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Women’s Economic Empowerment: Creating the Role Model in Latin America

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

October 11, 2012


(Image: Roey Yohai)

AS/COA is proud to announce its first annual full-day gender workshop and networking event on women’s economic empowerment and leadership throughout the hemisphere.

The interactive workshop, the first part in an ongoing dialogue set on building a hemispheric network of women, will highlight role models and create opportunities for mentorship. Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile and UN Women executive director, and Mexican First Lady Margarita Zavala de Calderón will be two of our keynote speakers. Distinguished panelists will include former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and former President and CEO of Discovery Communications Judith McHale, President & CEO of Grupo Diarq Gina Diez Barroso, and the founder of Dominio del Plata, Susana Balbo.

The workshop will feature interactive panels throughout the day focusing on women role models, entrepreneurs, and the road to the executive suite, and will address the impact of women's empowerment on development. The day will also feature table discussions and feedback, as well as a networking cocktail and guided Americas Society gallery tour.

For more information, please contact Elana Hazghia at +1 212 277 8376 or


Michelle Bachelet

President of Chile

Michelle Bachelet is the president of Chile. Previously, she was undersecretary general and executive director of UN Women. Prior to this position, she served as the first female president of the Republic of Chile from 2006 to 2010. A member of the Socialist Party, Bachelet formerly served as the minister of health from March 2000 to January 2002, and as the minister of defense from January 2002 to October 2004.

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Margarita Zavala

Former First Lady of Mexico

Margarita Zavala is the former first lady of Mexico. During the tenure of her husband President Felipe Calderón from 2006 to 2012, she chaired the Citizen Advisory Board of the Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), led the Estrategia Nacional para una Nueva Vida, and worked on the issues of protecting unaccompanied migrant children and migrant women. Previously, Zavala was a federal congresswoman from 2003 to 2006, where she was named deputy coordinator of Social Policy of the PAN Parliamentary Group.

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Carolina Barco

Senior Advisor, Emerging Sustainable Cities, Inter-American Development Bank

Carolina Barco is senior advisor on emerging sustainable cities to the Inter-American Development Bank. Previously, Barco served as ambassador of Colombia to the United States from 2006 to 2010, and minister of foreign affairs of Colombia from 2002 to 2006, under President Álvaro Uribe. She received her BA in sociology and economics from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and in 1975 she received a master’s degree in city planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In 1984 she received an MBA at the Instituto de Empresas in Madrid, Spain.

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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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Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

Anchor, CNBC

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is a reporter for CNBC television. She formerly co-hosted the program Worldwide Exchange. As well, Caruso-Cabrera appeared regularly on Power Lunch in an analyst capacity. In 2010, she wrote a book titled You Know I'm Right: More Prosperity, Less Government. Prior to joining CNBC in 1998, she worked as a reporter for WTSP-TV in St. Petersburg, Florida, and prior to that, as a reporter and later as a special projects producer for Univision where she won an Emmy Award for a five-part series on children with AIDS.

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Carolina Eterovic

Executive Director, Mujeres Empresarias (Chile)

Carolina Eterovic is executive director, since 2005, and founder of Mujeres Empresarias, an organization which provides networking opportunities and support for women. She has created the Women‘s Center of Business Studies, ME magazine, and various others endeavors like the award Premio Joven Emprendedora. Previously she worked in the commercial area of Viña Concha y Toro and also as manager of administration and finance of the Business Generation Institute. From 1999 to 2001 she was director of the institute.

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Kristin Hetle

Director of Strategic Partnerships, UN Women

Kristin Hetle is director of strategic partnerships, advocacy, civil society, communications, and of the resource mobilization division at UN Women. Ms. Hetle has worked in the UN system, the Norwegian government, and the private sector. Previously, she served as director of communications for the Ministry of Labor in Norway. Until 2008, she held the position of Chief of UNFPA’s Media Services Branch. Prior to that, Ms. Hetle served as director of Media Lion Inc., media advisor for the Norwegian Red Cross and information officer in Norway’s Ministry of Environment.

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Michele V. Levy

CEO Melissa USA (Brazil)

Michele V. Levy is CEO and co-founder of Melissa USA, which has the exclusive distribution of Melissa Shoes in North America and Mexico. Prior to her involvement with Melissa, Michele was senior director of Programs at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, an organization founded by David Rockefeller to promote trade, investment and a political and policy discourse on Latin America. Before joining the organization, Mrs. Levy worked for 10 years at Chase/JPMorgan in its investment banking, capital markets, and project finance.

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Vilma Martinez

U.S. Ambassador to Argentina

Vilma Martinez was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina on July 24, 2009. Ambassador Martinez has been a Partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson since 1982, where she specialized in federal and state court commercial litigation. In recent years, her legal practice focuses on advising to companies on steps to enhance their equal employment opportunity policies and build diversity and inclusion initiatives into their business plans.

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Judith McHale

Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and Former President and CEO of Discovery Communications

Judith McHale is the former undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, appointed by President Obama and confirmed on May 21, 2009. McHale is the former president and CEO of Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel cable channel. She has also provided leadership to a range of organizations engaged in global affairs and development. She served on the boards of the Africa Society, the National Summit on Africa, Africare, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the National Democratic Institute, and Vital Voices.

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Noa Meyer

Global Program Director, 10,000 Women Program, Goldman Sachs Foundation

Noa Meyer is Global Program Director for the 10,000 Women Program at Goldman Sachs. Previously, she managed John L. Thornton’s global philanthropic initiatives. Her prior non-profit experience includes launching Revenue Watch at George Soros’s Open Society Institute, as well as developing a program focused on supporting information technology for poverty reduction in developing countries at the Markle Foundation. Ms.

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Stephanie Ruhle

TV Anchor, Bloomberg L.P.

Stephanie Ruhle is a TV anchor on Bloomberg, where she co-hosts Market Makers and contributes to Lunch Money since October 2011. Before working as a TV anchor, Stephanie served as a managing director in Global Markets Senior Relationship Management at Deutsche Bank, where she oversaw relationships for some of Deutsche Bank's largest hedge fund clients. Before that she worked at Credit Suisse. Stephanie is the founder of the Corporate Investment Bank (CIB) Women’s Network, which helps women gain access to senior management.

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Vanda Scartezini

Co-Founder, Polo Consultores Associados IT Trend

Vanda Scartezini is a co-founder and active partner Polo Consultores, a Brazilian IT consulting firm. She also acts as president of ALTIS, a software & service outsourcing company, and as chair of the board of FITEC, an ICT R&D foundation. Additionally, she is an associate partner of the Getulio Vargas Foundation Projects and member of the board of ABES, the Brazilian Software Industry Association, of INSTITUTO ELDORADO an IC Research Institution and advisory board member of Perform Management, and Turnaround Consulting, a Brazilian Consulting Company.

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Susan Segal

President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Susan Segal was elected president and CEO of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas in August 2003 after working in the private sector with Latin America and other emerging markets for over 30 years. A passionate supporter of Latin America, she joined the organizations to implement a new strategic plan to renew and return the Society and Council to their historic position. Prior to her current position, she was a founding partner of her own investment and advisory group focused primarily on Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic sector.

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Susan Silbermann

President & General Manager, Vaccines, Pfizer Inc.

Susan Silbermann has served as President and General Manager of Vaccines, within Pfizer’s Specialty Care business unit, since May 2012. Previously she was regional president of Pfizer, Inc.’s Latin America Emerging Markets Business Unit. She began her career at Pfizer in 1988 as an intern in the company’s US Marketing Division and in 1992 joined the company’s International Pharmaceuticals Group. In 1994, Ms. Silbermann joined Pfizer Italy to create its New Product and New Customer Planning Group.

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Saadia Zahidi

Senior Director, World Economic Forum

Saadia Zahidi is senior director and head of constituents of the World Economic Forum. She is responsible for the engagement of religious leaders, NGOs, labor leaders, women leaders and gender parity groups and also for leading research on gender issues. Before that, she served as an economist in the World Economic Forum in the Global Competitiveness Program, which was responsible for the Global Competitiveness reports, the Arab World reports and other topical regional studies.

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Video: Palabras de la Directora Ejecutiva de ONU Mujeres, Michelle Bachelet

October 11, 2012

La directora ejecutiva de ONU Mujeres y expresidenta de Chile habló de la necesidad de que las mujeres adquieran autonomía a través del empoderamiento económico....

Video: Palabras de la Primera Dama de México Margarita Zavala de Calderón

October 11, 2012

La primera dama de México habló de la importancia de la inclusión de las mujeres en el desarrollo social, económico y político de un país....

Entrevista: Margarita Zavala habla sobre la importancia de la inclusión de las mujeres en el ámbito político

October 11, 2012

La Primera Dama habló sobre las reformas que son necesarias para aumentar la equidad de género en la representación política en México....

Download a PDF of the agenda.

8:00 to 8:30 a.m.                     Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 to 8:35 a.m.                     Welcoming Remarks

Susan Segal, President & CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

8:35 to 8:50 a.m.                     Opening Keynote Remarks

Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women

8:50 to 9:05 a.m.                     Keynote Speaker

Margarita Zavala, First Lady of Mexico

9:05 to 10:15 a.m.                   Role Models

  • Patty Menéndez-Cambó, Chair, International Practice Group, Greenberg Traurig, LLP (United States)
  • Carolina Eterovic, Executive Director, Mujeres Empresarias (Chile)
  • Ambassador Carolina Barco, Senior Advisor, Emerging Sustainable Cities, Inter-American Development Bank (Colombia)
  • Moderator: Susan Segal, President & CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

10:15 to 10:30 a.m.                 Coffee Break

10:30 to 11:45 a.m.                 Implications for Economic Development

  • Noa Meyer, Global Program Director, 10,000 Women Program, Goldman Sachs Foundation
  • Susan Silbermann, President & General Manager, Vaccines, Pfizer Inc.
  • Moderator: Kristin Hetle, Director of Strategic Partnerships, UN Women

11:45 to 1:00 p.m.                   The Woman Entrepreneur

                                                Video Interview

                                                Angelica Fuentes, CEO, Grupo Omnilife (Mexico)

Panel Discussion

  • Michele V. Levy, CEO Melissa USA (Brazil)
  • Susana Balbo, Founder, Dominio del Plata (Argentina)
  • Gina Diez Barroso, President & CEO, Grupo Diarq (Mexico)
  • Moderator: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Anchor, CNBC

1:00 to 2:00 p.m.                     Lunch & Breakout Session

2:00 to 2:30 p.m.                     Presentation by Table Leaders

2:30 to 3:45 p.m.                     The Road to the Executive Suite

  • Judith McHale, Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and Former President and CEO of Discovery Communications
  • Ambassador Vilma Martinez, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina
  • Vanda Scartezini, Polo Consultores Associados IT Trend
  • Moderator: Stephanie Ruhle, TV Anchor, Bloomberg L.P.

3:45 to 3:50 p.m.                     Closing Remarks

Susan Segal, President & CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

3:50 to 5:00 p.m.                     Networking Cocktail and private gallery tour:

                                                Gego: Origin, Encounter, and Mastering the Space

Widely known as “Gego,” German-born Venezuelan Gertrud Goldschmidt is one of the most important Latin American artists of the 20th century. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of her birth, this exhibition features a significant group of early and unknown works that examine Gego’s artistic research.

Table Leaders:

  • Angela Camacho, Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Latin America
  • Nayeli Chavez-Geller, Correspondent, Univision Television Network
  • Liza Gross, Director, Social Impact Strategy, Omnilife
  • Beatriz Nofal, President, Eco-Axis, S.A.
  • Susan Segal, President & CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
  • Alejandra Sepulveda, Executive Director, Comunidad Mujer
  • Karen Toulon, New York Bureau Chief, Bloomberg