What I like about the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is its multisectoral approach to sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Working with civil society, the private sector, and government agencies to bring transformative change to a region that faces many social, economic, and environmental challenges. The trust that we build with communities arises from a deep respect for local solutions and locally led interventions. I also deeply appreciate that our programs go beyond poverty alleviation and aim for inclusive economies for the region.
I am very excited to return to PADF as Chief of Staff after a 2 1/2-year absence. I was previously based in Haiti for eight years. I held various positions there, namely Country Director and Regional Director for the Caribbean. In my current role, I aim to support the Executive Director by working closely with the Executive Office and the organization’s leaders across departments and programs to provide strategic and operational support.
In my view, some of the biggest challenges facing the region are also great opportunities for transformative change. Latin America and the Caribbean is the second most exposed region to disasters in the world. With climate change, the occurrence of such disasters increases. There are social and political challenges linked to bad governance, insecurity, injustice, and income disparity. Unemployment is another major issue in the region, particularly among youth and women. All these factors lead to internal displacements and migration.
Among the opportunities, I believe that embracing a green economy will not only help countries better adapt to climate change patterns but also create much-needed green jobs, particularly among youth. Another major opportunity is supporting the private sector to participate in global markets. Our region has the necessary resources to do so. However, creating the right environment for markets to thrive will require serious policies and interventions to combat insecurity and corruption and ensure equal access to economic opportunities.
There are so many incredible moments from my time at PADF. Meeting with communities that have seen a positive change in their environment or economic situation. Hearing firsthand from women and their families how they are better prepared for the future. Seeing entrepreneurs thrive in the most challenging conditions and create much-needed jobs in their communities while being mindful of the environmental impact of their operations. These are just some examples of the incredible stories we get to witness when working at PADF.
PADF celebrated its 50th anniversary the first year I joined. Ten years later, I’m thrilled to be part of another milestone anniversary. Over the past decade, PADF has continued growing and supporting communities in the hemisphere and I am just honored to have been part of the journey. I look forward to celebrating the people and the partners who are at the heart of our work.
Published on June 7, 2022.