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AS/COA Women's Hemispheric Network Conference: Mexico City

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

November 29, 2017


(Image: Francisco Quezada)

Follow the discussion on Twitter: #womenASCOA | @ASCOA

Join the Women’s Hemispheric Network as we host our third conference in Mexico City. Conference participants will have the opportunity to network and join in the conversation with table leaders. This year’s conference will focus on building a better pipeline for female leaders in male-dominated industries and the importance of making bold decisions. 

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Laura Chinchilla, Former President, Costa Rica @Laura_Ch
  • Scarlett Alvarez, Vice President and Chief Stakeholder & Sustainability Officer, The AES Corporation @TheAESCorp
  • María Teresa Arnal, CEO, Google Mexico @mariatearnal
  • Alberto Chaia, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, Mexico @alberto_chaia
  • Gina Diez Barroso, President and CEO, Grupo Diarq @ginadiezbarroso 
  • Patricia Menéndez-Cambó, Vice President and Secretary, Greenberg Traurig LLP @GTLawWomen
  • Jonathan Ruiz, Chief of Digital and Printed Business and Economy Content, El Financiero @ruiztorre
  • Evelyn Vilchez, General Manager, Chevron Energía de México @Chevron
  • Verónica Zavala Lombardi, Mexico Country Representive, IDB @VeronicaZavalaL
  • Ragnhild Melzi, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas @ASCOA

Registration and Cancellation: Please contact Juan Serrano-Badrena at before 12:00 p.m. on Monday, November 27.
Table Sponsorship Opportunities: Natalia Novak-Williamson | | 1-212-277-8374
COA Corporate Membership Information: Mila Fontana | | 1-212-277-8331
Press Inquiries:


Scarlett Alvarez

Vice President and Global Chief Stakeholder & Sustainability Officer, The AES Corporation

Scarlett Alvarez is vice president and chief stakeholder and sustainability officer for AES. She joined AES in 2002 and has served in diverse roles at the local, regional, and corporate levels in the areas of stakeholder management, external and investor relations, corporate social responsibility, and corporate affairs. Alvarez is also a member of the Board of Directors of several AES companies in Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Panama. Prior to joining AES, she worked for the telecommunication company of Venezuela, a subsidiary of Verizon.

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Maria Theresa Arnal

CEO, Google Mexico

Maria Teresa Arnal is country manager at Google Mexico. Previously, she led Twitter’s operations in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico. Arnal was also part of the team that founded the Interactive Advertising Bureau in Mexico and was president of the board of the World Internet Project in Mexico. She was also director in J. Walter Thompson Mexico, Mirum and Clarus, a company that she founded. Arnal holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and is an industrial engineer from the Andres Bello Catholic University in Venezuela.

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Alberto Chaia

Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, Mexico

Alberto Chaia is senior partner of McKinsey & Company, Mexico. Previously, he served in the Ministry of Finance for Mexico as the program leader for establishing rural banks from 1995 to 1997. Since joining McKinsey in 2002, Chaia has led economic development and financial inclusion projects in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. Before this, he was visiting researcher for the Bank of Mexico.

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Laura Chinchilla Miranda

Former President of Costa Rica

Laura Chinchilla Miranda is the former president of Costa Rica (2010–2014) and the first woman to be elected President of her country. Previously, she served as the first vice president and minister of justice in the administration of Óscar Arias Sánchez from 2006 to 2010. Ms. Chinchilla has dedicated her career to public service and to consulting in Latin America and Africa for international organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP).

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Gina Diez Barroso

President and CEO, Grupo Diarq

Gina Diez Barroso is president and CEO of Grupo Diarq. Under her leadership, Grupo Diarq has completed more than 650 residential and hospitality projects to date. In 2004, Diez Barroso founded CENTRO, the first university in Mexico City specialized in creative studies. CENTRO currently offers seven undergraduate degrees and one master’s program, as well as a broad range of continuing education courses in related disciplines.

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Ragnhild Melzi

Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Ragnhild Melzi is Americas Society/Council of the Americas’ vice president of Public Policy Programs and Corporate Relations. She provides leadership for the organizations’ international programming, which attracts top government officials, global business leaders, and prominent policy analysts to confront matters of critical hemispheric importance at discussions that take place across the Americas. Melzi has extensive experience in Latin American corporate finance and wealth management.

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Patricia Menéndez-Cambó

Vice Chair, Greenberg Traurig

Patricia Menéndez-Cambó is vice chair of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, where she primarily advises companies and private equity firms on the legal implementation of their business growth strategies throughout Europe, the United States, Latin America, and emerging markets around the world. Her experience spans a variety of industries, including transportation, telecommunications, banking, retail, and energy.

