Thank you for considering me for this prestigious role. It would be an honor to bring my diverse experience and passion for conservation to support the mission of Wetlands International. Throughout my career, much of my focus has been on cross-sector collaboration to ensure that the local ecosystems fueling and protecting local economies are vibrant and well protected. A particular interest of mine, which I hope you find useful and relevant is the question of how to accelerate the restoration/conservation of mangroves and other coastal wetlands that sequester large amounts of carbon while providing other vital ecosystem services.
I am a fisheries, marine biodiversity, and marine policy expert and provide technical expertise to international organizations, governments, private companies, and NGOs around the world on fisheries & aquaculture, blue economy, and sustainable finance. I develop strategies to enable lasting and equitable economic prosperity and climate resilience in coastal communities. Over the past 20 years, I have served as Senior Fisheries Specialist at the World Bank, the Director of the National Geographic Society’s Ocean Initiative, as WWF’s Global Marine Program Director, and as the WWF’s Latin America and Caribbean lead for marine and freshwater conservation. I have led teams designing large-scale conservation plans in the Galapagos Islands and Mesoamerican Reef. I am a native of Cuba and have a Masters in Marine Policy and a Bachelor’s in Aquatic Biology.