KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Manuel Hinds - Former Minister of Finance of El Salvador

Manuel Hinds is an economist and an economic consultant. He was Minister of Finance of El Salvador between 1994 and 1999. He is considered the father of dollarization because he was the one who proposed the idea in his country. He is the author of  Playing Monopoly with the Devil: Dollarization and Domestic Currencies in Developing Countries  (Yale University Press, 2006) and co-author with Benn Steil of Money, Markets and Sovereignty  (Yale University Press, 2009). Hinds is also a columnist for  El Diario de Hoy  in El Salvador. In 2010 he won the Hayek Award from the Manhattan Institute.

 María Corina Machado - Former Member of Parliament, Venezuela

María Corina Machado was born in Caracas on October 7, 1967. She is an industrial engineer from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB), with a specialization in Finance from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Administración (IESA) and fellow of the World Leaders in Public Policy and Leadership Program of Yale University. 

As a Member of Parliament, she stood out as one of the strongest and most critical voices when denouncing the institutional abuses of the regime, as well as the repression, the serious economic problems and, more recently, the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is going through. Machado participated as an independent presidential candidate in the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática primary elections held in February 2012.

In 2002, she was co-founder of SUMATE, the main non-governmental organization in charge of electoral transparency and dedicated to the promotion and defense of the political rights of citizens. Under the leadership of Machado, the volunteering of SUMATE came to add more than thirty thousand active members throughout Venezuela. In 2004, SUMATE called for a national referendum to collect signatures equivalent to a quarter of the national electorate.

In her parliamentary and political role, she represented the Venezuelan democratic struggle in several forums and countries. In March 2014, Machado spoke in the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, after the Republic of Panama gave her its right to speak to denounce the violations of the Maduro regime to human rights in Venezuela. For this reason, she was arbitrarily expelled from her position as elected Member of Parliament, by the President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello; in violation of due process and international law.

Today, Machado faces unfounded accusations of treason, terrorism, conspiracy and assassination, as well as repeated threats of imprisonment and a new ban on leaving the country since April 2014. In recent days, the threats against her have increased, linking her as political leader of an alleged military conspiracy to assassinate Nicolás Maduro.

In July 2015, in total violation of the Constitution, she was politically disabled to prohibit her from running again as Member of the National Assembly.

In 2005, she received the "Meritorious Achievement Award" from the Ballenger Foundation, in North Carolina; in October 2014, she was awarded the “2014 Charles T. Manatt” prize, of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems; in June 2015 the Cádiz City Council awarded her the “Libertad Cortes de Cádiz” prize, together with Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo López, and was recently recognized by the IESA as one of its 50 most influential fellows. In 2018, she received the Freedom Award of the Swedish International Liberal Centre (SILC) and the BBC recognized her as one of the 100 most influential women in the world. In addition, the Liberal International announced that its Freedom Prize 2019 will be for Machado, for her struggle for freedom and human rights.

Since 2017, she is a founding member, along with Antonio Ledezma and Diego Arria, and accompanied by an extensive National Council, the SoyVenezuela platform, an alliance of large sectors of the country, with international projection, committed to the rescue of the Republic and democracy in Venezuela.

María Corina Machado is the oldest of four sisters and mother of three children.

Twitter: @MariaCorinaYa

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS

Dean Ball - Manhattan Institute, United States

Dean Ball is the Director of the Adam Smith Society. In this role he oversees strategy, national and chapter-based programming, and initiatives to grow SmithSoc’s membership. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of MI’s State and Local Policy team, managing scholars covering issues such as public finance, infrastructure, K-12 education, and urban policy. In addition to his role with the Adam Smith Society, he oversees MI’s Hayek Book Prize, its Walter B. Wriston Lecture, and its MI on Campus program. He graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in History in 2014, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Luis Henrique Ball - Atlas Network, Venezuela

Mr. Ball was born in Caracas Venezuela. He attended high School in the United States and is an alumnus (B.S. in Managerial Economics) of Carnegie-Mellon University of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and holds an advanced degree from I.E.S.A. in Caracas.

Currently Mr. Ball is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GrupoCiencia and Allegheny Medical Systems LLC, Boca Raton, Florida based companies that are engaged in distribution of high-tech medical devices in a dozen Latin American countries. He is also the Founder, Publisher and owner of panampost.com, an online bi-lingual publication dedicated to news and opinion about the Americas.

Mr. Ball serves on several Board of Directors of listed and private companies in South America in the textiles, real estate and financial industries. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh, PA., the Board of Directors of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation (Atlas Network) in Washington DC, and the Board of Directors of The Liberty Fund in Indianapolis. He is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the International Foundation for Liberty (FIL) headed by Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.

He is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Choate Rosemary Hall (2006-2012), the prestigious secondary school in Connecticut, and of the Saint Andrews School in Boca Raton, FL.

A longtime member of CEAL, Consejo de Empresarios de America Latina (Latin American Business Council) and of the Advisory Council at CEDICE Libertad in Venezuela. Currently a member of WPO (World Presidents Organization), was a member of YPO since 1992. Mr. Ball is also a member of the Mont Pelerín Society. Past President of the Venezuelan Confederation on Industry, of the U.S Venezuela Business Council (CEVEU), the Latin American Industrial Association (AILA) and of the Caracas Industrialists Chamber. He was also a member of the Joint Japan – Venezuela Economic Committee (JAVEC).

