Board of Advisors
Juan Verde Suárez
As Senior Partner of U.S. consultancy firm Mapa Group, Juan Verde advises governments and corporations on market expansion, strategy and sustainability.
Mr. Verde has extensive experience in the political world, having worked on 14 different local, regional and national campaigns, including those of President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and Senators Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. He specializes in fundraising and advising on strategic issues relevant to the Hispanic community. During the 2012 campaign, Mr. Verde served as International Co-Chair for Obama´s reelection campaign, where he developed and implemented a strategy to mobilize more than 6 million American citizens residing outside of the United States. During President Obama’s first term, Mr. Verde served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia at the United States Department of Commerce. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the department’s efforts in solving trade policy and market access issues facing U.S. firms seeking to grow their business operations in the region.
Mr. Verde holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, and was a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute fellow. In 2012, he was elected to the Alumni Board of Directors at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Boston University, where he graduated with honors.
Michael Stanley Dukakis was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on November 3, 1933. His parents, Panos and Euturpe (Boukis) Dukakis both emigrated from Greece to the mill cities of Lowell and Haverhill, Massachusetts before marrying and settling in the town of Brookline, just outside Boston.
In 1970 he was the Massachusetts Democratic Party's nominee for Lieutenant- Governor and the running mate of Boston Mayor Kevin White in that year's gubernatorial race where they lost to Republicans Frank Sargeant and Donald Dwight. Dukakis won his party's nomination for governor in 1974 and beat Sargeant decisively in November of that year. Dukakis was re-elected to an unprecedented third four-year term in 1986 by one of the largest margins in history. In 1986 his colleagues in the National Governors Association voted him the most effective governor in the nation.
Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in 1988 but was defeated by George H.W. Bush. Soon thereafter, he announced that he would not be a candidate for re-election as governor and served his final two years as governor at a time of increasing financial and economic distress in Massachusetts and the Northeast.
Since June of 1991, Dukakis has been a visiting professor at Northeastern University's political science department and has also taught in the senior executive program for State and Local managers at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has also taught for the past three years at Florida Atlantic University.
Francisco J. Sánchez served as Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce, a post he was appointed to by President Barack Obama in 2009 until 2013.
As Under Secretary, Sánchez led the International Trade Administration, an organization of 2,400 employees with offices throughout the United States and in 73 countries. Sánchez leads the efforts to improve the global business environment by helping U.S. businesses compete abroad.
As one of the architects of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), with the ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, Sánchez directed programs and policies that promote and protect the competitiveness of American businesses. Under his leadership, working with partners in government, ITA has helped reach significant export milestones.
Sánchez has a long and distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. During the Clinton Administration, he served as the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Sánchez previously served in the White House as a Special Assistant to President Clinton, and Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy to the Americas.
In addition to his public service, Sánchez spent more than 15 years working with several leading consulting companies on projects involving negotiation strategy and training, most recently as a partner with CMPartners. Among his private-sector achievements, Sánchez served as a consultant to the President of Ecuador in negotiations that led to the resolution of a long-running border dispute with Peru.
A native of Florida, Sánchez obtained his B.A. and J.D. from Florida State University. He also received a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Alan D. Solomont
Alan D. Solomont (Boston, 1949) is the former United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. Selected by President Barack Obama, he was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 24, 2009.
Active for many years in the Democratic Party, Solomont served as National Finance Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 1997, raising over $40 million. In 2000, he was appointed by President Clinton to the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees three national service initiatives: AmeriCorps, the National Senior Service Corps and Learn & Serve America.
Solomont serves on the boards of numerous organizations including the Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, Angel Healthcare Investors, LLC, Boston Medical Center, The Jewish Fund for Justice, The New Israel Fund, Israel Policy Forum, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, and the WGBH Educational Foundation. He chairs the Board of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. He received an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
He earned a B.A. from Tufts University in Political Science and Urban Studies in 1970.
Mr. Victor Sierra has worked on Wall Street for more than 24 years. He is currently Chairman & CEO of Torino Capital a U.S Investment Bank based in New York that specializes in Global Emerging Markets. Torino is a leader in local intelligence, economic analysis, and financial reporting. The firm maintains a local presence throughout Latin America with offices in several countries including Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Venezuela.
Prior to founding Torino Capital, Mr. Sierra was the Director of the Global Solutions Group at the German Bank, Dresdner Kleinwort (Commerzbank Germany), in New York.
He also served as Director of Latin American distribution for ABN AMRO Bank (RBS) in New York. At the time, ABN was the largest international bank in the U.S. with controlling stakes in The Chicago Corporation and LaSalle National Bank, amongst others. ABN AMRO was also the largest International Bank in Latin America with holdings that included full ownership of Banco Real; Brazil’s second largest bank at the time. He worked at ABN AMRO for 10 years.
Mr Sierra’s unique expertise in Latin America has led him to serve as an independent advisor to many governments, multinational organizations, and private sector companies globally.
He currently serves as a board member of Advance Leadership Foundation, a foundation committed to preparing future leaders around the world. He organizes fund raising events and provides philanthropic support to various humanitarian causes.
Mr. Sierra is a U.S Citizen who has lived in the U.S. for the past 32 years. He completed his education at Boston University. He lives with his wife and child in Westchester County, New York.