Our Leadership

Inspiring Teachers > Creating Leaders > Transforming Lives

Our Leadership 

Kelly Maurice | Executive Director

In 2016, after six years as the Director of Worldfund Brazil, Kelly Maurice accepted a new role as the Executive Director of Worldfund. Kelly originally joined Worldfund in 2010, following a 25-year business development career in International Banking. Having worked at BankBoston, JPMorgan and later at Royal Bank of Canada, Kelly headed corporate and institutional business for the LATAM region. She has been living in São Paulo since 1991 and in addition to her role at Worldfund, she has maintained long-term leadership roles with several charitable organizations in Brazil. Kelly holds a BA in Philosophy and Studies of Religion from the University of Michigan.


Kirsten Evans | Chief Operating Officer

Kirsten Evans joined Worldfund in 2017 after working for Inveniam Capital Partners where she served as Chief of Staff, following a diverse background in non-profit and education management. Early in her career she served as Assistant Director of K-12 schools in Monterrey and Mexico City, while earning a Licenciate Degree in Education and Development from the Anahuac University in Mexico City. Most recently, Kirsten was the Founding Executive Director and Senior Advisor of a leading Washington, DC-based political advocacy organization dedicated to the protection of religious minorities in the Middle East. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Master’s Degree in Religious Sciences from the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome, Italy, and Specialization in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. She is fluent in Spanish and is a student of Portuguese.

Mary Burmeister | Development Director

Mary joined Worldfund in 2018 with fourteen years of fundraising experience in the non-profit sector. Previously, she worked as Director of Strategic Partnerships for an institution focused on higher education in Ghana, West Africa. Prior to this, Mary served in various fundraising roles for a diverse range of organizations based in Seattle and New York City. Raised as a US citizen in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, Mary is fluent in French and Anyi (a language of S.E. Côte d’Ivoire).  She earned bachelor degrees in Political Science and European Studies, French at Seattle Pacific University, and holds a Master’s of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Jim Citron | Director, IAPE

Jim, who joined Worldfund in 2007, has worked for more than 25 years in language and intercultural education. Dividing his time between Mexico and Hanover, New Hampshire, where he is an Intercultural Education Specialist at Dartmouth College and a Master Teacher and Teacher Trainer for Dartmouth’s Rassias Center for World Languages and Cultures, Jim has taught Spanish and Intercultural Communication at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels and has served in a variety of leadership capacities in international educational exchange in the United States and Mexico. Jim holds a PhD in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a BA in Psychology and Spanish from Dartmouth College.

Rafelina Hernandez | Finance & Operations Manager

Rafelina joined Worldfund in 2015. Raised as a New Yorker, Rafelina is a hard working, self motivated individual who has worked for recognized firms such as JP Morgan, Chase Bank and Wells Fargo. She brings 6 years of experience in the banking industry, having helped her customers succeed financially, is characterized by her enthusiasm and always being eager to learn and help others. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Rafelina, graduated from the distinguished City University of New York Baruch College with a BA in Economics in 2010.

Matthew Heymann | Development Manager & Board Liaison

Prior to joining Worldfund in 2017, Matthew practiced civil litigation, and served as a Strategy Consultant for numerous start-ups. He has previously held roles in business-to-consumer sales, teaching, and learning and development. Matthew received a Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law, and is a licensed attorney in New York and New Jersey. He also earned a Bachelor of Business and Administration, cum laude, from The George Washington University School of Business with concentrations in Marketing, International Business and Psychology. Matthew is a native New Yorker and alumnus of the Bronx High School of Science. Matt is a Corporate Club Mentor in Toastmasters International, and a proud supporter of Alpha Kappa Psi, two organizations that train individuals in business leadership and communication. 

Reebecca Peltier | Development Manager

Rebecca joined Worldfund in 2018 bringing 10 years of development experience in the non-profit sector during which she has been focused on development and social media strategy, recurring giving, and grant writing. Early in her career, Rebecca served as the assistant director of a US-based school which specifically served Latin and South American students. That experience, combined with a year’s stay in Mexico, sparked her dedication to educational reform and advancement. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Science in Education, graduate studies in Education Administration, and attended the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy for coursework in proposal writing and grant management. 

Michael Rinelli | Strategic Partnerships Liaison

Michael joined Worldfund in 2018. He is a dual-citizen, born in the U.S. and raised in Brazil he split his professional career and personal life between the two countries. Michael has deep knowledge of international business development, commercialization, contracting, negotiations, and private equity fundraising. He has more than 30 years of professional experience and almost 20 as an executive holding different positions in private, non-profit, startup, and government organizations in the international trade, energy, agrobusiness, and biotechnology sectors. He also has international development work experience in many countries of Africa and Latin America. Michael studied Business Administration at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Political Science and International Relations at the University of Utah, and he holds a MBA from the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. He also completed the Executive Education Program “Strategic Alliances” in The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Tere Pérez de Acha | Chief Financial Officer

Tere has more than fifteen years of experience in the financial sector. Her professional career began in brokerage firms as a Treasurer in the first Financial Factoring in Mexico. She then spent eight years in various areas of Credit Control at the National Bank of Mexico and eight years in operational and financial management at a law firm. In the past four years she served in the public sector overseeing government accounting and finance projects. She has taught Financial Accounting at Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) and CESSA and was the President of the Alumni Association of ITAM in 2007. In 2013 she founded the Committee for Entities with Non-Profit Purposes at the College of Public Accountants of Mexico with the purpose of spreading awareness of the recently enacted New Standards of Financial Reporting that govern non-profit organizations. She graduated in Public Accountant and has a Master of Business Administration from ITAM, as well as a Certificate in Business Management from the Instituto Tecnológico e de Estudos Superiores de Monterrey.

