Latinx & Hispanic Leadership Council
The Latinx and Hispanic Leadership Council is a committed group of alumni leaders who provide advice and counsel to Boston University and the BU Alumni Association to strengthen the University by establishing productive interaction among Latinx and Hispanic alumni and students, to channel efforts for broadening opportunities for Latinx and Hispanic communities, and to maximize Latinx and Hispanic alumni participation in the life and support of the University.
Claudia Barrios (Questrom’94), Co-chair
Born in Peru and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Claudia Barrios (Questrom’94) pursued her undergraduate studies at Boston University. Driven by a passion for writing, she began her college career at the College of Communication (COM) before switching to Questrom School of Business and graduating with a degree in Finance. At BU, she worked part-time at COM and also at Admissions, giving campus tours to prospective applicants. It was during these tours that she made it part of her life’s mission to create a scholarship fund for Latina students to pursue their passion without the financial burden that she endured during her college years. Upon graduation, she landed a coveted position at Merrill Lynch in New York City. Her work in their fixed income division developed into an international career in London, the city that has since become her home with her two daughters. After completing graduate work at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Claudia became a financial journalist at Thomson Financial Services and Dow Jones. Her career and personal interests in modern art have taken her all over the world, including three years living in Japan. She is involved with various philanthropic efforts in her London community and is working on developing opportunities for college access for minority students including at her alma mater, where she has set up a scholarship fund for Latinas pursuing undergraduate studies.
Antonio Gomes (LAW’96), Co-chair
Antonio G. Gomes is executive vice president, general counsel, secretary, and chief legal compliance officer at Citrix, Inc., which provides data security technology for digital applications.The global legal team under his leadership is responsible for corporate governance, compliance, intellectual property, litigation and legal support for Citrix’s employee relations and commercial transactions, strategic acquisitions, investments, and licensing.
Prior to joining Citrix, Tony was a partner in the corporate practice of Goodwin Procter LLP and an associate at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP in Boston. Tony received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and his law degree from Boston University School of Law.
Maria-Paz Armon (CAS’97)
Maria-Paz Armon is an expert in the digital marketing and sales space, helping sellers and clients drive strategic revenue growth via digital products and services for more than 20 years. She is currently responsible for launching and growing Boston 25, FOX25, and Cox Media Group’s digital ad solutions in the Greater Boston and New England market. Prior to joining Cox Media Group, Maria worked for Entercom, a radio broadcasting company, where she launched and helped create the company’s digital agency in the New England market. Maria earned a BA in Sociology with a minor in Latin American Studies from Boston University.
Maria and her husband Etay jointly founded Tinker & Create, which provides high-quality STEM/STEAM classes for kids at local YMCAs and several other community organizations. Maria and Etay live in Sharon, Massachusetts, with their two children. On the weekends, Maria enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports, going to the beach, and working with her husband to coordinate STEM/STEAM classes for kids at local community organizations.
Gary Bonilla (COM’86)
Gary was born in Puerto Rico and graduated from COM in 1986. He is the former chief strategy officer for Interpublic as well as the global head of strategy at Viacom’s Nickelodeon. Gary has worked on brand transformation for several blue-chip clients as well as startups in the United States and Europe.
In 2016 he co-founded FastMora, a left-brain, right-brain consultancy with a marketing innovation lens. FastMora has developed new brands in the FMCG category, fintech innovation, and “maker space” frameworks on behalf of EY, Unilever, Boots, Amex, What3Words, WPP, and many others.
Joseph Chavez (MET’98)
Joseph Chavez has been involved in the housing industry for over 25 years and is the president of The National Housing Advisory Group, a consulting firm providing services to federal, state, and local governments. Joseph became involved in housing policy because of the greater impact that policy has on people’s lives. His work in the nonprofit sector provides opportunities for hundreds of individuals in securing housing in Massachusetts. He has helped develop over 30 units of affordable housing, rehabbed many properties, and counseled hundreds of first-time home buyers. Joseph completed graduate programs at Harvard University and Boston University, as well as a doctoral degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. In addition to his consulting firm, Joseph is involved in banking and real estate, is an adjunct professor, and is the author of Morality and Moral Reasoning in the Banking Industry. Joseph played in the professional soccer league in Puerto Rico and represented the Commonwealth in a Caribbean tournament. He also played semi-pro in Massachusetts, California, and Florida and was inducted into the UMass-Boston Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.
