Each year, abc* identifies young leaders (abc* Fellows) in a wide variety of fields, from finance and business to the arts and government, who are particularly suited to contribute to the different initiatives we undertake and can further complement and enrich the hemispheric talent pool and network of abc* fellows.

Equivalently, the abc* serves as a networking hub for these emerging leaders, giving them access to established leaders and promoting lasting relationships which prove critical in making positive, long lasting change happen, while assisting the fellows to further advance their personal skills and careers.

Co-sponsored by the Americas Business Council Foundation (ABC) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the fellows meet once a year during the IDB’s annual conference. 2010 will mark the sophomore annual meeting for the group. During this meeting the fellows enjoy a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with today’s key business figures and policy-makers in order to discuss the most pressing issues affecting the hemisphere, foster relationships and share ideas. These bonds provide fertile ground for innovative thinking and fresh solutions that will shape, define and redefine policy


DERRICK ASHONG, musician, activist, entrepreneur

Native Ghanaian Derrick Ashong, known to many as DNA, is the globally savvy voice of a new generation. The Harvard-educated musician, broadcaster, actor and media personality has dedicated his life to building bridges between business, media, technology, government and contemporary concerns. Dubbed a “YouTube phenom” by The New York Times, DNA is the television host of “The Stream” on Al Jazeera English (stream.aljazeera.com). The show integrates new and traditional media, tapping into the extraordinary potential of social media to disseminate news. DNA is also the host of “The Derrick Ashong Experience”, a weekly radio mash-up of politics, pop culture, social media, music and the arts which can be heard on Oprah Radio (XM 111/Sirius 204 and Oprah.com).

BEN CASNOCHA, entrepreneur and author

Internationally recognized entrepreneur and writer, Ben Casnocha, is author of the bestselling business book, “My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley”, which The New York Times called “precocious, informative and entertaining.” At age 14, Casnocha founded Comcate, Inc., an e-government software company that now serves thousands of local government employees in the U.S. A prolific blogger, Casnocha’s impact has been lauded by PoliticsOnline and BusinessWeek as well as featured on NPR, CNN, CNBC and The Economist, among other media.

CESAR CONDE, president, univision networks

As president of Univision Communications Inc., Cesar Conde is responsible for strategic initiatives focused on across-the-board company growth and profitability. Corporate development, marketing, government relations and community affairs functions are all within Conde’s purview. Before Univision, Conde served under Secretary of State Colin L. Powell after his appointment by President George W. Bush as a 2002-2003 White House Fellow. This distinguished Harvard and Wharton-educated executive is also chairman and co-founder of the Futuro Program, a nonprofit role model program for Hispanic high school students.

FELIPE CUSTER, Social Entrepreneur

A social entrepreneur with multi-national background and experience, Custer has developed projects from DC to Peru. Recently focused on the role of corporations in development, Custer has launched successful CSR programs, such as Comedad – providing nutritional education for mothers and children in marginalized sectors of Peru.
In addition, Custer is the Founder of ECHOS – an innovative technol ogy solutions company improving communications in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice agencies with a special focus on the needs of Emerging Markets.
Custer holds a BA from Emory University in International Relations and was a scholarship recipient at Georgetown University, where he completed his MA in Communication, Culture and Technology, with a focus on Networks and Social Change. He currently resides in Santiago, Chile and has formed a consulting firm, called Inside RSE, for social and environmental progress in Latin America.

LUCÍA DAMMERT, executive director of the Global Consortium on Security Transformation

Dammert is a Sociologist, with a PhD in Political Science from the University of Leiden, Netherlands. She has worked for academic institutions in the United States, Argentina, and Chile. For the last five years, she was Director of the Security and Citizenship Program at FLACSO Chile. She has published articles and books on community involvement, public safety, social unrest, and urban issues in national and international journals. At the public management level, she has been involved in public safety programs in various countries of the region, working as an advisor in the Ministry of Interior of Argentina and Chile, as well as the Ministry of Public Security of Mexico. She also served as an expert advisor in the Department of Public Safety of the Organization of American States, and as consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank. She is currently the executive director of the Global Consortium on Security Transformation. In the private sector, she is an associate of INSIDE RSE, a consulting firm dedicated to social and corporate social responsibility studies, and conflict and political and social risk analysis.

