Sandy Acosta Cox

Sandy Acosta Cox is a congressional and legislative affairs specialist at the IAF. Early in her career, Sandy worked at the U.S. House of Representatives focusing on human rights issues, under the direction of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen while Chair of the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. From there, she went on to implement democracy promotion and civil society strengthening programs in Cuba funded by the US Agency for International Development, State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and National Endowment for Democracy with organizations such as Freedom House, International Relief and Development, and others. Her expertise lies in the implementation of organizational capacity-building programs empowering community-based organizations to develop local sustainable support structures within remote and closed societies. Her work has focused on marginalized communities, such as religious minorities, rural women, persons with disabilities, those living with HIV/AIDS, and LGBT, and has worked on program development in various Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as non-permissive environments. Sandy has also managed advocacy efforts on behalf of such programs before the U.S. Congress and foreign governments, the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States’ Civil Society Forum and the United Nations Human Rights Council. Sandy also worked as Director of Media Relations for the Cuban American National Foundation, advocating on US-Cuba policy. Sandy is fluent in Spanish and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations, and a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Florida International University. She earned a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, where her thesis focused on contentious politics and social movement structures. She holds a certificate in the advanced study of nonviolent conflict from the Fletcher Summer Institute at Tufts University.