business Development at Fraunhofer Headquarters in Munich. She has 16 years of experience working at Fraunhofer, Europe’s largest organization for application-oriented research. Fraunhofer’s fields of research are “Health and Environment”, “Security and Protection”, “Mobility and Transport”, “Production and Supply of Services”, “Communication and Knowledge”, and “Energy and Resources”. Since 2008, she works in the strategic department for International Business Development, including one year as EU officer at the Fraunhofer Office in Brussels in 2009/10. In her role, her main responsibilities are the support of strategic research collaborations (e.g. in the form of a Fraunhofer Project Center or the Fraunhofer ICON program) between Fraunhofer institutes and international partners in the whole range of Fraunhofer’s fields of research. Furthermore her engagement comprises also Fraunhofer’s internationalization in general (strategy, focus countries, key performance indicators) and also specifically the strategic activities of Fraunhofer in Israel and Italy (e.g. the Fraunhofer subsidiary in Bolzano).
Ms. Adam graduated in sociology from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.
Executive Director / Private Sector Lead Specialist Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility Interamerican Development Bank (IDB)
Sylvia Dohnert is Private Sector Lead Specialist at the Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation Division of the Inter-American Development Bank and Compete Caribbean Executive Director since November 2012. Compete Caribbean is a multi-donor facility of US$30 million that currently comprises a growing portfolio of 18 projects that seek to foster innovation and competitiveness of the Caribbean private sector. She has ample experience on economic development issues throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region. She specializes in designing and implementing government policy and/or projects that will support economic growth, particularly through industrial policy, supply chains, clusters, SME development, and application of cutting edge technology. Sylvia has done extensive research on industrial policy, and is an editor of the recently published monograph: “Exploring firm-level productivity and innovation in developing countries: The perspective of Caribbean Small States.”
Ms. Dohnert has a Ph.D. in Economic Development and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Camilo Fernández de Soto
Coordinator of the Americas Business Dialogue Interamerican Development Bank (IDB)
Camilo Fernández de Soto is the Coordinator of the Americas Business Dialogue (ABD) and the CEO Summit of the Americas at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). ABD is a private sector driven initiative facilitated by the IDB that has consolidated a network of more than 300 leading companies and business associations of the Americas region aimed at fostering a high-level public-private sector dialogue to promote economic growth and social development within the region. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating ABD’s effort to prepare policy recommendations with IDB’s technical expertise, disseminating them at regional events and organizing public-private ministerial meetings to find areas of collaboration for implementation. ABD’s recommendations are presented to the Heads of State at the Summit of the Americas every three years.
Mr. Fernandez de Soto holds a law degree with a postgraduate degree in Economics from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and an MPA from NYU.
Christian Gómez, Jr
Senior Manager for Latin American Global Government Affairs - Walmart
Christian Gómez, Jr. is Senior Manager for Latin American Government Affairs at Walmart. Based in Bentonville, Arkansas, he supports Walmart’s relations with Latin American governments and policy stakeholders such as multilateral organizations, think tanks, trade associations, academia, and NGOs. Pior to joining Walmart in 2017, Christian held a variety of roles in public and private sectors, with a focus on Latin America. He was most recently Economic Growth Advisor in the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC, where he served as the chief economist in the bureau, with a focus on economic growth programming in the region. Previously, he was a Director at the Council of the Americas and consulted for the World Bank Group.
Mr. Gomez holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, and an AB in Political Economy from Princeton University.
Head of Unit - European Commission (EC)
Dr. Ulla Engelmann is the Head of Unit for Clusters, Social Economy and Entrepreneurship within DG GROW, the Directorate General being responsible for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission (EC) since March 2017. In her role, she currently leads a portfolio responsible for European Cluster Policy, fostering Social Economy development throughout Europe, and Entrepreneurship policy with focus on women, migrant and youth entrepreneurship initiatives, as well as entrepreneurship education.
European Cluster Policy involves inter-regional and international cooperation programmes, cluster excellence, clusters in innovation ecosystems and global value chains, as well as the development and management of cluster intelligence tools.
In the field of entrepreneurship, she is responsible for fostering of women entrepreneurship, including the initiative of a platform called WEgate (women entrepreneurship gate), a guide of best practices for migrant entrepreneurship and a number of projects in entrepreneurship education.
Additionally she has in her current responsibility the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre for SMEs.
Previously, she worked for many years in different management functions at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the in-house science service of European Commission.
Ms. Engelmann holds a PhD in Analytical and Radiochemistry completed at the National Research Centre in Karlsruhe, Germany and studied chemistry at the technical university of Karlsruhe.