Dolores Gonzalez | Director, LISTO

Dolores joined Worldfund in 2012. She brings 32 years of experience working in the Mexican Education Sector, the last 20 years she trained educational personnel in the private and public sectors. She held both teaching and administrative positions leading teams at NGO’s and in the public sector. Dolores has worked with curriculum design programs. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Education. She has certificates from Management Skills for Local Authorities (UP), Disruptive Education (ILCE), Human Development (UIA) and Public Education Policy and Intervention (CIDE). She is currently doing a PhD on Humanist Psycology.

Patricia Carrasco Sanchez | Development Manager

Patricia joined Worldfund in 2018. She has deep experience in development and social projects in non-profit organizations, cooperation agencies and government offices. Previously, she has worked as General Coordinator of the Club de Niños y Niñas de CDMX y Estado de México. She has also worked in Peru, as National Market Consultant for the United Nations Office for Project Services; Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Swisscontact; Planning and Budget Analyst in the Ministry for Women and Social Development; and Projects Director in the Liga Peruana de Lucha contra el Cáncer. Patricia holds a BA in Business from the Universidad de Pacífico de Perú and a MBA from the Universidad Adolfo Ibanéz de Chile

Perla Hidalgo | Senior Development Manager

Perla joined Worldfund in 2017, having more than six years of experience in collaboration, institutional development and fundraising. She is convinced that education is the driver of the much needed societal change. Previously, she worked at the Educa Mexico Foundation as Director of Institutional Development. Before that, she was Director of Institutional Relations at Comedor Santa María. Her professional trajectory also includes eight years in ad agencies, working in charge of communication and advertising for large brands in Mexico. Perla holds a Degree in Marketing, with a Diploma in Finance from the Universidad Tecnológica de México. She also holds a Diploma in Institution-Building from Indiana University in partnership with the organization Procura.

Cristina Salazar Gallardo | Senior Metrics & Evaluation Manager

Cristina is a researcher whose primary interests are around the issues of digital literacies and multimodal learning through ethnographic methods of research. She has an MA in Communication and Education and a Doctoral Degree in Communication Media and Learning Technologies, both from Columbia University. Her dissertation work focuses on the activism practices of undocumented youth and on the analysis of the ways in which their multimodal participation can provide them the opportunity to engage in transformative spaces of learning. For the past 5 years, she has worked as a Technology Specialist for faculty at the Teachers College of Columbia University, supporting them in the implementation and design of content for digital platforms.

Consuelo Murillo | Metrics & Evaluation Manager 

Consuelo joined Worldfund in 2012, after having graduated from the LISTO program. For over 10 years, Consuelo Murillo has served in the Mexican basic and higher education fields in various capacities. She has conducted a research in the fields of innovation for the improvement of educational quality and environmental and sustainability education. In addition, she co-authored the Education for Sustainable Development textbook, used in various graduate degree curricula. Consuelo holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Monterrey Tech and Associate Degrees in Educational Integration, Outstanding Skills, Leadership and Teaching Competences, School Leadership, and Quality and Directive Competences. 

Karen Antonio | Finance Manager

Karen Antonio joined the Worldfund team in 2017. She has working experience in Administration and Finance from the Chartered Accountant Association and from other two accounting firms. She has also completed additional courses on Mexican financial reporting standards. Karen graduated as a Public Accountant from the National Polytechnic Institute.

Julieta Sánchez | Admissions & External Relations, IAPE

Julieta joined Worldfund in 2012. She has worked for nearly twenty years in education and intercultural exchange in Mexico and the United States and in the tourism industry in Mexico. She holds a Second Language Certificate in English from Bentley College and an ESL Teachers’ Certificate from the Grupo Educativo Anglo Americano in Mexico City.

Laura Buen Abad Velázquez | Academic Coordinator, LISTO

Laura is a pedagogue by profession and nature. She has devoted her professional life to education at different levels, from preschool to higher education, and has delivered more than 500 hours of training to teachers in schools and at the university level and served as an Academic Coordinator and Educational Programming Developer. Her work is based on the firm conviction that education is the base for the growth of any individual and society, and therefore, for the growth of her country. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Education with Specialization in Management of Schools from the Universidad Panamericana.

Ivonne Sevilla | Administration Coordinator, LISTO

Ivonne joined Worldfund in 2011, after ten years working in a nonprofit organization as Director of Personnel Development. She has experience in logistics and planning, training seminars, personal development and educational coaching. She holds a BA in Education and Human Development and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.