Patricia Druck (Questrom’00)
Patricia Druck is an Italian-Brazilian entrepreneur, innovator, art collector, and philanthropist. Patricia is the founder and CEO of DIA Investments: Development, Innovation, Art, an international investment firm focused on exclusive real estate developments and art. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Biennial of Mercosul, Brazil, and was honored by Art Basel Miami with the Women in the Arts award. Patricia has served on the Latin American Advisory Council at the Tate, Centre Pompidou, and São Paulo Museum of Art, and is a member of the Latin America and Caribbean Fund at MoMA. Patrica holds degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a Master’s of Business Administration from Boston University, a Master’s of Communication from PUCRS, Brazil, and an Executive MBA from National University of Singapore. Patricia is an alumna of Harvard Business School and INSEAD, and is currently a candidate for a Master’s of Art, Law and Business at Christie’s Education. She lives in New York with her twin daughters.
Jean Dupui (CAS’91)
Jean Pierre Dupui serves as executive vice president and member of the executive board at Banco Santander (Brasil) SA, where he is responsible for leading the coordination and development of project finance, acquisition finance, syndicated loans, debt capital markets, and credit sales distribution. Jean Pierre started his career in banking and finance in 1992 as a trainee at Lloyds, and subsequently received a promotion to senior officer at the international department in Lloyds’ headquarters in London. Prior to joining Santander in 2006, Jean Pierre was also at BBVA Brazil as director of debt capital markets and at Citigroup Brasil as head of the corporate finance division. He is also director of Estruturadora Brasileira de Projetos ñ EBP. Jean Pierre holds a degree in economics with a specialization in mathematics and statistics from Boston University.
Carlos Duque (LAW’09)
Carlos Duque holds a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law and Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College. Originally trained as a securities litigator, Carlos serves as strategic business counsel for a variety of high-growth companies looking to tap the capital markets across a broad array of industries. He has served as general counsel for a multinational corporation conducting business in Shanghai, as well as the US and Europe. He is well versed in corporate M&A, bankruptcy, commercial contracts, securities, and commercial litigation as well as corporate governance and tax. His areas of practice are securities litigation, mergers and acquisitions, private placements, corporate formation and governance, international transactions, corporate restructuring, alternate dispute resolution, debtor/lender disputes, and business consulting.
Alfonso Escandon (CAS’92)
Alfonso Baigorri Escandon is a managing director at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. He advises individuals and families on strategies to hold and transfer wealth across generations. As a senior wealth advisor for the firm’s Ultra High Net Worth practice in the Latin America region, Alfonso is responsible for advancing the firm’s efforts to develop customized and leading-edge wealth planning solutions for clients, multi-jurisdictional tax planning, fund and trust structuring, as well as estate, family business, and family office planning.
Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Alfonso was in private practice with a large US-based international law firm for several years. His practice focused on the development and implementation of estate plans for global families with both domestic and foreign assets. He represented multinational families in the development of worldwide income, estate, and inheritance tax, international wealth preservation structures and pre-immigration international tax planning.
He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University, a Juris Doctor from Universidad Interamericana and a Master of Laws degree, LLM, in Estate Planning from the University of Miami School of Law. He is a member of the Florida bar (Tax, Real Property Probate, and Trust Sections), the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and The Family Firm Institute (FFI).
Alfonso was born in Madrid, Spain. He lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Sara, and their two daughters.
Marlene Fernandez del Granado (COM’84)
Ambassador Fernandez is the corporate vice president for government relations of Arcos Dorados, McDonald’s Latin America. Prior to Arcos, she served as an elected member of the House of Representatives in Bolivia, where she held various leadership positions. She served as ambassador of Bolivia to the United States of America, ambassador to the Organization of American States, ambassador to the Government of Italy, and ambassador representative of Bolivia to different specialized agencies of the United Nations. She was also bureau chief and main political correspondent for CNN Español in Washington, DC. Ambassador Fernandez holds a Master of Science in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University, graduated summa cum laude from the Universidad Argentina John F. Kennedy, and has completed many postgraduate courses at Harvard University.
