top of page

Advisory Council

Muni Figueres (Co-Chair)
Muni Figueres is the President of Amigos de Costa Rica, based in Washington DC, and is on the board of the Tällberg Foundation based in New York and Stockholm.  Formerly she was Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Minister and Ambassador to the United States, External Relations Advisor for the InterAmerican Development Bank and Chair of Laspau’s Board of Trustees.

Bill Richardson (Co-Chair)
Bill Richardson has led a distinguished public-service career as Governor of New Mexico, U.S. Congressman, U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton. Richardson has also started two foundations: The Richardson Center for Global Engagement, focusing on conflict resolution and prisoner release, and the Foundation to Preserve New Mexico Wildlife, which has led the charge to protect wild horses and provide alternatives to horse slaughter.

Alexander Watson (Co-Chair)
Ambassador Watson is a career foreign service officer and has served as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, as well as U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the rank of ambassador and Ambassador to Peru. Later, he served as Vice President and Executive Director for International Conservation at the Nature Conservancy. He is former Managing Director of Hills & Company, an international consulting firm.

Carolina Barco Isakson
Carolina Barco Isakson is Colombian Ambassador to Spain and the Principality of Andorra. Prior, she served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Colombia and as Ambassador of Colombia to the United States.

Peter Bryant
Peter was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2006 after having served as Chief Financial Officer since 2000. He brings over 25 years of nonprofit leadership and his expertise includes financial and operations management and institutional planning and implementation. He previously held leadership positions at Boston Health Care for the Homeless, Outward Bound and the Laspau Board of Trustees as Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee.

Jeffrey Davidow
Jeffrey Davidow was a career Foreign Service officer who served as Ambassador to Zambia, Venezuela, and Mexico as well as Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere. He is currently a Senior Counselor of the Cohen Group. Jeffrey served on the Board of Trustees severals years before joining the Advisory Council. 

Peter DeShazo

Peter DeShazo is a Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies at Dartmouth College. He was formerly Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States. During his career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador DeShazo directed the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the State Department and was Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Information Agency. He also served in the US embassies and consulates in La Paz, Medellín, Santiago, Panama City, Caracas, and Tel Aviv. Ambassador DeShazo served as the Executive Director of Laspau from 2011 to 2014, and as Director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC from 2004 to 2010. He is a former Fulbright scholar and served as President of the U.S.-Chile Fulbright Commission. Peter served on the Board of Trustees’ Executive, Finance and Audit, and Nominating and Governance Committees.  


Julio Frenk
Julio Frenk is the President of the University of Miami and holds academic appointments as Professor of Public Health Sciences at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and Professor of Health Sector Management and Policy at the School of Business Administration. He previously served as Dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and as Minister of Health of Mexico. He reformed the nation’s health system introducing a program of comprehensive universal coverage which expanded access to health care for more than 55 million previously uninsured Mexicans. He is the founding Director-General of the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, and has held top positions at the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is on numerous boards, including the United Nations Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Felipe Larraín
Felipe Larraín has been Minister of Finance in Chile twice under President Piñera's mandate. He served in the role previously from 2010-2014 and more recently from 2018-2019. He is a Professor of Economics at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Director of its Center for Economic and Social Policies (Clapes UC), and a member of the UN´s Leadership Council for Sustainable Development.

Mauricio López Obregón

Mauricio López Obregón is involved in private business in Colombia. He is a member of the Board of Directors of privately held companies and foundations. Mr. López Obregón is a graduate of Harvard University and a member of the Advisory Committee of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. Formerly, he served on the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Commission in Colombia, the University of Virginia Families Board, the Parents Committee at the University of Virginia, and is the former President of the Board of Directors for the MIT Harvard Club de Colombia. Mauricio served on the Board of Trustees’ Executive and Nominating and Governance Committees.


Charles MacCormack
Charles (Charlie) MacCormack is Executive in Residence of The Jackson Institute For Global Affairs at Yale University. For 18 years Charlie was President of Save the Children International, and prior to that served for 15 years as President of World Learning / School for International Training and the Experiment for International Living. He has been Executive in Residence at Middlebury College and spent 2018 as an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University.


Beatriz Merino
Beatriz Merino is the Executive President of César Vallejo University in Peru and served as National Ombudsman of Peru from 2005 to 2011.

Douglas Orane
Douglas Orane is a non-executive director of GraceKennedy Limited, a publicly traded food, and financial services conglomerate based in Kingston, Jamaica. He previously served as both Chairman and CEO before retiring. He also served as President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, then as an Independent Senator, and was later appointed to Jamaica’s Privy Council.

Benjamín Ortiz
Benjamín Ortiz is the President of the Board of BOA Estrategia y Comunicación. Mr. Ortiz has been Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Ecuador and has held prominent positions in several newspapers and TV news channels.  He is also an accomplished writer and has co-authored books on journalism, communications, and foreign policy and has taught at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. He received a bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and a Jurisprudence Doctorate from the same institution and also has a master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Alfonso Romo Garza
Alfonso Romo Garza is currently Chairman of the Board and CEO of Grupo Plenus, a corporation that focuses its business activities in the agrobiotechnology, synthetic biology, education, financial services, and real estate sectors. Jointly with his management team, they have worked for over three decades with great success in the acquisition, creation, and transformation of great companies, developing a special skill in value creation in diverse industrial companies, even during turbulent macroeconomic periods. Mr. Romo has been appointed as a member of the Board of the Atlantic Institute of Government, an institution founded and chaired by former President of Spain, José Maria Aznar, and he is also on the Board of Directors of Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Synthetic Genomics, J. Craig Venter Institute and Agracast, among others.

Christopher Sabatini
Christopher Sabatini is senior fellow for Latin America at Chatham House, at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, England. He is the founder and Executive Director of Global Americans and editor of He served as Senior Director of Policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas from 2005 to 2014 where he founded the journal Americas Quarterly.  He is currently a Lecturer of International and Public Policy at Columbia University.

Edward L. Seaton
Ed has enjoyed a lifelong career in journalism, currently serving as Board Chair of Seaton Publishing Co. in Manhattan, Kansas. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Ed was a Fulbright Scholar in Quito, Ecuador. He has been an active member for many years of the Inter-American Press Association, including chairing its board, and has served as President of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He has chaired the Pulitzer Prize Committee at Columbia University, where he received the Marie Moors Cabot Award. Ed was made a Knight of the Order of Christopher Columbus by the Dominican Republic, is a member the Council of Foreign Relations, and has served as Board Chair of Laspau at Harvard University.

Help Create New Opportunities

bottom of page