Mr. Ball was until recently a regular columnist of Venezuela’s leading daily newspaper, El Universal, and his articles occasionally appeared at various newspapers in several Latin American countries. He has appeared in hundreds of interviews in print, on radio and on television in his native Venezuela and recently in a few U.S and Canadian TV networks. During 1996-1999 Mr. Ball was also one of the four private sector members of the Tripartite Commission, with the Venezuelan government and the Labor Unions, that reformed the country’s labor and Social Security legislation along reforms inspired by Chile. Mr. Ball chaired the healthcare sub-committee. This legislation was later annulled by the Chavez Government.

Mr. Ball was amongst Venezuela’s most vocal public critics of the new Venezuelan Constitution proposed (and now in force) by Hugo Chávez in 1999. At the time, Venezuela’s leading daily newspaper “El Universal” described Mr. Ball as the “mastermind” of the campaign against the approval of the new constitution in the referendum of December 15, 1999.

During the fall of 2001, Mr. Ball was named Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the first national work stoppage organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce jointly with the Federation of Trades Unions to protest against the autocratic tendencies of Hugo Chavez. In 2004 Mr. Ball was formally accused of “Civil Rebellion” and “Treason” by the National Prosecutor in Venezuela

Mr. Ball was also for many years a supporter of various institutions run by the Catholic Church in Venezuela, serving as Board Member of the Museum at the 440-year-old Cathedral of Caracas and of the Foundation for Ecclesiastic Education, which financed Venezuelan catholic seminaries. He has also served in the Advisory Boards of various institutions of higher education in Venezuela, including the Institute for Advanced Management Studies (IESA) in Caracas, Mr. Ball was also Chairman (1997 – 2000) of the Advisory Board of the Foundation for Industrial Education (FUNDEI) in Venezuela.

Jose Beteta - Peruvian Taxpayers Association, Perú

Jose has a Masters in Public Administration, is a historian, and a Social Entrepreneur who specializes in the direction of non-profit organizations and think tanks in Latin America, as well as the design, communication, and the promotion of public policy reforms. He also has 14 years of experience in fundraising, leading teams, and institutions which plan sustainable research & development projects, in partnership with both, private and public sectors.

Gerardo Bongiovanni - Fundación Libertad, Argentina

Gerardo Bongiovanni is President of the Fundacion Libertad, created in Rosario, Argentina, in 1988. He is also President of the Freedom Network that brings together Think Tanks from the interior of Argentina.

Pancho Búrquez - Ola Libertad, Mexico

Pancho Búrquez is a businessman and, sometimes, he is involved in politics. He is an industrial engineer and a MBA. He was President of COPARMEX-Noroeste, Mayor of Hermosillo (Sonora), President of the Sonora Council for Investment Promotion and the only libertarian Senator in the history of Mexico.

In the Senate, Pancho presented bills for a single flat tax, to enshrine the Right of Private Property in the Constitution, to establish a nationwide school vouchers system, to eliminate all tariffs and other trade restrictions, a Constitutional amendment for a balanced budget, among others. Currently he is an entrepreneur in the aeronautical sector and President of OLA LIBERTAD. A citizen’s platform to promote freedom and to tackle down the government size and powers.

Antonio Caparrós - INICIA Education Fund, Dominican Republic

Antonio Caparrós is the Executive Director of the INICIA Education Fund, an impact investment fund aimed at investing in the factors that most influence the improvement of the Dominican educational system, and quantifying the result and the value generated through its indicators. Mr. Caparrós is an Industrial Engineer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra of Santo Domingo, graduated from the Harvard Business School PLDA and ICADE MBA. Prior to joining INICIA Education Fund, he worked in the international division of Grupo SM as COO / CFO in the Dominican Republic, and later as Deputy General Manager in Colombia.

Professor Walter Castro - Fundación Libertad, Argentina

Walter Castro holds a PhD in Economics from ESEADE University Institute; a Master in Economics from the same institution and a Master in Business Administration from Universidad del CEMA. He is a Certified Public Accountant with a degree from the National University of Rosario (UNR). He has been Ordinary Associate Professor of Graduate and Postgraduate studies for more than 25 years at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA Rosario), where he also coordinates the Chair of Economics. He is in charge of Academic Affairs at Fundación Libertad. He also serves as coordinator of the "Ideas de Libertad" Program, co-organized with the Liberty Fund of the United States. He is Professor of Institutions in Economics of the University of the Latin American Educational Center. In addition, he is a Tenured Graduate Professor by Contest at the UNR, and dictates the subject "Macroeconomics" in the Master of Business Management of the Faculty of Engineering. In 2017 he was appointed Associate Professor at UCA. Having already served more than 25 years in specialized journalism, he currently hosts his radio program "El Regreso" on a daily basis on CNN Radio Rosario, and participates weekly as an economic columnist for a television program broadcast by Cablevisión.

Since 1992 he has been a Founding Partner of "Castro y Fernández", a consultancy specialized in business re-engineering and consulting.

Pedro De Cesaro - Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Brazil

Pedro De Cesaro is President of the Fórum da Liberdade (Liberty Forum) and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (IEE). Fórum da Liberdade is one of the largest free-society meeting in the world, putting together more than 6,500 people, more than 630,000 online and 44 million impressions on social media. Pedro, holds a degree in business administration and marketing, with an MBA in Financial Management, Auditing and Controlling. He has international financial planning certification (CFP®) by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) and is currently a wealth management advisor.

Mercedes Colombres - Libertad y Progreso, Argentina

Mercedes Colombres was born in Tucumán, Argentina in 1980. In 2014 she joined Libertad y Progreso as Press Officer, after spending two years working as a communications consultant in the Parliament, for the opposition party in Kirchner Government (2012-2014).