ANTONIO ERMÍRIO DE MORAES NETO, founder, vox capital – social venture capital fund

Having begun his social entrepreneurship career at 15, today Antonio Moraes Neto is a founding partner of Vox Capital, a fund investing in Social Businesses in Brazil. Moraes Neto is also co-author of a feature-length documentary illustrating the rise of the 2.5 Sector – the emerging field of Social Business – in Brazil and around the world. He is also founder and president of the GDI Fund focused on promising social businesses from Brazil and the first Family Fund from the Votorantim Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Brazil.

JOSE ANTONIO FERNÁNDEZ, co-founder, vestige capital

Jose Antonio Fernández is co-founder and managing partner of Vestige Capital Llc., a private investment firm which acquires and operates small and medium-sized companies in Mexico. Before founding Vestige, and after analyzing the Brazilian beer market with the FEMSA Beer Division, Fernández led the team which launched Coke Zero and Minute Maid Juice across southern Spain as new products manager for RENDELSUR, a Coca Cola bottler in Western Europe. Fernández remains an investor in the food distribution business he started in college and in a surging vending machine firm.


Luis Fernando Galarreta Velarde is a Peruvian congressman from the National Unity Alliance. He currently serves as chairman of Congress’s Financial Committee. Galarreta Velarde’s life in public service began in 1989 after he joined Movimiento Liberal then under the directorship of Mario Vargas Llosa. Before becoming a Congressman, Galarreta Velarde distinguished himself as spokesperson for the National Renovation Party and as Alderman for Lima. He is a founding member of the Pro Deber Civil Association which promotes the public good and political and economic principles for a free society. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

JAIRO GORDILLO, police i.t. expert

Jairo Gordillo heads the Office of Information Systems for the National Police of Colombia. Gordillo was responsible for putting in place Santiago de Cali’s Integrated Security and Emergency System (SIES) as well as the Individual Platform for Monitoring and Analysis (PUMA) in Bogotá for the Directorship of Criminal Investigation (DIJIN). Gordillo, who has received decorations from DIJIN, Santiago de Cali and the National Police, was named IT Manager of 2008 by IT Manager magazine and made the list of top 100 managers of 2008 in Gerente magazine. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

ISRAEL HERNANDEZ, Chief of Staff, TPG Capital

Israel recently joined TPG Capital. TPG is a private investment firm managing in excess of $50 billion in assets. Israel serves as the Chief of Staff to founding partner, James G. Coulter. Israel most recently was a Director at the Brunswick Group. He focused on international corporate and financial communications, corporate reputation, and crisis management. Prior to Brunswick Mr. Hernandez was the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. He was responsible for designing strategies and specific plans to help U.S. companies enter international markets and commerce and investment issues. In this capacity, he led a global network of more than 1,500 trade specialists in 260 offices spread across 78 countries. Prior to the Department of Commerce, he worked at The White House from 2001-2005 as Deputy Assistant to the President where he helped oversee strategic planning, political affairs, public liaison, and intergovernmental affairs efforts. He holds B.A. in philosophy and political science from the University of Texas and a M.P.A. from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M; with a focus on business. In 2009, he served on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations in the Executive Office of the President for the United States Trade Representative.

PHILIPPE HOUDARD, Founder & President of Developing Minds Foundation

Philippe Houdard is the founder and president of Developing Minds Foundation, a non-profit organization that builds schools and supports education projects in areas affected by conflict and poverty.  He began his professional career as a Legislative Aide to Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he later served on the campaign staff for U.S. Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy.  Subsequently, Philippe served in executive positions in sales, marketing, and mergers & acquisitions for companies ranging from early-stage to Fortune 500.  Philippe graduated with a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a BS in Business Administration from University of Florida.

