Katie Taylor is an international executive deeply devoted to global development and to bringing private sector thinking to complex development challenges. She has extensive experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and has led national and multi-million-dollar organizations, living and working across five continents.
Taylor learned management and leadership at General Electric – across healthcare, financial services, transportation and technology industries. She has founded and supported nonprofits and communities throughout her career, devoting the past 10 years to social and public service, most recently as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Global Health at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). At USAID, Taylor led efforts on child and maternal survival and health. She also served as the U.S. government’s representative on the boards of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and as co-chair of the Partnership on Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health (PMNCH).
Among other roles, Taylor was previously the General Manager of GE Healthcare in Mexico, led GE Capital’s satellite and mortgages business development across Latin America, and guided a sales and marketing team for GE Transportation Systems in Brazil. She is a Certified Master Black Belt in “Lean Six Sigma” quality improvement processes, and is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University, a graduate Certificate of Political Studies from the Institute d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, and an M.S. in International Business Diplomacy from Georgetown University.
Dr. Elizabeth Fox, Ph.D.
Chief Technical Leadership Officer
Dr. Elizabeth Fox is a senior leader in global health with 40 years’ experience making communications, behavior, and culture central to health programs around the world. She is the Chief Technical Leadership Officer at PADF, overseeing program development, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.
Dr. Fox spent 23 years at the United States Agency for International Development, including as Director of the Office of Health, Infectious Diseases, and Nutrition, where she built and managed large global health initiatives and led multi-disciplinary teams to achieve ambitious, measurable health goals. She was also the Manager of Strategic Planning at the International Bureau of Broadcasting and spent 10 years with the International Development Research Centre of Canada as Social Sciences Representative in Latin America.
Beatriz Coningham, EdD
Chief People Officer
Beatriz Coningham is the Chief People Officer at PADF. She has lived, studied, traveled, and worked in different countries in Latin America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Her educational background includes English and Portuguese languages and literature, teaching English as a foreign language, psychology, and human resource development.
Coningham started her professional life as a teacher of English as a foreign language in Brazil, where she grew up. While living in the state of Mato Grosso, she co-founded and led a private language school, which offered her deep exposure to entrepreneurship and local capacity building. Her experiences in recruiting, training and developing teams led her to gradually transition into organizational development and human resources. In 2003, Coningham moved to Washington, DC to pursue a doctorate degree in Human Resource Development at the George Washington University. Since then, she has worked for NCQA, a healthcare quality organization, and for RTI International, an independent research institute with projects in over 40 countries.
Coningham is known for her dynamic and versatile leadership style, as well as her ability to work effectively in multicultural environments. Her passion is to create human resources functions that are vital to the organization through great customer service, creative and innovative solutions and continuous improvement.
Gloria Nelly Acosta
Director of Socioeconomic Development and Institutional Strengthening
Economic Opportunities Thematic Leader
Gloria Nelly Acosta joined PADF in 2002. She is the Director for Socioeconomic Development and Institutional Strengthening in Colombia and PADF’s Economic Opportunities Thematic Leader. She leads the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of development programs that support vulnerable populations, working in partnership with the public and private sectors.
Acosta has more than 27 years of experience in the effective implementation of projects in rural and urban areas in Colombia. She spent a decade with the National Federation of Coffee Growers, where she managed rural programs that contributed to better livelihoods for the families of coffee farmers in Cundinamarca.
Acosta has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica of Colombia and a master’s degree in Rural Development from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
Shakeh Akopian has served as PADF’s Controller since joining the organization in 2009. In this capacity she safeguards PADF’s assets and ensures timely and accurate financial reporting.
With three decades of experience in for-profit and non-profit domestic and international accounting and corporate financial management, Akopian brings her passion for troubleshooting and resolving HQ and field related accounting issues. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Accounting and Business Management and from the University Libre de Brussels with a degree in Economics.
Cédrelle Alexis Jean Louis
Country Director – Haiti
Cédrelle Alexis Jean Louis joined PADF in October 2014. She is the Country Director in Haiti. She is a senior executive with over 25 years of financial, administrative management, and organizational development experience in NGOs and privately owned companies.
Her professional experience includes start-up operations; implementation of change management initiatives; development of financial and operating systems, policies, procedures, budgeting process, and controls; cash management; office and human resources management; security assessment and policy. Throughout her career, Jean Louis has held multiple leadership and management positions in finance and administration.
