Armando Valladares is a Cuban poet, diplomat, and human rights activist. In 1962, he was arrested by the Cuban government for protesting communism, leading Amnesty International to name him a prisoner of conscience. Following his release in 1982, he wrote a book detailing his imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Cuban government, and was appointed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. President Reagan also honored him with the Presidential “Citizens” Medal, the second highest award given to a civilian in the U.S. He was also bestowed the Superior Award by the U.S. Department of State. He is an author of “Contra toda Esperanza”; “Cavernas del Silencio”; “El alma de un poeta”, among others. HONORARY PRESIDENT.
Father Christopher Hartley was born in London in 1959 and soon was admitted in the Seminary of Toledo (Spain). He is a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Toledo. He holds a Masters in Theology from Saint John’s University (Queens, New York); he is a graduate in Theology and holds a PhD on the same subject by the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Father Christopher was ordained by Pope Jean Paul II in Valencia (Spain) in 1982. He has worked closely with Mother Teresa and her sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, for more than 30 years. He has been a missionary in the Bronx (New York), Dominican Republic and Ethiopia, where is now based since 2007. FOUNDER & PRESIDENT.
Eduardo Brunet is a senior counsel with more than 20 years experience in the areas of international finance, corporate affairs and energy, working for multinationals as Santander Bank, GE Capital, Iberdrola, and a similar longstanding involvement with the third sector as co-founder and President of a Development ONG “Proyecto XXI”, promoter in Spain of the Venture Philanthropy paradigm, co-founder of the Spanish congenital heart defect charity “Menudos Corazones”, and co-founder of the Clarkson-Montesinos Institute. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
Maria Victoria Mendez, Law practitioner, has dedicated much of her professional career to the defense and advocacy of human and labor rights of Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic´s sugar cane plantations and to sustain the right to nationality to their descendants born in Dominican soil. Born in a Batey called Las Pajas, in the municipality of San Pedro de Macorís, she graduated and obtained her PhD in San Pedro´s East Central University in February 1986. She chaired until 2008 the legal department of the Dominican Center for Legal Advisory and Research (CEDAIL) dependent to the Dominican Episcopal Conference. She is a frequent lecturer and expert witness on the topic Haitians migrants rights, in various private and public venues, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Miguel de Raimond da Silva Amado was born in Lisbon (Portugal) in 1945. He is an agronomist in tropical agriculture; has worked in the Ministeries of Education, Trade and Agriculture of Portugal between 1972 and 1989. He served as an Agricultural adviser in the EU Delegation in Madagascar (1989/1993); as a Chargé d’Affaires in the EU Delegation in Burundi (1993/1997); he was Ambassador of the EU in Guinea-Bissau (1997/2000); Ambassador of the EU in Dominican Republic and Cuba (2000/2004); Head of Unit for Human Rights and ACP affairs (2004/2008) and Ambassador of the EU in Congo Brazzaville (2008/2010). He is retired since March 2010.
Charlotte M. (Charlie) Ponticelli is an international consultant with 23 years of US Government experience, serving most recently as Deputy Under Secretary for International Labor Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor and Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues at the US Department of State. Previously she served as Senior Advisor for State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; Director of Human Rights in State’s Bureau for International Organization Affairs; Congressional Liaison for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development; and Director of Congressional Correspondence in the Legislative Affairs Office of the White House. She received her B.A. (Spanish Literature) from Hood College and her M.A. through New York University’s program in Madrid, Spain.
Joana Socias is a Spanish writer and journalist. She holds BAs in both Media Studies and Political Science. In 2008, she moved to Nairobi (Kenya) and worked for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo covering political, social and humanitarian events in the Eastern Africa region for three years. Whilst in Africa she also worked for a Danish think tank, The Copenhagen Consensus Center, as a researcher in both Kenya and Ethiopia. In 2013, she published her first book “En el Púlpito de la Miseria”(booktrailer: http://bit.ly/11CznV5), a true story about the plight of Haitians working in the sugar cane plantations in Dominican Republic. The book is for sale in Spain, Dominican Republic and Peru.
Dr. Diego Valero is a Professor at University of Barcelona. PhD in Economics and Actuary, and graduate in Management by IESE. Honorary Chairman of the 2008 MBA and Executive MBA by ICADE. He is Co-founder and Chairman at Novaster, a pension consulting company. He works as a consultant for many companies and governments around the world. He was Executive VicePresident at AFP Camino, in the Dominican Republic. He is consultant for the OECD and the IABD, and technical manager of the London School of Economics “Global Pensions Programme”. Dr. Valero is VicePresident at the SpainSif (Spanish forum for responsible investment), VicePresident at the “Pacto Generacional” Foundation (to strengthen the social transfer from elder to youth), and has been President at Ocopen (Pension consulting association) for ten years. Author of several books and articles, and usual speaker around the world relating social security and pension funds.
Pepe Álvarez de las Asturias is an Advertiser, Writer and Columnist. Contributor at several digital/paper media, TV and Radio programs. Author of the book “Lo que de Verdad Importa” (What really matters) for the LQDVI Foundation. Pepe is also a Creative Director and Content Marketing expert.
Andrea Vota is an Italian journalist/blogger and PR/Public Affairs professional. Graduated with honours in European Studies at the Faculty of Political Science of Catania, Andrea has worked for several years as a TV reporter. After writing his thesis on Environmental Security at the Library of the United Nations in Geneva, he worked in London for the think-tank Liberal International and in Turkey for the Italian Consulate of Gaziantep. Andrea has subsequently specialised in Corporate Communication & Public Affairs at the Business School of Il Sole 24 ORE in Rome and in Lobbying & Advocacy at the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid. He is now Assistant to the President of APRI, the Spanish association representing lobbying professionals in the country.