Bill Dyal, the Inter-American Foundation's founding president, knew just what he wanted in the men and women who would represent his new agency in Latin America and the Caribbean: "People who could sit in the ambassador's office in the morning, then get into a jeep or climb on a mule and in a few hours be in a campesino's house and be equally at home there."
Miriam Euclides Brandão has been at the IAF since 2001 and is currently the foundation representative for Peru. She also leads the IAF’s collaboration with the U.S. State Department, managing two cooperative agreements focused on social protection, inclusion and equality. Miriam previously served as the foundation representative for Brazil, Nicaragua and Costa Rica and as the senior foundation representative for Central America and Mexico.
Before joining the IAF, Miriam worked for seven years as an agricultural economist for the World Bank, where she participated in project preparation and led the supervision of six agricultural and rural development projects in Mozambique and Tanzania. The projects provided extension and research services to smallholder producers, rural water supply, rural credit, natural resource and land use management, road rehabilitation and a social investment fund.
Miriam’s previous positions include serving as an adviser to the president of Minas Gerais State University in Brazil and heading the university’s academic projects division. She also served as assistant director of the Women in Development Program at Partners of the Americas. Miriam has a graduate degree in international development from American University and a graduate degree in agricultural economics from the University of Maryland.
Gabriela Boyer is the foundation representative for Nicaragua and for community asset mobilization initiatives in Mexico at the IAF, where she has also served as the representative for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Before she joined the IAF, Gabriela worked at the World Bank as a consultant on local and rural development, the environment and community development for Central America. She has also worked as a fellow for the US Forest Service and a researcher for Public Citizen and the Washington Center for Central American Studies. She holds a master's in environmental policy from Tufts University and has published articles on public policy and local governance.
During her nearly ten years of tenure at the IAF, Gabriela’s work has supported a diverse group of grantees that include many endeavoring to promote the responsible management of natural resources, environmentally-friendly agriculture, enterprise development, community philanthropy and the inclusion of women and indigenous people. Gabriela also leads IAF’s collaboration with the C.S. Mott Foundation and other donors to maximize the reach of grassroots development in Mexico.
To learn more about the IAF and its work in Mexico, check out these videos.
Carolina Cardona is the IAF's representative for Haiti and for the Dominican Republic. Prior to joining the IAF, Carolina served as Peace Corps Togo’s country director from 2009-2013. Her development career began in Honduras in 1985 where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer. Outside of the U.S. government, Carolina taught fifth grade in San Salvador and managed a reproductive health project for the International Rescue Committee in Azerbaijan. She promoted workers’ rights when she oversaw an occupational safety and health project at Farmworkers’ Legal Services of North Carolina. Carolina has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan and a master’s of public health from the University of North Carolina.
Jeremy Coon is the IAF representative for Bolivia and for regional initiatives in the Chaco. His grant funding takes into account the contextual historical, cultural and economic differences influencing the priorities of grassroots organizations across these three countries. Some areas of focus include support for sustainable agricultural practices for smallholdings, responsible tourism, enterprise development, legal assistance, training community leaders and inclusion of women, indigenous peoples, young people, African descendants and the disabled.
Over his 20 years of professional experience in international development, Jeremy has specialized in local economic development, micro to medium enterprises, business training, value chain finance, strategic planning and NGO capacity building. Previously, he worked with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the SEEP Network and Social Compact. He founded and supported several NGOs focused on enterprise development, health, culture and education. Jeremy was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and has worked and lived in Brazil. He holds a master's in international development, doctorate in international economic development from Tulane University and a bachelor's in economics and international relations from Boston University.
Ginger Deason is the foundation representative for Ecuador and Panama and has over 15 years of experience in grassroots community development, training and environmental education. Before joining the IAF, Ginger pursued a doctorate degree at North Carolina State University’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. Focusing on climate change and sustainable tourism, she worked with indigenous groups in southern Mexico on community-based adaptation planning for climate change. Previously she was a Field Coordinator for Heifer International, where she managed grants and sustainable agriculture projects with a focus on capacity-building within rural groups. Ginger was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and later worked for the organization in a variety of capacities in Guatemala, Ecuador and Washington, D.C. She also managed grants and programmed environmental education outreach at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Ginger holds a master's in natural resource management from North Carolina State University and a bachelor's in Spanish and Latin American studies from Auburn University.
Mary Delorey is the foundation representative for Honduras and a member of the Office of Networks and Strategic Initiatives. Before joining the IAF in 2016, she worked for over 15 years with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as a Strategic Issues Advisor in the Latin America and Caribbean region, providing technical assistance, policy analysis and strategic planning on a range of humanitarian, international development and human rights issues, particularly in the area of migration, forced displacement and human trafficking. While with CRS, Mary worked extensively with international and local partners in Latin America and other regions to identify innovative practices, promote shared learning and develop sector-specific strategies and recommendations based on the needs and aspirations of local stakeholders. Most recently she provided consultant services to a number of international organizations on forced displacement and migration in Mesoamerica, workforce development programming for at-risk youth and multi-sectoral initiatives to strengthen labor rights protection in agricultural supply chains. Earlier in her career, Mary worked in community organizing and human rights with indigenous communities in rural Peru, with street children in the United States with Covenant House and on access to basic services for homeless and marginalized communities. She has a master’s in sociology with a focus on international developmentand a master’s degree in social work in community organizing from the University of Maryland.
David Ivan Fleischer is the IAF’s representative for Brazil and Uruguay. His portfolio of grassroots development grants focuses on supporting indigenous peoples, quilombola communities and land reform. Recent projects also include several focusing on the environment and food security.