Previously she was journalist at La Nacion, the second largest journal in the country, during the three governments of the Kirchners (2004-2012). In La Nacion she wrote about agricultural and economic policies, intervention to markets, and the conflict between agricultural leaders and the Kirchners in 2008.

Mercedes was awarded with Banco Galicia Prize (2005) and Adepa Prize (2006) for her articles. In 2006 she served as Argentina’s representative in the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists. Between 2012 and 2017 she was a communications consultant for Argentina Angus Asociation, Hereford Breed Asociation, Argentrigo Wheat Association, CREA Asociation, and worked in 2012 for the famous radio journalist Marcelo Longobardi in agricultural affairs.

From 2008 – 2017 she also was part of Bichos de Campo, a radio and TV show on agricultural policies. From 2012 to 2015 she worked for the lobbying political group GAPU, who gathered all the opposition to the Kirchners to draft a new bill on agricultural matters for the new government. That was the seed that ended in a substantial lowering of taxes in December 2015, by the new government of Mauricio Macri. This experience drove Mercedes to the Labor Ministry, where she worked in the reconstruction of the new labor statistics that the government launched after years of false statistics promoted by the Kirchners. Currently, besides from being part of Libertad y Progreso team she hosts, along with journalist Ricardo Bindi, the political show Nueva Ola, via Agrositio.com, and is a free-lance consultant in communication and social media. 

Garret Edwards - Fundación Libertad, Argentina

Garret Edwards is an Argentine lawyer with a degree from Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR), and with a specialization in Educational Management. He is Director of Legal Research at Fundación Libertad (Rosario, Argentina), and professor of Philosophy of Law at Universidad del Centro Educativo Latinoamericano (UCEL). He is both an Atlas Network’s TTMBA alumnus and has been a Smith Fellow. He also hosts and participates on several radio and TV shows, and regularly publishes on both national and international media outlets. He currently hosts “Tal y Cual” on CNN Rosario.

Agustín Etchebarne - Libertad y Progreso, Argentina

Agustín Etchebarne (General Director of Libertad y Progreso) is an economist specialized in economic development, strategic marketing and international markets. He was an economics professor at the University of Buenos Aires and ESEADE and currently teaches at the University of Belgrano. He is a member of Red Liberal de Latinoamerica (RELIAL) and the Ethics and Political Economy Institute of the Nation Academy of Political and Moral Sciences. He was a founder of Delphos Investment and C&E Consulting. Etchebarne also served as president of the Republic Investment Management, fund manager at Fondos Aleph and executive at Techint and Medsystem. He was president and founder of Ciudadanos por el Cambio, executive director of Democracia Directa and founder and director of Foro Republicano.

Dr. Frederic J. Fransen - Certell, Inc., United States

Frederic J. Fransen is the CEO of Certell, Inc. an educational non-profit based in Indianapolis. Founded in 2015, Certell is the culmination of many years of developing high quality, multimedia, online educational tools. Certell works with content creators as an umbrella organization to develop, market, and distribute courses and course content across the U.S. and around the world.Fred earned a Ph.D. in Social Thought from the University of Chicago in 1996. His career has been dedicated to improving the ability of people around the world to live prosperous and free lives by increasing their educational opportunities. He has worked with leading scholars in economics, politics, philosophy, law, literature and other fields to advance this work.

Charlie Fritschner - Thatch Films, United States

Charlie Fritschner is a Chicago based filmmaker working in documentary, commercial and broadcast production. He is drawn to characters who live at the intersection of ingenuity and rebellion, and with his storytelling he aims to provoke rather than convert. Charlie loves open water, old t-shirts and crispy waffles

Emma Garcia-Prieto - FUSADES, El Salvador

Emma has a BA in Political Science and a Master’s degree in International Relations, both from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. After 7 years abroad, Emma returned to El Salvador and joined the FUSADES team as CREO’s Director. Founded in 2009, CREO is a program for young Salvadorans between the ages of 18 and 35 who seek to strengthen their leadership through the education in liberal, democratic and republican principles. Founded in 1983, FUSADES is ranked as the leading think tank in Central America and among the leading think tanks in Latin America. As part of her role in FUSADES, Emma oversees the institution’s Digital Communication efforts. Through her job, Emma has been working to inform young adults about what is happening in the country and how it affects them; motivate to express themselves; participate in the country’s processes and become active citizens.

Enrique Ghersi - Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Legales, Peru

Enrique Ghersi is a professor of Law & Economics at Lima's Catholic University and The University of Lima. He is also a visiting professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquín (Guatemala) and Honorary Professor of Universidad Laica Vicente Rocarfuerte (Guayaquil) and Honorary Professor of Universidad César Vallejo (Trujillo). Honoris Causa Doctor in Social Sciencies at Francisco Marroquin University {Guatemala) and Adjunt Scholar of Cato lnstitute {Washington D.C.} and member of Mont Pelerin Society, Philadelphia Society and The Latin American Law & Economics Association. Co-author of the book “The Other Path” with Hernando de Soto and Mario Ghibellini. Former Congressman for Lima.

Lara Goldmark - Just Results, United States

Lara Goldmark is CEO of Just Results, a start-up designed to disrupt the international development industry. She was formerly Vice President for Economic Growth for DAI, Director of Private Sector Innovations for FHI 360, and private sector project team leader for the Inter-American Development Bank. Her 29-year career includes residence in Brazil, Morocco, and Costa Rica; short-term work in 20+ countries, and founding two companies prior to Just Results. Lara has taught Master’s courses at the Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities and published books and articles on microfinance, workforce development, and jobs.