BJARKE INGELS, Architect & Professor

Bjarke Ingels started BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group in 2005 after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Through a series of award-winning design projects and buildings, Bjarke Ingels has created an international reputation as a member of a new generation of architects that combine shrewd analysis, playful experimentation, social responsibility and humour. In 2004 he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for the Stavanger Concert House, and the following year he received the Forum AID Award for the VM Houses. Since its completion, The Mountain has received numerous awards including the World Architecture Festival Housing Award, Forum Aid Award and the MIPIM Residential Development Award. Recently, Bjarke was rated as one of the 100 most creative people in business by New York based Fast Company magazine.

Alongside his architectural practice, Bjarke has been active as a Visiting Professor at Rice University’s School of Architecture and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Bjarke is currently Visiting Professor at Harvard University where he is teaching a joint studio with the Business School and the Graduate School of Design. Ingels has also been awarded an honorary professorship at the Royal Danish Art Academy.

JESUS LARA, senior vp, music and talent, mtv networks latin America and mtv tr3s

Jesus Lara, an accomplished, creative and vision-oriented music executive, is Senior Vice President, Music and Talent for MTV Networks Latin America and MTV Tr3s. Lara is responsible for leading the music programming strategies for MTV Networks Latin America and MTV Tr3s, as well as serving as the primary liaison between the channels and its links to artists, record labels, management companies, publicists and agencies. Lara has played a key role in the annual Los Premios MTV award show and in helping to plan and launch MTV Tr3s. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

ALEJANDRO LEGORRETA, sabino capital, co-founder and managing partner

Alejandro Legorreta is co-founder and Managing Partner for Sabino Capital Management LLC, a Delaware-based investment partner¬ship. The partnership invests in undervalued assets across differ¬ent geographies following value-investing principles. He is also a co-president for Fundación Andar, a non-for-profit organization that supports development in Mexico through direct work with disadvantaged communities. He is a board member of Acciones y Valores Banamex (Accival), one of Mexico’s most important brokerage firms; of Instituto de Empresa Business School Fund and also board member of Planet Up, a company promoting conservation of the environment through new technologies. As a way to promote the Yucatan Peninsula, Mr. Legorreta is Co-founder and Co-Chairman of the board of Angel Ventures Yucatán, an investors club that seeks to help new projects and small and medium enterprises obtain financial resources.He is also a member of the G-50, a group of achieved Latin American businessmen. He was recently invited to join Georgtown’s renowned seminar on international leadership ¨GLS¨.Mr. Legorreta co-founded the Value Investing Forum, an annual non-for-profit congress where investors share their investing ideas and methodologies, while at the same time investing in Mexico is promoted. Mr. Legorreta has a bachelor’s degree in Law from the Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City and an MBA from the Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid, Spain. He has also studies in Behavioral Finance and Investments from Harvard Business School and Wharton School of Management. He is currently a candidate for a PhD in Strategy and Development by Universidad Anahuac, specializing in the factors that influence growth in LATAM capital markets. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

ANGELO MILLI, music composer

Angelo Milli is an award-winning film composer. Milli started writing original music for cinema in 2004 and has since written scores for 10 feature films. His most recent credits include: Ricardo de Montreuil’s Mancora, Simon Brand’s Paraiso Travel and Gabrielle Muccino’s Seven Pounds starring Will Smith. Colombian film Satanas also brought Milli international visibility after his contribution to the movie led to his winning the Colombian National Award for Best Original Music. In 2009, Milli wrote the original score to the film adaption of Anton Chekhov’s The Duel.

JUAN CARLOS MIRA PONTON, Private Secretary to the President of the Republic of Colombia

Juan Carlos Mira served as the advisor to the founder of the Partido de la U, Juan Manuel Santos, and joined efforts with him twice in the Ministry of Defense.
As Advisor to the founder of the Partido de la U (2005 – 2006), he was a member of the Committee that was responsible for the creation of the Party and participated in drafting its constitution. He was a member of its Economic Committee and was responsible for organizing the campaigning schedule around the country. He assisted Mr. Juan Manuel Santos with the planning of strategies.
As the advisor to the then Minister of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos—for the periods between 2006-2007 and 2008-2010—he was responsible for organizing his agenda and giving him support, as well as for the relations between the Ministry and Congress, and the review of budgets related to National Defense discussed in the legislative branch.
While in this position, he also represented the Minister of Defense in the Arms Committee and was responsible for organizing the Presidential Security Councils, for assisting the Armed Forces in matters relating to the Ministry, and for the dialogue between the Ministry and the private sector.
During the presidential campaign of Juan Manuel Santos (2010), he was the agenda and tour coordinator.
Mira holds a degree in Law from Universidad Javeriana (2001), a Graduate Degree in Tax Law from Universidad del Rosario (2003) and studies in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Counterterrorism from Harvard University (2007 – 2008).