Before joining the IAF, David worked as the coordinator of the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and as the executive director of the Brazilian Studies Association. He has also worked as a consultant for the Global Environmental Facility and held several posts at the United Nations Development Programme Brazil.
David holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University at Albany-State University of New York and a master's and a bachelor's in social anthropology from the University of Brasilia. He has conducted research in environmental conservation and community development projects in Brazil and Mexico. He is currently co-editing a book on ecotourism and conservation. David also teaches a graduate course as an adjunct professor at the Elliot School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.
To know more about David and his work in Brazil, check out these videos.
Margaret Francis is the foundation representative for Argentina and Paraguay. Before joining the IAF, Margaret worked for 12 years for The Nature Conservancy, during which time she spent five years with the Amazon Program that spans six South American countries. While at the Conservancy, Margaret helped implement a program focused on agriculture, sustainable landscapes and natural resource management by indigenous communities. Prior to that Margaret worked on international development and emergency response programs throughout Latin America with the U.S. Forest Service International Programs’ Disaster Assistance Support Program, Chemonics International and Catholic Relief Services. Margaret was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras and a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil. She has a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University, a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a bachelor's in Spanish from Miami University in Ohio.
Seth Jesse is the foundation representative for Mexico at the IAF, where he has also served as representative for El Salvador. Since joining the IAF in 2007, Seth’s work has supported organizations that promote smallholder agriculture, enterprise development, the inclusion of women and young people and innovative mechanisms to incorporate Latin American diaspora into community-led development.
Before joining the IAF, Seth worked at Coprodeli, a Peruvian nonprofit, leading a micro-business incubator in marginalized communities and linking Peruvian diaspora to those efforts. He also served as a program officer for the Institute of International Education on Middle East development initiatives.
He holds a master's in Latin American studies from The George Washington University, a bachelor's from Washington and Lee University and a certificate in international migration studies from Georgetown University.
Rosemarie Moreken is the foundation representative for El Salvador, where she has also served as an evaluation specialist. Since joining the IAF in 1997, Rosemarie has worked with 16 data verifiers in 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries. She advised on improving baselines, started focus group work on migration and designed a questionnaire on the role of women in projects. Before joining the IAF, Rosemarie worked with CARE on emergency and development efforts in the Sudan, Iraq and Mozambique. She has also worked with Overseas Education Fund in Costa Rica, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and as a technical training coordinator in Paraguay. She has a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College.
Jenny Petrow recently became the IAF's representative for Colombia and Jamaica. She is also a member of the Office of Networks and Strategic Initiatives. For seven years she supported the IAF's programs in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Her prior experience includes positions at the World Bank, where she co-authored the book Raising Student Learning in Latin America, and at the Centre for Development and Population Studies in Washington, D.C., where she supported Central America programs. As a Boren Fellow in Recife, Brazil, Jenny carried out research on NGO-grassroots relationships. Jenny holds a master's in international development studies with a focus on education and training from the George Washington University and a bachelor's from Yale University. In her spare time Jenny plays the cello and maracatu, a Brazilian percussive tradition from Recife.
To hear about Jenny's development work, the Caribbean portfolio and IAF's grantee partners, check out these videos.
Juanita Roca is the foundation representative for Colombia and Chile. She is also a member of the Office of Networks and Strategic Initiatives. She coordinates the IAF’s relations with RedEAmérica, a network of corporate foundations that supports grassroots initiatives.
Before joining the IAF in 2004, Juanita worked for Conservation International as technical director for the Healthy Communities Initiative, a grant program to evaluate the link between community well-being and the environment across 18 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Her more than 20 years of professional experience in international development include stints with Doctors without Borders (Holland), OXFAM-UK/America, Bread for the World–Holland, STROMME-Denmark, Norwegian Program for Indigenous Peoples and MOVIMONDO. She is fluent in Spanish, English and French and holds a master’s in anthropology with a focus on medical anthropology from Catholic University of America. Her published works include articles about the violence in Colombia and its impact on civil society.
Sarah Stewart is the foundation representative for Honduras. Prior to joining the IAF, Sarah worked for National Audubon where she managed an Inter-American Development Bank grant to strengthen bird-watching tourism in Guatemala, Belize, Paraguay and the Bahamas. Previously she worked as a community planning and development specialist for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development managing neighborhood stabilization grants. She also worked as a middle school and high school Spanish teacher in New Jersey. Sarah has lived in eight Spanish-speaking countries for extended periods of time working or researching primarily on the topics of protected area management, conservation and ecotourism, including a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Venezuela. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College and master’s degrees in Latin American studies from UT Austin and international development from Clark University.
Jose Toasa brings more than 10 years of professional experience in the areas of economics and grassroots international development. As a foundation representative at the IAF since 2009, Jose has developed robust and innovative portfolios in Guatemala and Belize. These programs focus on bottom-up processes that promote social and economic inclusion of youth and indigenous peoples and build on the capacity and power of local groups to network and learn from one another. Thanks to Jose’s leadership, IAF grantee partners from Guatemala and Belize have been able to develop organic networks focusing on themes such as natural resource management, food security, citizen development and youth. Jose also works to facilitate links between local grassroots groups and key international players.
Prior to joining the IAF, Jose worked as an economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service where he conducted market analysis of biofuel products in Latin America. Jose was born in Ecuador and moved to the United States as an adult where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics at American University and a master's degree in economics at The George Washington University. Jose loves to travel, snowboard and play soccer.