Alejandro Garcia-Amaya (CGS’05, Questrom’07)
Alejandro Garcia-Amaya is the CEO of Mulu Labs and co-founder of Nilo Ventures, an early-stage micro fund investing in Y Combinator Latin American tech startups, as well as the host of the GettingHere podcast, featuring leaders who pursue and achieve their dreams. Alejandro was co-founder of InterMinds, a leading experiential marketing marketplace serving more than 130 Fortune 500 clients and leading property developers across the globe.
Orlin Goble (CGS’90, COM’92)
Orlin Goble is the president and founder of OPG Technology Corp., based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. OPG is a technology company that creates solutions for government and private entities. Orlin founded several successful communications, entertainment, and nightlife ventures in Puerto Rico including OPG Communications, One World Productions, Deportes 13, Empire Entertainment, Club Ibiza, RED, and Club Babylon.
Mara Gonzalez (COM’13)
Bio coming soon!
Maritza Hernández (Sargent’88)
Maritza Hernández has over 30 years of professional experience in undergraduate and graduate education focused on financial aid, admissions, human resources, access and disability services, and student and academic affairs. Her career path at Harvard has included positions at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Divinity School and now Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). At HGSE, she is the associate dean for enrollment and student services, where she oversees the offices of admissions, financial aid, career services, registration, and student affairs. As a higher education professional, Maritza has been an advocate for underrepresented students and has focused on strategies to recruit undergraduate and graduate students, as well as on retention programs with a focus on inclusion and belonging. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Boston University and a Master of Education in Higher Education from HGSE.
Mica Kaufmann (Pardee’98)
Mica Kaufmann was director for over 11 years at the Economist Intelligence Group (EIU) under the direction of Sam Moon (Hong Kong), Mark Langhammer (Singapore), and Jennifer Bird (NYC). Her best-known project at the EIU, under the umbrella of The Economist Group, was the Latin American Regional Managers’ Club (LARMC), which included pan-regional companies of the Fortune 500 Companies, and Latin American’s successful internet companies, like Patagonia, the Argentine online brokerage firm alongside what was then Chemical Bank. She directed the first ever Latin American Internet Summit, held in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1998 and repeated in 1999. Mica has participated in various World Economic Forums in Davos, Switzerland.
Mica Kaufmann served on the board of the Foundation of Villa Vizcaya for over six years, the youngest board member in the history of the foundation. She also served on the board of the Concert Association of Florida (CAF) for businesswoman Judy Drucker.
Mica Kaufmann worked at Arthur Andersen prior to the EIU for four years and enjoyed working across various industries. She is passionate about aviation, especially helicopters. She sang in the Theater of the Lake in the south of Chile during the Semana Musicales with the band of the Air Force of Chile (FACH). Kaufmann is an avid philanthropist who devotes time and financing to various artistic foundations, such as the Circle of the Amigos with the Theater Municipal of Santiago, Theater of the Lake of Frutillar, National Museum of Women in the Arts, International Women Forum, Antenna, and Friends of Panguipulli.
Mica Kaufmann received her BA at Boston University in the College of Arts & Sciences. She attended an Executive MBA program while at the Economist at Henley in Oxford, England.
Wilfred Labiosa (CGS’91, CAS’93)
Wilfred Labiosa is executive director at Waves Ahead, a nonprofit organization in Puerto Rico and in the continental US whose main objective is to support the development and transformation of LGBTQ communities, specifically LGBTQ seniors and homeless. Wilfred has held numerous executive positions in nonprofit organizations and has been working in the public health sector for more than 25 years promoting HIV/AIDS prevention and interventions, and helping those from marginalized communities and groups recover from substance and alcohol abuse.
Didier Mena (Questrom’99)
Didier Mena joined Santander Mexico in May 2016 as chief financial officer (CFO). Since January 2020, he has also acted as chief investment officer. He has been a board member of Santander Mexico since July 2017 and chairman of the board of Santander Inclusion Financiera, the finance company that encompasses the financial inclusion initiative in Mexico.