Ricardo Gomes - Red Liberal de América Latina (RELIAL), Brazil

Ricardo Gomes is President of RELIAL - Liberal Network of Latin America, organization that gathers libertarian think tanks and political parties from the region. He is a city Councilor and former  Secretary of Economic Development of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Gomes holds a Law degree from the Ponthifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) and a Specialist degree in Labor Law from the same University. For more than a decade he was managing partner of a distinguished Law Firm in Porto Alegre. Gomes is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society since 2013. He was President of the Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies (IEE), entity that organizes the Liberty Forum in Porto Alegre, the most important libertarian event in Latin America, gathering around 6,000 attendees in two days. He is a member of the board of several institutions, in Brazil and abroad.

Mónika Melo Guerrero - Instituto OMG, Dominican Republic

Graduated magna cum laude from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), Santo Domingo in 1994, she obtained a Master in Corporate Law and Economic Legislation from the same university in 1998. In addition, she has completed various postgraduate courses, among them “Emerging Telecommunications Technologies” offered by TPG Technologies (1999), “Telecommunications Regulation” by the International Telecommunication Union (2000), “Mergers and Acquisitions” by Euromoney in New York (2004), as well as “Academic Course on International Trademark Law” offered by The John Marshall Law School of Chicago (2005). She also completed postgraduate studies in Strategic Planning and Entertainment Law in 2010. Ms. Melo specializes in regulatory law with concentration in social security, securities, financial regulation, electricity and telecommunications, as well as intellectual property, licensing, geographical indications and entertainment law. She has collaborated on the review and modification of various related preliminary law drafts such as the new cinema law, the commercial restructuring law, regulation fort the securities market and for competition, among others, and has also written publications related to these topics. She is a member of the Asocación Dominicana de la Propiedad Intelectual (ADOPI) and the International Trademark Association (INTA), and has been appointed member of INTA’s Geographical Indications Subcommittee of the Related Rights Committee for 2010-2013 and recently appointed as member of the Development of Rights Subcommittee of the Emerging Issues Committee for 2014-2015. She is also an active member of the Legal Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic. She is fluent in English and Spanish, and has extensive knowledge of French.

Rocío Marina Guijarro - CEDICE Libertad, Venezuela

Rocío has a degree in Philosophy, a master's in business administration (MBA), is an alumni of Atlas Network's TTMBA program, and is an Intellectual Entrepreneur. Additionaly, she is the General Manager of Cedice Libertad,a think tank in Venezuela. 

Axel Kaiser - Fundación para el Progreso, Chile

Axel Kaiser is a lawyer with a Master of Arts and a PhD from Heidelberg University, Germany. He is the co founder and executive director Fundación para el Progreso in Santiago de Chile and the director of the Friedrich Hayek Chair at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez. He is an opinion columnist and a best selling author.  

Randy Hicks - Georgia Center for Opportunity, United States

Randy Hicks is the president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO), an independent, non-partisan organization in Georgia. GCO conducts public policy research and mobilizes community resources with the goal of removing barriers to opportunity to the most vulnerable in our society. With Randy’s leadership, GCO has helped to improve access to quality education for low-income children, promote stronger families, boost adoption safety, and increase employment opportunities for people leaving prison as well as other chronically underemployed individuals.

Beltrán Gómez Híjar - Instituto Político para la Libertad, Perú

Beltrán Gómez Híjar is co-founder and vice-President of the Political Institute for Freedom (IPL-Peru). He is a political scientist and has a Masters in Administration and Social Management from the National University Federico Villarreal (Peru). Additionally, he is a lecturer on political issues, currently a department politician of the Embassy of Japan in Peru and a teacher at the Professional School of Science Politics of the National University of San Marcos (Lima).

Maximilian Holst - México Evalúa, Mexico

Maximilian Holst is a security policy researcher at México Evalúa. He is a specialist in the analysis and evaluation of public policies and has previously worked as a consultant. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the UB School of Economics of the University of Barcelona in Spain and his research has been published in specialized economic journals. Maximilian also carried out research stays at the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Chile and at the National Public Policy Laboratory of CIDE in Mexico City. In addition to his work at Mexico Evalúa, he is also an assistant professor at Universidad Anáhuac México. 

Martín Krause - University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Martín Krause is a Chair Professor of Economics at the Law School, University of Buenos Aires, the largest university in the country, where he is also a professor at the School of Economics. He teaches Political Economy at the first, and History of Economic Thought at the second. He is a Visiting Professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala, and at OMMA-Ayau, an online program offering graduate courses based in Madrid, Spain. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society, he is also an Adjunct Scholar with the Cato Institute from Washington, D.C.; and a member of the Academic Council of Fundación Libertad y Progreso, a think tank in Buenos Aires.

Dr. Roberto Salinas León - Atlas Network, Mexico

Dr. Roberto Salinas León is well-positioned to elevate the work of Atlas Network and its partners in Latin America. He is currently President of the Mexico Business Forum, as well as the President of Alamos Alliance, which was described glowingly in Forbes in 2013 as “one of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman’s favorite retreats,” with Roberto Salinas León noted as “a major driving force of efforts for free markets.”

Roberto Salinas León holds a B.A. in political economy, history and philosophy from Hillsdale College, Michigan; and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University, Indiana.

He has been an Adjunct Professor and Visiting Professor of Political Economy at the Escuela Libre de Derecho (1989-2002), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1989-1992) and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, in Mexico City (since 2004). He was also a Visiting Professor of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, in Guatemala (1997).