JORGE MONTAÑO, Senoir Associate, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez

Jorge Montaño is a senior associate with Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C., one of the premier full service corporate law firms in Mexico where he specializes in representing domestic and international clients in cross-border mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. His practice also extends to advising companies in global capital markets transactions, such as securitizations, as well as debt and initial public offerings. He recently broadened his international experience on an academic and professional level by obtaining a masters in law (LL.M.) at New York University School of Law and the APCLB Certificate in Law and Business at NYU Stern School of Business, as well as by working as a foreign associate in the New York and London offices of Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP.

DANIELA NASCIMENTO FAINBERG, founder and director, instituto geracao

Daniela Nascimento Fainberg has 14 years of experience working in the non-profit sector and as a social entrepreneur she founded in 2007 Instituto Geração, the first Brazilian non-profit organization to encourage and support the new generation (between 25 and 40 years of age) of privileged individuals in re-thinking their role and practices towards social change and inequality reduction. She started her career at São Paulo office of W.K.Kellogg Foundation monitoring the Latin American projects. She also worked at IDIS — Institute for the Development of Social Investment — where she created and managed their Family Philanthropy Program. Ms. Nascimento Fainberg is on the Advisory Board of Akatu Institute for conscious consumption. She is a frequent speaker at Brazilian and international workshops on the role of the next generation in social change. She has a degree in Social Sciences from the University of São Paulo.

PATRICIO NAVIA, columnist and professor

Patricio Navia is a master teacher in liberal studies and an adjunct assistant professor at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. He is also professor of political science at Universidad Diego Portales in Chile. Navia, who received a PhD from New York University, writes on elections and democratic consolidation in Latin America and is considered to be one of the most influential columnists in Chile. He writes periodically for newspaper La Tercera and pens a monthly column for PODER Magazine (Chile).

ERIC PARRADO, economist

Eric Parrado is the International Finance Coordinator for Chile’s Ministry of Finance. He also served as senior economist in the Financial Stability Division of the Central Bank of Chile and as a consultant for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As a consultant to the IMF, he provided advisory services to the central banks of Bolivia, China, Guatemala and Kenya. And as an economist for the IMF in Washington, D.C., Parrado dealt with matters related to monetary policy and financial stability, in addition to being a member of different technical assistance missions. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

NICOLÁS PETREANU, ceo, endriven/gas meridional

Nicolás E. Petreanu is co-founder and CEO of Endriven, a midsized regional independent energy company focused on natural gas and energy transformation. As the firm’s executive he focuses on business development, finance, risk and general management. Petreanu also co-founded and presides over Gas Meridional, a large energy marketer and trader, is chairman of C3Plus, a natural gas processing and midstream company, and is director of Explora Biofuels, a biodiesel producer. He is also a co-founder of BtoBen.com, a network of business-to-business companies in Latin America acquired by Banco Santander.

JUAN RENDÓN, screenwriter/film producer

Juan Rendón is a founding partner of Paraíso Pictures, a film production company aimed at creating content for U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets. Rendón co-wrote and produced the film Paraiso Travel which was distributed in Colombia in January 2008 to critical acclaim and box office success. The film premiered in the U.S. at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Best Picture and Audience Award at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival. Rendón also wrote and produced a documentary on the Colombian military’s Operation Check which appeared on National Geographic en español. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