She holds an M.B.A. from Eastern University, Philadelphia and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Institute National d‘Administration de Gestion et des Hautes Études Internationales (INAGHEI), Haiti. She is a member of the Haitian Order of Chartered Accountants.
Aaron Van Alstine
Senior Program Manager
Disaster Resilience Practice Area Leader
Aaron Van Alstine joined PADF in 2010 and leads our efforts to build climate and disaster resilience across Latin America and the Caribbean. He is an expert in sustained community engagement, cross-sector collaboration, and harnessing the power of technology to improve communities’ understanding of the risks they face and to reduce the negative impacts of climate change and disasters.
Van Alstine brings more than 15 years of experience building the connectivity and coordination of disadvantaged communities and key stakeholders in the region. He previously worked in Central America, where he introduced the use of innovative communication technologies to improve labor conditions for low-income workers. In Peru and Colombia, he supported post-conflict recovery efforts through the development of psychosocial services and reintegration programs for war-affected communities and former combatants.
He is a graduate of the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Deputy Director Strategic Partnerships
New Business Development
Women & Gender Thematic Leader
Laura Aragón is Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships at PADF, working across all segments of partnership development and resource mobilization with the U.S. Government, private sector, and foundations. She is also PADF’s Gender Specialist, with an extensive background on women’s empowerment.
Prior to joining PADF, she founded and directed Mukira, a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life of women and youth in Mexico. She also worked for other civil society organizations in Guerrero and Chihuahua, Mexico, where she led efforts to raise international awareness about the situation of human rights. She served as a Deputy Director for the Mexican Government, where she conceptualized, led, and implemented Women’s Justice Centers nationwide. She was also a fellow at the Bordeaux local government in France, where she worked to provide grants to French-speaking African countries. Aragón has worked as a gender and resource mobilization specialist for the Pan American Health Organization, the Organization of American States, United Nations (UN) Women, and various United States Agency for International Development contractors, including Chemonics and Tetra Tech. She is a published author on gender and access to justice, and some of her pieces have won international prizes from UN Women, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the Mexican Supreme Court.
She studied International Relations at Karlovy University, Czech Republic; Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada; and Political Science at Tec de Monterrey, Mexico and Science Po, Paris. She holds two master’s degrees, one in Public Policy and Public Administration from Ecole Nationale d’Administration, France and a second one in Nonprofit Administration from Mendoza Business School, University of Notre Dame. Aragón has lived in Mexico, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Canada, and the United States and is fluent in French, Spanish, and English.
Country Representative – Paraguay
Carlo Antonio Arze is PADF’s Country Director in Paraguay, where he leads efforts to develop the country programing portfolio as well as supporting youth-focused initiatives in the wider region. He has worked for PADF since 2013 and has been Chief of Party (COP) for youth development and juvenile justice programs in Suriname and Honduras as well as Deputy COP for the “Community Family and Youth Resilience Program” in St. Kitts, St. Lucia. and Guyana.
Prior to joining PADF, Arze was the COP for a youth work program based in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He also worked for 20 years at the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), where he was a Social Development Specialist focused on community development, education, youth, and disaster preparedness, as well as serving as IDB’s focal point for gender mainstreaming in Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay, and Brazil.
Arze has received recognition for his contribution to development efforts from the municipal government in Ciudad Juarez as well as the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs as well as a master’s in Latin American Development from the University of Texas.
Joseph (Joe) Blubaugh
Director of Grants and Contracts
Joe Blubaugh is PADF’s Director of Grants and Contracts. In this role, he is responsible for all issues related to grants, contracts, procurement, and compliance for PADF projects. His team reviews awards from donors and manages sub-awards to implementing partners to ensure compliance with donor requirements. Blubaugh also oversees internal policies and procedures that promote efficiency.
He has 20 years of experience working with grants and contracts’ compliance for both for- and non-profit organizations, spanning three continents. Prior to the career in grants and contracts, he worked in computer science.
Blubaugh has a B.S. in Computer Science from Ohio State University and an MBA and M.S. in Economics from the University of Texas. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, where he learned Spanish, which he continues to use in his role with PADF.
Country Director – Ecuador
Marcela Bueno is PADF’s Country Director for Ecuador. Her areas of expertise include research tools, data analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and social and commercial strategy development. She has experience in international development, leadership training, democracy, communications, and corporate social responsibility.