He is currently Senior Debate Fellow and Debate Lecturer at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, and an Adjunct Scholar of the Cato Institute. He has organized a number of the most important policy and academic forums in the past 25 years in Mexico, including the annual Mexico roundtable of The Economist Group, which he directed from 1997 until 2009.

He has published more than 2,000 editorials (English and Spanish) on public policy topics, including op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal, The Journal of Commerce, Investor’s Business Daily, Barrons, and others. He was a weekly editorial columnist in El Economista, from 1993 to 2011 and now published occasional op-ed’s in different media outlets. He is an occasional commentator for CNN, CNN Latinamerica, CNCB, BBC, and others; and is a weekly commentator on economics and global finance in AND 40, in Mexico City.

He has delivered over 900 lectures in Mexico and the U.S., Canada, several countries in Central and South America, and throughout Europe and Asia. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on three occasions – on NAFTA and free trade, structural reform in Mexico, and monetary and exchange rate policy.

Sary Levy-Carciente - Academia Nacional de Ciencias Económicas (ANCE), Venezuela

Sary Levy-Carciente is an economist with a Doctorate in Development Studies, a Master's Degree in International Economy and, Specialization in Cs. Administrative. She is also the director of the National Academy of Economic Sciences in Venezuela and professor of the Central University of Venezuela, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Cs. Economic and Social. Additionally, she was a Fullbright Visiting Scholar of the Center for Polymer Studies (Boston University) and the Dept. of Economics (UMASS). She is responsible for the calculation and analysis of the International Index of Property Rights, is as a business consultant, and has been a speaker at various meetings as an academic and a professional.

Nicholas Lindquist - American Conservation Coalition, United States

Nick is the National Policy Director at the American Conservation Coalition and a recent graduate from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY, where he obtained his B.S. in Marketing and Management. He plans on continuing his education by obtaining an MBA. At 19, Nick founded a tech company, using the skills he learned as a DECA officer and business consultant to produce and enable strategic visions to create success. In the business world, he is currently a marketing consultant for a myriad of thriving organizations. Politics and public policy have become a growing passion for Nick as well. He has developed a well-rounded knowledge of public policy, especially in the energy and environmental arena. Nick hopes to combine his passion for business and passion for politics to create a driving force for change.

Brad Lips - Atlas Network, United States

Brad Lips is the chief executive officer of Atlas Network, which increases opportunity and prosperity by strengthening a global network of independent civil society organizations that promote individual freedom and remove barriers to human flourishing. In the decade since he became CEO, the budget of Atlas Network has more than doubled and the scope of its programs has extended worldwide. Lips is a member of the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Templeton Religion Trust. He serves on the boards of directors of the American Friends of the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Institute of Economic Studies—Europe. As a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, Lips chaired the Organizing Committee of its General Meeting in 2016. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 1998, Lips co-founded an Internet start-up, conducted equity research for Smith Barney, Inc., and worked in a policy research capacity for the Progress & Freedom Foundation. He has spoken on five continents on solutions to poverty, and his work has been published in Regulation, National Review Online, Investor's Business Daily, The Daily Caller, Forbes, Fox News, American Spectator, American Thinker, and RealClearPolitics. Lips received his MBA from the Giozueta Business School of Emory University and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Brad lives with his wife, Stephanie, and their four children in Falls Church, Virginia.  

Rómulo López - Atlas Network, United States

Romulo is an economist from Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala and holds a M.A. in business from ITESM Monterrey (Mexico). Originally from Guayaquil, he is a proud husband and father. A technology enthusiast, Romulo has held several positions at Atlas Network since 2001. Romulo is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Felix Maradiaga - Fundación Libertad, Nicaragua

Felix Maradiaga is a Nicaraguan academic, human rights defender and social entrepreneur, currently recognized as one of the main opposition voices to the Ortega regime. After serving as Secretary General of Nicaragua’s Ministry of Defense (2002 – 2006), Felix dedicated himself to strengthening democracy, human rights and freedom in his country. He is Founder and Chairman of Fundación Libertad—a free- market think tank based in Nicaragua—and executive director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policies (IEEPP, one of the top think tanks in Latin America according to the U-Penn Global Think Tank Index) and has previously led several civil society organizations. He is a widely published author on Central American Affairs and holds master’s degrees in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and in Renewable Energy Engineering from the University of Barcelona. Felix is a member of the World Economic Forum and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. In 2016, Forbes Magazine named him one of Central America’s most influential people.

Antonella Marty - Latin American Fellow at Atlas Network, Argentina

Antonella Marty works at the Argentinian Parliament as a public policy advisor for the party bloc Propuesta Republicana (PRO). She is also a researcher at Fundación Libertad (Rosario, Argentina), and a specialist in Latin America. Antonella published two books (The Intellectual Populist Dictatorship, 2015; and What Every Socialist of the 21st Century Should Know, 2018). She has a Degree in International Relations.

Pablo Arosemena Marriott - Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce, Ecuador

PhD in Economics ESEADE. Master in Finance Adolfo Ibañez University and ESADE. Master in Politics Rey Juan Carlos University and Francisco de Vitoria University. Leadership Diploma Georgetown. Young Global Leader 2017-2022, World Economic Forum. President of the National Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Ecuador. President of the Chamber of Commerce of Guayaquil and the Professional Development Institute (IDEPRO). He has served as Professor of Business Environment Analysis in the MBA of ESPAE and UCSG. Co-author with Pablo Lucio Paredes of “La culpa es de las vacas flacas: ahorro, comercio, empleo y futuro”. He is founder of a consulting firm “Inteligencia Empresarial” and businessman in the commerce and service sectors.