Didier has 24 years of professional experience, mainly in the financial sector in Mexico and Latin America. He worked for about 10 years at Credit Suisse, where he led the Financial Institutions Group for Latin America. Immediately before joining Santander, he was partner at Execution Finance, an investment bank boutique targeting midsize companies. Prior to Execution Finance, he was CEO of Navix, a finance company focused in the energy sector. He also served as chief investment officer and CFO of Oro Negro, a newly incorporated drilling company. He also worked at Financiera Independencia, a leading microfinance company, as its CFO. He started his career at BBVA Bancomer, where he worked for six years.
Didier has an MBA from Boston University and a BA in Economics from Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM), where he graduated with honors with an award-winning thesis. He has taught at the graduate and undergraduate schools of ITAM. Didier was an amateur diver for 11 years, and he placed second at the World Age Group Diving Championships, in Woodlands, Texas, in 1985. Born in Mexico City, in 1970, he is married and the father of 4 children.
Michael Duff Simpson (CAS’92, Questrom’93)
Michael Duff Simpson is head of Barings Latin American Equity Team. He joined Barings in October 2011. Prior to joining Barings, Michael worked for Wells Capital Management in San Francisco, where for over four years he was a senior equity analyst and associate portfolio manager with responsibility for the Latin American components of four Global Emerging Markets portfolios. He previously held analyst roles at Merrill Lynch, Seven Global Research, Lehman Brothers and Salomon Smith Barney, focusing primarily on Latin American equities. Michael started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998 as a senior associate in the Latin American Transaction Advisory Services Team. Michael has a BA in Economics and a BS in Business Administration from Boston University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Texas. He was awarded the CFA designation in 2005. Michael speaks fluent Spanish.
Dr. Manuel Suarez-Barcelo (MED’90)
Manuel A. Suarez-Barcelo, MD, CMD, is the owner and president of Partners of Internal Medicine, PA, a private practice in internal medicine and geriatrics in North Miami, Florida. Manuel is also an associate clinical professor at Nova Southeastern University School of Physician Assistants in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and a preceptor for University of Miami’s Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) program and Florida Atlantic University’s ARNP Program. He is a medical director at several long-term care facilities. Dr. Suarez-Barcelo earned his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. He is a certified medical director from the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
Manuel is a member of the Florida Medical Directors Association, the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, and the Florida Medical Association.
Enrique Rafael Ubarri, Esq. (CGS’91, CAS’93, LAW’99)
Enrique Ubarri has over 20 years of executive experience, serving both as a senior officer in publicly traded companies and as a transformation and restructuring advisor. He currently serves as a director in the global management consulting firm AlixPartners, LLP. Enrique has extensive expertise in managing all aspects of high-level negotiations, securities, banking, entertainment, real estate, sports, technology, regulatory matters, complex transactions, human resources, strategic planning and implementation, operations, consumer services, risk management, and corporate governance. Enrique has a BA from Boston University, a Juris Doctor from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law, an LLM in Securities and Financial Regulation from the Georgetown University Law Center, an LLM in Banking Law from the Morin Center at Boston University, an LLM in Entertainment, Arts and Sports Laws from the University of Miami, and an MBA from Boston College.
Andres Vargas (CAS’15)
Andy X. Vargas is a proud son of Haverhill. Andy’s family immigrated from the Dominican Republic and have been proud Haverhill residents for decades. Andy is the first Latino elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the Third Essex District in 2017.
Andy attended Boston University and received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Political Science and International Relations, with a concentration in Foreign Policy and Security Studies. Seeking to continue his commitment to public service and community organizing, Andy founded the Boston University Political Action Organization (BUPAO), which brought together students, faculty, activists, law enforcement, and elected officials to discuss and take action on some of the most pressing issues facing our time. Andy also served as the director of the Department for City Affairs for BU’s Student Government.
While pursuing his degree, Andy interned at two offices in the Massachusetts State House, serving one senator and one representative throughout two years. He spent five months in Madrid, Spain, studying abroad and interning for the US Embassy, under the Department of Commerce’s US Commercial Service. He spent his time at the embassy serving small to medium-size US businesses seeking to export their products to Spain. Andy successfully fostered partnerships between Spanish and US companies, which contributed to the total growth of US exports.
Andy served as a White House intern under the Obama Administration. While at the White House, Andy researched and wrote on issues pertaining to immigration, the economy, Latin America, and more.