Prior to PADF, Bueno was the local director for the Center for Electoral Support and Promotion, where she managed a United States Agency for International Development-funded project to strengthen election administration in Ecuador. She was also regional coordinator of an Andean Development Cooperation project on biocommerce in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Bueno has held various consulting roles since 2005, supporting local and international social development projects.
A lawyer and social researcher, she holds a postgraduate degree in Public Policy from Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina.
Country Director – Guatemala
Carlos Castellanos is Country Director in Guatemala, leading the consolidation and growth of PADF’s presence in the country. An industrial engineer by training, he has specialized in the area of finance since 1995. He has held various positions in private companies and the cooperative sector in health, food, and transportation. He has been with PADF since 2007, where he began as the Administration and Finance Director in his native Colombia. He held this position for eight years, after which he joined PADF in Washington, DC, where he provided support across the organization for four years.
Director – Strategic Communications
Daniela Colaiacovo is PADF’s Strategic Communications Director. In this capacity she oversees the organization’s internal and external communications, with special focus on compelling storytelling and data-driven impact. She has over 20 years of experience in strategic communications working on a variety of international development areas, including democracy and governance, humanitarian aid, food security, gender, health policy, biodiversity, media rights, and freedom of expression. Early in her career Colaiacovo worked as a print and broadcast journalist.
She holds an M.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University (BU) and is a recipient of BU’s Dennis Kauff Reporting Award. Colaiacovo earned a B.A. in Journalism from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Born in Argentina and raised in Brazil, she is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
Alfonso Garcia Calderon
Director of Territorial Development and Governance
Environment and Disaster Resilience Thematic Leader
Alfonso Garcia Calderon joined PADF in 2003. He is the Director of Territorial Development and Governance in Colombia and PADF’s Environment and Disaster Resilience Thematic Leader. Garcia Calderon manages the cooperation agreements with the Colombian government focused on territorial development and governance. He also leads the implementation of standards for project management, following the best practices guidelines from the Project Manager Institute (PMI).
Prior to PADF, Garcia Calderon was an advisor to various development programs organized by the National Plan for Alternative Development and United Nations Office for Project Services in coordination with Colombian public entities.
He has a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Universidad del Tolima and is a candidate for a graduate degree in rural development from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia.
Bernard (Bernie) Fructuoso
Senior Director – Finance and Risk
Bernie Fructuoso has been with PADF since 2008 and has served as Director of Finance for the organization since 2013, overseeing a period in the organization’s history that experienced significant growth, in both revenue and project expenditures. With over 20 years of international non-profit experience, he has been able to successfully interface with programs, partners, donors, and other stakeholders throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to provide sound stewardship of PADF’s financial resources.
Prior to PADF, Fructuoso held finance and grants positions in other organizations such as Global Rights, where human rights issues were addressed across the globe, and The Nature Conservancy, working on conservation projects for the Central America division. Assisting in the economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean is a passion of his and PADF is a hemispheric leader in this area.
Fructuoso has extensive international experience, is completely fluent in Spanish, and received a B.A. in Economics from George Mason University.
Director – Haiti Program Implementation
Economic Opportunities Practice Area Leader
Sowmya Krishnamoorthy joined PADF in 2014 in our Port-au-Prince field office and is currently based in Washington D.C. She helps oversee the implementation of PADF’s programs in the Caribbean and has experience directing programs in entrepreneurship, workforce training, local governance, environmental sustainability, and disaster response. Krishnamoorthy is also a Practice Lead for Economic Opportunities, focusing on innovative financing, local enterprise development, public-private partnerships, supply and value-chain development, and promoting a market-based approach within PADF’s programming.
Prior to PADF, she worked for the Fortune Magazine Group supporting strategic development of the business brands at Time Inc. She also worked at the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund facilitating investments and enterprise development in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
Krishnamoorthy has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Hollins University and a J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
Senior Director – New Business Development
As Senior Director of Business Development, Lance Leverenz leads PADF’s public sector outreach to the United States Agency for International Development, State Department, and other bilateral and multilateral donors. He has successfully secured funding for a wide variety of relief and development activities including water and sanitation, emergency disaster response, human trafficking, migration, and media freedom for countries across the Western Hemisphere.
Prior to joining PADF, Leverenz worked for the American Red Cross, directing their Latin American programs, and as a government and private-sector international development consultant. His international experience includes overseas assignments in Latin America and Asia. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras and Nicaragua.
Leverenz holds a master’s degree in Economics and a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, both from the American University in Washington, DC.