Michael Mehling - MIT Center for Energy & Environmental Policy Research, United States

Michael Mehling is Deputy Director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research and a Professor of Law at the University of Strathclyde and. Previously, Michael served as founder and President of Ecologic Institute in Washington DC, and has held research and teaching appointments at Georgetown University and the Universities of Greifswald, Helsinki and Constance. In these roles, he has led research and advisory projects for various international organizations as well as government agencies in more than a dozen countries. Michael has written extensively on energy and environmental policy, is Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed quarterly Carbon & Climate Law Review, and was a contributing author to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is also an Associate Researcher with the Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) at the University of Cambridge, a Member of Climate Strategies in London, a Manager of the Konrad-von-Moltke Fund in Berlin, and a Member of the Boards of Ecologic Institute in Berlin and Washington DC, the Blockchain Climate Institute (BCI) in London, and the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST) in Brussels.

Carlos Augusto Chacón Monsalve - Centro de Estudios Libertad y Paz, Colombia

Carlos Augusto Chacón Monsalve was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia on April 12, 1982 and is a Lawyer of the Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga, Master in National Security and Defense of the Escuela Superior de Guerra of Colombia, Master in Political and International Studies of the Universidad del Rosario. Former fellow of the European Parliament in Brussels. In 2018, together with his wife Luisa Fernanda Sierra, they created the Centro de Estudios Libertad y Paz. With 15 years of experience in issues of development and regulatory harmonization, management and parliamentary diplomacy, political control and legislative technical assistance. He has served as Deputy Secretary of Political Affairs of the Andean Parliament. Since 2008 he has served as Technical Secretary in the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly -EUROLAT and since 2016 he has been the Co-secretary of the Security Working Group, Fight against Organized and Transnational Crime, and Terrorism.

Libertad y Paz is a Think Tank with the mission to promote knowledge and contribute to the debate and decision-making process of strategic ideas intended to build a free, pacific, safe and prosperous society. A society founded on the supreme and indivisible value of individual and economic freedoms, inalienable to all human beings and a society which guarantees the outmost respect to life, private property and freedom. We promote and defend free markets, private initiatives and voluntary exchanges, as power units to generate wealth and overcome poverty.  All of this within a legal and institutional framework, governed by the rule of law, the division of powers, accountability, equality under the law, a limited and reduced government, diminution of public spending and indebtedness. 

David Nott - Reason Foundation, United States

David Nott advances “free minds and free markets” as president and CEO of Reason Foundation in Los Angeles, California.

Since 2001, under Nott’s leadership, Reason has dramatically increased its visibility and impact. Reason’s award-winning, original journalism has been aptly described by The New York Post as “kick-ass” and “no-holds barred.” Reason’s innovative public policy research has led the world in privatization, “having the most direct impact on the actual functioning of government” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Drew Carey Project and ReasonTV are at the frontier of Internet video journalism, featuring prominent guests including Larry King, Jake Tapper, Steven Pinker, Jordan Peterson, Ai Wei Wei, and more.

Nott’s op-eds have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Daily News, and other publications. He has written on privatization for the Institute of Economic Affairs. He is executive producer of the documentary “America’s Longest War.”

Prior to Reason Foundation, Nott worked at George Mason University for seven years as president of both the Institute for Humane Studies and Mercatus Center. Out of college, Nott became a Senior Reservoir Engineer for Shell Oil Company’s California subsidiaries.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Economics and Petroleum Engineering, with distinction, from Stanford University.

Dr. Tom G. Palmer - Atlas Network, USA

Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. On Nov. 10, 2016, Dr. Tom G. Palmer was named the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty at Atlas Network. He is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and director of Cato University. Before joining Cato, he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, as well as the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism(2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), Peace, Love & Liberty (2014), and Self-Control or State Control? You Decide (2016). Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Guillermo Peña - Fundación Eléutera, Honduras

Guillermo Peña is Chairman and Founder of Fundación Eléutera, based in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. His academic background is in Political Science and Economics, focused on Public Choice and risk assessment for investment in Central America. Privately, he advises companies entering or expanding in the Central American region, and structures new investment projects. He is also the managing partner for Blackbeard Media Group, a digital marketing and strategy agency founded in 2016.

Rod Richardson - Grace Richardson Fund, United States

Rod Richardson is President of Grace Richardson Fund, a private foundation that pioneers new free market solutions for critical issues in gridlock. A strategy of collaborative policy innovation led Rod to co-found the Clean Capitalist Coalition, a group of think tanks and scholars exploring outside-the-box, laissez-faire policy solutions that reduce tax, trade, regulatory and market barriers, to accelerate innovation and deployment for clean free enterprise. He also co-founded the Clean Capitalist Leadership Council, a group of clean capitalists, conservation conservatives and environmental donors lending advice and support to this work. In 2015 GRF invited policy makers to collaborate on exploring a powerful new class of “liberdynamic-lift” policies – Clean Tax Cuts – that could be designed by targeting tax barriers, applying traditional supply side tax rate cuts to increasingly profitable clean free enterprise, to accelerate clean capital flows (both human and financial) without the downsides of either current subsidies or punitive pollution taxes or regulations. In 2018, Clean Free Market proposals expanded that exploration to include trade and market based barriers, aiming to mobilize huge global private capital markets by maximizing economic freedoms for clean free enterprise.  As a columnist for The American Spectator, Rod makes the case that clean capitalism and basic economic freedoms go hand-in-hand, and can best be expanded, together, side by side.  These new concepts and proposals have been developed collaboratively by transpartisan expert-level “charrette” working groups and teams, convening, more than 300 scholars and experts to explore and shape these proposals.  Since 2016, such policy design discussions have been co-convened by a variety of groups, including: Living Room Conversations; The Jack Kemp Foundation; Rocky Mountain Institute; The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia University; R Street Institute, American Sustainable Business Council; The Nature Conservancy; Earth Day Texas; American Renewable Energy Institute, ASU LightWorks, and this year, by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum; American Council for Capital Formation; Atlas Network, Center for Latin America; and MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (MIT CEEPR).  Rod’s current work is strongly influenced by innovative grant making strategies he helped oversee during his service as a Governor of the Smith Richardson Foundation, starting in the Reagan era.  