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Jonathan Ruiz

Chief of Digital and Printed Business and Economy Content, El Financiero

Jonathan Ruiz is the chief of digital and printed business and economy content at El Financiero. He is also the editor of Bloomberg Businessweek Mexico magazine and appears daily on the TV program Mesa Central on El Financiero Bloomberg. Ruiz has been a journalist since 1999 and has previously been a reporter and editor at Grupo Reforma and Grupo Milenio. 

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Evelyn Vilchez

General Manager, Chevron Energía de México

Evelyn Vilchez has been the general manager of Chevron Energía de México since March 2017. In this role, she promotes Chevron’s key stakeholder relationships in Mexico to help advance the country’s hydrocarbon sector and Chevron’s interests there. With more than 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, Vilchez has held commercial, business development, and strategic planning management positions with Chevron in Venezuela, Angola, and United States.

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Veronica Zavala Lombardi

Mexico Country Representive, IDB

Veronica Zavala Lombardi is the Mexico country representative at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Previously, she worked as a sector manager for the World Bank and was exited director for Colombia and Peru at the IDB. Lombardi was minister of Transport and Communications of Peru from 2008 to 2010. She also served as director of public management for the President’s ministerial cabinet from 2005 to 2006. She holds a degree in Law from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and an M.P.A. in public administration from Harvard University. 

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#womenASCOA video: Laura Chinchilla, ex-presidenta de Costa Rica, expresidenta de Costa Rica, en nuestra conferencia sobre mujeres y liderazgo en la CDMX

November 29, 2017

Chinchilla habló de su legado y las lecciones principales de su experiencia como primera mujer presidenta de su país....

#womenASCOA video: Panel sobre decisiones valientes - ¿Cuándo vale la pena tomar el riesgo?

November 29, 2017

Un panel de mujeres profesionales compartió historias personales sobre los desafíos que enfrentaron a lo largo de sus carreras....

#womenASCOA video: Panel sobre empoderando a las mujeres en campos dominados por los hombres

November 29, 2017

¿Cómo evitar la fuga de mujeres profesionales en puestos ejecutivos? Panelistas de Google México, AES y Chevron comparten ideas....

Download a PDF of the agenda.

Baje la agenda en español.

All times are in local Mexico City time (UTC -5), one hour behind New York.

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.  Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.  Opening Remarks (webcast)

  • Ragnhild Melzi, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas 

9:45 – 10:30 a.m. Conversation: Preparing the Pipeline — Empowering Women in Male-Dominated Fields (webcast)

Leaders discuss the importance of supporting women in traditionally male-dominated industries from the start of their careers to their success in the C-suite and boardroom. How do we get young women excited to study and work in STEM and other traditionally male-dominated fields? How can professional be best supported so they persevere in challenging or unwelcoming industries?

  • Scarlett Alvarez, Vice President and Chief Stakeholder & Sustainability Officer, The AES Corporation
  • Maria Teresa Arnal, CEO, Google Mexico
  • Evelyn Vilchez, General Manager, Chevron Energía de Mexico
  • Alberto Chaia, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, Mexico (moderator)

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.  Coffee and Networking Break (no webcast)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Table Leaders Session (no webcast)

Leaders from a variety of sectors will facilitate an informal conversation with conference participants.

  • Miguel Carreon, AES México 
  • Ana Claudina García, American Tower
  • Maria Lourdes Gallo, AS/COA
  • Alana Tumino, AS/COA
  • Alejandra Martinez, Analyse Professional Services SA CV
  • Maria Elena Blanco, Apple, Inc. 
  • Adriana Rangel, BlacRock Mexico
  • Alfredo Herrera-Vaillard, The Boeing Company
  • Mariana Albarrán Flores, Braskem
  • Victor Herrera
  • Evelyn Vilchez, Chevron Energía de México 
  • Paulina Lopez Noriega, Dell EMC
  • Alexandra Aguirre, Greenberg Taurig
  • Gabriela Martell, JP Morgan
  • Maria Esther Torres, Kellogg Latinoamérica 
  • James Stranko, McKinsey & Company
  • Rebeca Servin, Microsoft 
  • Odracir Barquera, Senate of Mexico 

12:00 – 12:45 p.m.  Conversation: Making Bold Decisions — When Is It Worth the Risk? (webcast)

Women from across the region share their experiences of taking chances, thinking outside the box, and building their careers. As a successful professional woman, how do you speak up so people listen? What advice would you give to young professionals seeking to become daring leaders?

  • Gina Diez Barroso, President and CEO, Grupo Diarq
  • Patricia Menéndez-Cambó, Vice President and Secretary, Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Verónica Zavala Lombardi, IDB Group Representative in Mexico, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Jonathan Ruiz, Chief of Digital and Printed Business and Economy Content, El Financiero

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.  Keynote Remarks (webcast)

  • Laura Chinchilla, Former President of Costa Rica

1:15 – 1:20 p.m.  Closing Remarks (webcast)

  • Ragnhild Melzi, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas