Root Capital’s Board of Directors Welcomes Expert in Public-Private Partnerships

New Root Capital board member Maria Teresa Villanueva. Photo credit: Maria Teresa Villanueva
New Root Capital board member Maria Teresa Villanueva. Photo credit: Maria Teresa Villanueva

We are thrilled that Maria Teresa Villanueva, an expert in public-private partnerships, has joined Root Capital’s board of directors. Maria Teresa brings over 20 years of experience generating strategic alliances and partnerships between development, public, and private sector institutions to create inclusive economic opportunities around the globe. Her personal and professional dedication to gender equality and entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean are deeply aligned with Root Capital’s mission and values.

The board will benefit greatly from Maria Teresa’s subject matter expertise in gender equity and inclusive development around the world. Maria Teresa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help Root Capital strengthen our strategy, double down on our impact, and further improve the lives of agricultural communities around the world.

A leader in inclusive development, Maria Teresa currently serves as the Principal Operations Specialist at the Gender and Diversity Division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. Maria Teresa has worked at IDB for over two decades, planning and implementing innovative, successful, and inclusive development initiatives with the public and private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean throughout her tenure.

Since 2016, Maria Teresa has spearheaded the Gender Parity Accelerators Initiative–a collaborative effort to close gender gaps in wages and leadership–between the IDB, the World Economic Forum, and the French Development Agency. As part of this project, Maria Teresa and her team launched investment planning guidance in nine countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. These plans are high-level public-private collaboration models aimed at identifying and closing gender gaps that hinder women from accessing equal opportunities. Between 2002 and 2016, Maria Teresa worked with the IDB Social Entrepreneurship Program and the Multilateral Investment Fund (currently IDB Lab) to increase access to finance, skills, and markets to low-income populations, including small coffee and cocoa farmer associations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Maria Teresa earned a master’s in development management from American University in Washington, D.C., as well as a dual degree in business administration and economics from Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. She holds both Guatemalan and Swiss citizenship and lives in Washington, D.C.

You can see our full board of directors here.

About the Author

Tess Fisher is the Content Development Associate at Root Capital.

Topics: News and Announcements |

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