David Schmidtz - University of Arizona, United States/Canada

David Schmidtz (http://davidschmidtz.com) is Kendrick Professor of Philosophy, Eller Chair of Service-Dominant Logic, founding Director of the Center for Philosophy of Freedom, founder of the Department of Political Economy & Moral Sciences, and editor in chief of Social Philosophy & Policy, at the University of Arizona.  Arizona is the #1 ranked program in the world in political philosophy, and Social Philosophy & Policy (published by Cambridge Press) has the largest subscriber base in the field. 

Gonzalo Schwarz - Archbridge Institute, USA

Gonzalo is the President & CEO of the Archbridge Institute, a think tank working to lift barriers to human flourishing, focusing exclusively on social mobility, inequality and poverty reduction. Growing up around the world in Uruguay, Israel, Ecuador, and Bolivia, Gonzalo saw poverty firsthand and wondered how to get individuals on the path to prosperity. After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics at the Catholic University of Bolivia and his master’s in economics from George Mason University, he began his life’s work of reducing poverty. While forming the idea to start the Archbridge Institute, Gonzalo Schwarz was working as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Atlas Network. During his six years at Atlas, he managed key projects including the Leveraging Indices for Free Enterprise Reform program, the Templeton Freedom Award and the Latin American program. He also participated as an instructor in various Atlas Network training programs and is currently a Latin American Fellow with the Atlas Center for Latin America. 

Ernesto Selman - Centro Regional de Estrategias Economicas Sostenibles (CREES), Dominican Republic

He has a degree in Economics from the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC), with a master's degree in Economic Policy Management from the Columbia University in New York. He completed post-graduate degrees in international finance and project evaluation at Georgetown University and at the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID), respectively.

He has worked as a Consultant in the International Financial Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank; Alternate Executive Director for Mexico and the Dominican Republic at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Administrative Vice President and Broadband at Centennial Dominicana; Economic Advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (BCRD); and, General Director of Nexus RD. As Executive Vice President of the Regional Center for Sustainable Economic Strategies (CREES) he leads the only center of economic thought and research in the Dominican Republic that promotes a free and prosperous society based on work, ethics and economic freedom.

He is a university professor, teaching subjects of International Economy, Political Economy and Economy for Business, among others. He has taught regular classes at the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC), the Pontifical Catholic University Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) and guest professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE). He has published dozens of articles in different newspapers of national circulation on various topics in the social sciences: economics, internal and international politics, sociology and history, among others.

Dr. Lyall Swim - Atlas Network, USA

Dr. Lyall Swim is the vice president of training and events at Atlas Network. In his role, Lyall provides leadership for the entire suite of Atlas Network training offerings. For the past 17 years, he has engaged with more than 20,000 adult learners in dozens of organizations around the world. His focus has been to build increased leadership and operational capacity and enable organizations to successfully navigate various forms of change. He is a sought after speaker on ethics, leadership, innovation adoption, and education innovation. As the director of operations for Sutherland Institute, Lyall helped lead a redesign of the organization that enabled the Institute to better leverage the strengths of each staff member and increase the profile and influence of the Institute in Utah. Lyall holds a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis in organization leadership from Pepperdine University. He also holds a bachelor’s in communications and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University. His research and writing on leadership, ethics, education reform, adult learning, and innovation adoption have been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals and various local and national outlets. Above all, Lyall enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three teenage children.

María Teresa Romero - Ambassador to Guatemala from the Government of Venezuela Acting President Juan Guaidó, Venezuela

Maria is a journalist with a Master's and Doctorate in Political Sciences and International Relations (University of Pittsburgh, United States, and at the Central University of Venezuela, UCV). She is a retired professor from the School of International Studies at the UCV, she has also been a teacher and researcher at several foreign universities, such as the University of Salamanca in Spain, and John Fisher College, Miami Dade College, Johns Hopkins University and Florida International University in the USA. She has had a long career as a journalist, analyst and political consultant, and is the author of several books and specialized articles on Venezuelan and Latin American foreign policy, as well as three political biographies. Her more recent publication is titled "The Fight that does not finish: political life of Rafael Guerra Ramos" (2017). She currently serves as Director of the International Institute for Democracy in the United States and has been appointed by the Venezuelan National Assembly as ambassador in Guatemala.

Armando Regil Velasco - i2Co: School of Transformative Leadership, México

Armando is Founder, President and CEO of i2Co: School of Transformative Leadership; whose mission is to inspire and accelerate leaders through transformational learning experiences. i2Co School aims to bring game changing innovation processes that lead to creative solutions for civil society, business and governments to help achieve systemic change and more citizen centered outcomes.