Country Director – Honduras
Josué Murillo is the Country Director in Honduras. He is a human rights and security expert specializing in topics such as human rights, violence prevention, alternative conflict resolution, integrated youth development, education for peace, participatory democracy, and peaceful coexistence. His professional experience includes extensive program and project management in the areas of human rights and peaceful coexistence as well as teaching and coordinating research within the academic sector. As a lawyer, he has also supported strategic litigation efforts to protect the region’s most vulnerable populations. His academic and professional career in Central America, and in Honduras specifically, has focused on building civil society capacity and supporting people with disabilities, LGBT populations, environmental activists, indigenous communities, migrants, internally displaced persons, children, and youth, among others.
Murillo holds a J.D. from the National Autonomous University of Honduras and a master’s degree in Human Rights and Peace Education from the Institute of Latin American Studies (IDELA), National University, Heredia, Costa Rica.
Regional Director – Caribbean
Peace, Justice, and Security Thematic Leader
Trafficking in Persons Thematic Leader
Roberto Obando is an international development specialist with 15 years of experience in citizen security and justice, rule of law, and government innovation. He serves as PADF’s Regional Director of the Caribbean, supervising program implementation in Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, St. Lucia, and Guyana. Obando is also the Thematic Leader of the Peace, Justice, and Security practice, which covers a wide array of issues from crime prevention, justice sector reform, policing, forensics, transnational organized crime, and prison reform.
Prior to joining PADF, he was a consultant for several programs funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, and International Labour Organization across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Obando received his J.D. from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University. He also completed post-graduate academic work at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University and Said School of Business at the University of Oxford.
Regional Director – South America
Country Director – Colombia
Soraya Osorio is the Regional Director for South America at PADF and leads the organization’s office in Colombia. She is a multicultural senior executive with over 40 years of general and financial management experience in publicly traded and privately owned companies, as well as NGOs with operations in Latin America and Asia.
Her professional experience includes start-up operations; development of financial and operating systems, policies, procedures, budgeting process, and controls; cash and capital expenditure management; and formulating creative solutions to enhance operational efficiencies and cost effectiveness. Throughout her extensive career, including over two decades at the Dole Food Company, Osorio has held multiple leadership and management positions as General Manager, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and a B.S. in Industrial Management Engineering from Columbia University.
José Carlos Pandal
Director – Information Technology
José Pandal joined PADF in 2013 and oversees the organization’s IT operations, implementing business solutions and technologies. His dual passions for technology and supporting people in need drive his work while helping leverage PADF’s mission in the hemisphere.
Pandal brings over 20 years of experience in the IT field with global non-profit organizations. He has established strong IT partnerships across the Americas, managed IT teams in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, and has successfully deployed IT infrastructures and business solutions in more than 20 countries in the region. Pandal spent five years in Peru during his long tenure with The Nature Conservancy, building the IT infrastructure for teams in Latin America and Caribbean.
He has a degree in Electrical Engineering with Computer Engineering emphasis from the University of the District of Columbia.
Regional Director – Mexico and Central America
Democracy, Governance, & Human Rights Thematic Leader
Camila Payan is PADF’s Regional Director for Mexico and Central America, overseeing programs across thematic areas throughout the region. She has worked on programming in over 10 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Since joining PADF in 2008, she has had a variety of roles including serving as a project director on civil society strengthening and human rights programs, as well as working with the new business development team.
Prior to joining PADF, she worked at Georgetown University and the Organization of American States in Washington, DC. She also spent part of her professional career living and working in Colombia on civil society strengthening, governance, citizen security, and small- and medium-sized enterprise development programs. Payan holds a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Director – Talent Management & External Relations
Sandra Perez has been a key member of the PADF family for over 16 years. In her current role as Director of Talent Management and External Relations she recruits and cultivates staff and Trustees and mobilizes new constituencies to support the organization.
She brings nearly 30 years of experience in public and private international affairs. Skilled in non-profit organizations, board relations, human resources, intercultural communications, and international protocol, Perez has used her leadership and problem-solving skills to bring staff and external stakeholders together to achieve operational results. Her deep commitment to contributing to the well-being of underprivileged people has been a hallmark of her career.
Perez has a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and Sociocultural Studies from Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. She holds an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University and has completed extensive training in Human Resources and International Protocol.