JUSTIN ROCKEFELLER, principal, richmond management

Justin Rockefeller is a Principal of Richmond Global. Mr. Rockefeller focuses on deal sourcing and investor relations. He is also responsible for examining investments in sustainable enterprise development and is a Director of the Richmond Sustainability Foundation, which makes grants as equity to such endeavors. Prior to Richmond, Mr. Rockefeller was Vice President of Uhuru Capital Management, an investment management platform designed to enable investors to pursue superior financial returns while facilitating global economic and social development. Previously, Mr. Rockefeller co-founded and was National Program Director of GenerationEngage, a nonprofit organization that empowers young Americans with the resources and access they need to become leaders in their communities and active participants in our democracy. In 2009, GenerationEngage merged with a similar organization, Mobilize.org. He currently serves on the boards of Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Rockefeller Family Fund; Japan Society; Population Council; and Mobilize.org. In addition, he serves on the Executive Committee of The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, and on several advisory boards. He received a B.A. from Princeton University. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

DAN ROSENHECK, Online Americas Editor, The Economist

Dan Rosenheck edits The Economist’s website for coverage of the Americas, and regularly contributes articles to its foreign section. In 2009 and 2010, he served as the magazine’s bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and from 2004 through 2009 he served as the publication’s correspondent in Argentina and Uruguay. Rosenheck also writes regularly on baseball statistics and economics for The New York Times, and his articles have appeared in Slate, The New Republic, Vanity Fair Spain, and Foreign Affairs Latin America, among other publications. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

JUAN URDANETA, executive director, foreign exchange sales, santander global banking and markets

With dual Venezuelan (native) British nationalities, Juan advises global financial institutions on managing currency exposures with specific focus on Latin America. Member of the board of trustees of Canning House, latinamerica’s leading forum in the UK.  Advisor to the Red de Alta Direccion of the Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile. Founder and former Chairman of the British-Venezuelan Society and Chamber of Commerce. Worked in the Treasury departments of Nestle and Diageo and as a banker in Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital, Bear Stearns and The Royal Bank of Scotland. Wharton MBA with majors in Finance, Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship. Juan was president of the Wharton Latin American Student Association.  Holds a BA on Business Administration from Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas Venezuela.

JULIO VILLANUEVA CHANG, author & founding director, etiqueta negra magazine

Julio Villanueva Chang is the founding director of Etiqueta Negra, Latin America’s premier literary and intellectual publication. He is a recipient of the Inter-American Press Association Award in feature writing. His profile, Through the Eyes of a Blind Mayor, was part of a South American special published by The Virginia Quarterly Review and co-edited by Etiqueta Negra, which won a National Magazine Award for Best Special Topic Issue. Villanueva Chang is the author of Mariposas y Murciélagos (Lima, UPC), a collection of his journalism for Lima newspaper El Comercio. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >

IAN WOLFF WESTRUP, Founder of PlanetUp and EcoTweet

Ian Wolff Westrup was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He studied enviromental chemical engineering and an MBA with a specialization in finances. Mr. Wolff began his career developing projects in the waste industry and his approach was towards the sustainability of organizations, collaborating with multiple companies in Mexico.

He has worked directly with various NGOs in the South East and Northern Mexico, promoting health, fair trade, micro business and biodiversity conservation.

Based on his experience in business and in nonprofit organizations, Wolff capitalized on the ideas to create a sustainable business model online with real environmental, social and economic benefits, hence the creation of PlanetUp, whose mission is “greening of the Internet worldwide” through it’s technology of “micro carbon credits” which is embodied in “PlanetUpAds.com” which is a sustainable Ad Network and implementation of “EcoTweet.com.”

Wolff’s vision-as an entrepreneur- is to demonstrate that the success of sustainable business models is possible, that is, that sustainability beyond an utopian concept, is possible and achievable.

FERNANDO ZAVALA LOMBARDI, president, sabmiller, panama

Fernando Zavala Lombardi, the former Finance Secretary of Peru (2005-2006), is currently the president of SABMiller Panama, the largest beer producing company in that country. He is also acting director of EnerSur, Peru’s second largest electricity company and Banco Falabella. Zavala Lombardi also distinguished himself as vice president of strategy at SABMiller Peru and served widely in Peruvian government agencies before joining the private sector. As well as teaching university courses, he has also served as Peruvian governor to the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. VIEW VIDEO PROFILE >