Since 2008, Armando is Founder & President of Instituto de Pensamiento Estratégico Ágora A.C. IPEA (Agora Institute for Strategic Thinking), the first Mexican “think” and “do” tank that identifies, trains and connects young leaders with decision makers empowering them to become agents of change. In 2012 he founded Un millón de jóvenes por México (One million youth for Mexico), the largest Mexican youth independent network. In 2016 Armando founded ELEGIR: Observatorio de Libertad Económica y Política (ELEGIR: Observatory of Economic and Political Freedom).

He studied International Business at Tec de Monterrey (graduated with honors), Economics and Public Policy at Georgetown University where he attended the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program sponsored by Georgetown University Latin American Board, Systems Leadership and Systems Transformation at Stanford University and Creative Leadership at THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam. Armando has participated in different seminars at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, Escuela Superior de Economía y Administración de Empresas in Buenos Aires, Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala, The Leadership Institute in Virginia, Acton University in Michigan and Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Washington D.C.

In 2010, Armando was selected as one of ten potential leaders by American Express and has been speaker at TEDxDF (2010) and TEDxMexicoCity (2016). He is alumni member of the Global Shapers Community – Mexico City Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. He was selected among the 50 Global Shapers from around the world to attend the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos 2016 (Davos 50) where he launched: #LetsBe1One Global Campaign. He attended the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils in Dubai 2017.

Armando is member of the Experts Network of the World Economic Forum and Geopolitical Intelligence Services, founded by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein. In 2017 he became Concordia Ambassador as a member of the Young Professionals Program (YP).

Armando is an op-ed columnist in El País, El Economista, CNN México, Forbes México and Expansión. He has published two books: La respuesta eres tú (You are the answer – 2006) and Un millón de jóvenes por México (One million youngsters for Mexico – 2012).

Ian Vásquez - Cato Institute, United States

Ian Vásquez is the director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. His articles have appeared in newspapers throughout the United States and Latin America, and he is a columnist at El Comercio (Peru). Vásquez has appeared on CNBC, NBC, C-SPAN, CNN, Telemundo, Univisión, and Canadian Television, as well as National Public Radio and Voice of America, discussing foreign policy and development issues.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and his master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is the co-author of The Human Freedom Index, editor of Global Fortune: The Stumble and Rise of World Capitalism and coeditor of Perpetuating Poverty: The World Bank, the IMF and the Developing World. He has testified numerous times in the U.S. Congress on economic development issues.

Vásquez has been a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a member of the Mont Pèlerin Society.

Gustavo Velez - Center for Economic Renewal, Excellence and Growth, Puerto Rico

Gustavo has a BA and master's degree in economics from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus with 20 years of professional experience, including an economic advisor for two governors. 

He is the founder and current President of Inteligencia Económica Inc. a consulting firm based in San Juan, that advises local and multinational firms. 

Vélez is a contributor for several media outlets, including CNN en Español, is a permanent columnist for business issues at El Nuevo Día and produces and co-moderates "Tu Dinero Seguro" a radio program that airs every Saturday in WKAQ 580. 

In May 2019, he coauthored the study “PR’s Freedom Economic Index based on the Heritage Foundation Methodology”. The report was commissioned by Centro para Renovación Económica Crecimiento y Excelencia (CRECE).  

Vélez is also the author of several books, including "Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities", (2015) and "Puerto Rico’s Economic Reinvention: A road map for economic development" (2012).  

Mariela Vicini - Fundacion de Corazon a Corazon, Dominican Republic

After studying economics at INTEC in the Dominican Republic, Mariela Vicini was co-owner and co-director of Rattan Decoraciones, a furniture factory. She is currently on the Board of Centro Medico de Diabetes, a Day Hospital. She is founder of De Corazon a Corazon, a philanthropic foundation; she is also member of the Boards of Inicia Education.

Matt Warner - Atlas Network, USA

Matt Warner is president and senior fellow of Atlas Network. Under the direction of the CEO, he is responsible for strategy, programming, and personnel management. Matt also leads the development of a research agenda to further demonstrate the invaluable role of think tanks in achieving freedom around the world. Matt writes, speaks, and consults internationally on the topics of economics, institution building, nonprofit management, measurement, and impact philanthropy. Matt coined the term "the outsider's dilemma" to describe the challenge of helping low-income countries develop without inadvertently and perversely getting in the way of their most viable paths to prosperity. His work has appeared in Cato Journal, Forbes, Harvard's Education Next, Real Clear Markets, Foundation for Economic Education, EconTalk, and Washington Times, among others. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 2010, Matt served in various policy leadership positions at nonprofit think tanks with a focus on energy, education, and property rights. Matt has a master's degree in economics from George Mason University and is certified by Georgetown University in organizational development consulting. 

Matt and his wife Chrissy, an attorney, live in Vienna, Virginia with their four children. 

Rafael Rincón-Urdaneta Zerpa - Fundación para el Progreso, Chile

Rafael Rincón-Urdaneta Zerpa is a Chilean business manager, opinion columnist and consultant of Venezuelan origin. He is currently Director of Strategy and Global Affairs at Fundación para el Progreso (FPP), one of the most influential pro-free society think tanks in Chile and Latin America. His main areas of work are trends, strategy, leadership and diplomacy. He also focuses on the technological revolution, security & defense, Islamic terrorism, counterterrorism and the Middle East affairs. He is one of the founders of the Václav Havel Project at FPP. He holds a master’s degree in International Relations and a Ph.D. in American Studies. Rafael speaks Arabic, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.