Gloria Alicia Pinzón
Manager of Socioeconomic Development
Economic Opportunities Practice Area Leader
Gloria Alicia Pinzón is Manager of Socioeconomic Development for PADF Colombia and leader of the Economic Opportunities community of practice at PADF. She has over 30 years of experience managing development programs in support of vulnerable populations, including migrants and refugees in Colombia, and coordinating partnerships with the private sector, the Colombian government, and the international community.
A specialist in productive development and income generation, Pinzón is responsible for the technical components of program implementation. She has managed microcredit funds and related projects focused on emergency response and humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons. Pinzón has also designed strategies to promote inclusive processes and improve livelihoods for women, youth, rural communities, and ethnic minorities.
She has a master’s degree in Microcredit and Social Development from the Universidad de Alcalá, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Universidad Externado, Colombia.
Regional Director – Venezuela Response
Carolina Prunes is a highly qualified program management specialist with over 10 years of experience at PADF working with civil society organizations across the western hemisphere. She brings in-depth knowledge of the Venezuelan and South American context and a solid understanding of U.S. Government programming from her work on diverse federally funded programs. Currently, she serves as the Regional Program Director for the Venezuela regional crisis from PADF’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
Prunes oversees both United States Agency for International Development and Department of State-funded programs to strengthen protections and opportunities for Colombian and Venezuelan migrants throughout the region. She is a proven skillful professional that can provide technical input on specific issues related to vulnerable migrant populations, which combined with her extensive understanding of the situation in Venezuela, represents a unique view that enriches PADF’s regional response to the Venezuelan migrant crisis.
Country Representative – Mexico
Valeria Uribe is a seasoned program director, with nearly 15 years of experience in project management, fundraising, and leadership. Since 2016, she has led PADF’s operations in Mexico, identifying and developing new business, grant, and partnership opportunities for the organization. She has designed, implemented, and managed several projects in human rights and democracy, post-disaster reconstruction, STEM education, and child labor prevention.
Prior to joining PADF, Uribe was the Mexico Country Coordinator for the Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) at Georgetown University for more than 10 years. At CIED, she managed and administered scholarships sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development for indigenous public school teachers, designed exchange programs for executives and public servants to study in the United States, and organized high-profile fundraising endeavors, including a roundtable with former Secretary of State Clinton and a meeting with President Bush. She held various legal posts at the Secretaria de Desarrollo Social and was an advisor in the Auditoria Superior de la Federación, where she managed, planned, and coordinated all of the agency’s outreach programs, including those with indigenous populations.
Uribe has a law degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana. She holds certifications in Nonprofit Management, Human Rights, and Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership from Georgetown University.
Senior Program Manager
Environment Practice Area Leader
Joaquín Vallejo is a Senior Program Manager at PADF, where he designs and manages projects from their inception through their closing stages. He currently manages projects on issues such as transparency in extractive industries, judicial independence, accountability, and human rights throughout Latin America and Caribbean.
An Ecuadorian national, Vallejo is a PMP ® certified project manager with 10 years of experience managing international development projects on democracy, governance, human rights, and environment. In addition, he leads the practice area of Environment under PADF’s “Environment and Disaster Resilience” (EDR) thematic area. In this position, along with the EDR Thematic Director and the Disaster Resilience Practice Area Lead, he coordinates a community of practice of over 25 PADF staff members to share experiences from PADF’s projects under the EDR thematic area.
Prior to joining PADF, Vallejo worked as a consultant and Policy Fellow at the World Wildlife Fund, promoting protected areas as natural solutions to climate change in countries of the Amazon region. While still in Ecuador, he was the Political and Projects Officer at the British Embassy in Quito, overseeing projects implemented by civil society partners in the areas of democracy, freedom of expression, and climate change. Vallejo holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego, and a bachelor’s in International Relations from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.
Senior Director of Program Innovation
Education Thematic Leader
Luisa Villegas is a senior international development expert with more than 15 years of experience in designing, managing, and evaluating STEM education and other innovative programs to support vulnerable groups throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. She is a PMI-certified Project Management Professional and as PADF’s Senior Director for Program Innovation, she is leading the adoption of standardized project management within the organization and establishing a Project Management Office.
As a thematic lead she oversees the education practice area, including the direction of the STEM Americas program. With funding from private sector partners such as Boeing, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Exxon, BMW, and Dart Foundation, Villegas has been leading STEM education programs since 2016. In 2018, PADF launched the STEM Americas initiative to promote access to STEM education throughout the region. The program has impacted thousands of students across eleven countries.