Raúl López Acero | Rassias Academic Coordinator, IAPE

A member of the first IAPE cohort at Dartmouth College, Raúl has played an integral role in the program’s evolution since 2008. Employed through our partner, Dartmouth College’s Rassias Center, Raúl has managed the IAPE Training Center in Mexico since 2011 and has provided academic oversight for all IAPE activity in Mexico since 2016. A certified Rassias Method® Trainer, he holds a Degree in Graphic Design and Certificates in English as a Second Language and Language Training.

Eduardo Flores | Coordinator, STEM Mexico

Eduardo joined Worldfund in 2017. He is a Manager of Science, Technology and Innovation, an experienced Environmental Consultant. He is an advisor to companies and governments officials on environmental matters.  He acted as a researcher at some universities in Mexico and worked in state and municipal governments. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master of Environmental Management and Audits.

Brando Carmona | Administration Coordinator

Brando joined Worldfund in January 2017 as an intern serving the IAPE program. Throughout his university career, he has carried out various activities such as the promotion and execution of social events in Mexico City. Brando is currently in his ninth semester of Business Management and Administration at the Universidad Anáhuac. 

Diana Vales | Administration Associate, LISTO

In March of 2017, Diana joined the Worldfund team with the aim of supporting education since she believes strongly that quality education will transform our society. She worked in the Hospital Español for fifteen years, most recently as a Financial Administrator in the Oncology Unit. She graduated in 2011 with a Degree in Finance from the EBC School of Banking and Commerce in Mexico City. 

Maricruz Bourillon | Blended Associate, LISTO

Maricruz joined Worldfund in January 2017. She has more than six years of experience in LMS platform management and development for online learning. She trusts firmly that education is one of the most important change agents in society. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Pedagogy from the Panamerican University with Specialization in Education Innovation.

Nadia Bustos | Metrics & Evaluation Assistant

Nadia joined the Worldfund team in March of 2017. With ten years of experience in Systems Consulting in the area of ​​quality and testing of systems development, she contributes to the development of new technological perspectives that help to continue training educational leaders who support education in Mexico. She is a Computer Systems Engineer graduated from the Technological Institute of Pachuca, with a Master of Information Technology from the TecMilenio Campus Ferrería. She also holds a Diploma in Project Management from Stratominds Consulting.

Yesenia Ortiz | Program Assistant, LISTO

Yesenia joined Worldfund in September of 2017. She worked as a Student Coordinator for the First Generation Program in the Admissions Office of Harvard College for two years, focusing on outreach and communications to other prospective first-generation college students. She also served as an intern at a gender and justice organization, Equipo Latinoamerica de Justicia y Género, in Buenos Aires. She holds a BA in the Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality, with minor in Latino Studies from Harvard College.

Brian Acosta | Program Assistant, IAPE

Brian joined Worldfund in 2017. He has interned with the community organization ENLACE Chicago in the Little Village neighborhood as part of University of Chicago’s Urban Studies program and hopes to continue his career within the educational field, working to empower children from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed within society. Brian received his BA in Comparative Literature with minors in Education and Latin American and Latino Studies from Swarthmore College and studied abroad in Cuba at the University of Habana and at the Centro de Estudios Demográficos.

Lourdes Karen Torres | Platform Intern, LISTO

Before joining Worldfund in 2017, Lourdes worked as the Head of the Department of Networks and Projects of Educational Innovation at the National Polytechnic Institute and she is a Teacher since 2014 at Prepa en Línea-SEP. She has professional experience in teaching and pedagogical strategies, analysis, planning, design, development and implementation of training actions, as well as in educational platforms. Lourdes holds a Degree in Pedagogy from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, with a specialization in Virtual Learning Environments from the Teacher Education Institute of Virtual Educa, the Organization of Ibero-American States and the Center for Advanced University Studies.


Marcos Paim | Director, STEM & Technology Head

Marcos Paim is the leading architect of the STEM Brasil program. He is the Head Trainer and Coordinator for Worldfund STEM Brasil trainers. Prior to joining Worldfund in 2009, Marcos worked at the Cognitive Studies Laboratory of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul State (LEC/UFRGS), where he trained teachers and managed educational projects for the Organization of American States and the Brazilian Ministry of Education. He also managed educational projects for Grupo Positivo, the Technology Institute of Paraná and the Municipality of Curitiba. Marcos graduated from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul with a concentration in Physics.

Felipe Machado | Communications Director

Felipe Machado joined Worldfund in 2017. Machado is an experienced journalist and an award-winning writer from Brazil who has worked for some of the most important media companies in the country. He is a contributing writer to publications such as Citizen K, Double (France), Vision (China), and Fair Observer (USA), among others and he is also a popular culture blogger and musician. Felipe has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Communications and a Master’s Degree in Digital Journalism.

Marília Gessa | Senior Development Manager

Marília Gessa joined Worldfund in 2014, after having worked as a teacher for 8 years and as an editor for 5 years. She has also conducted Social and Educational Programs in São Paulo slums since 2006. Marília speaks Portuguese, French, and English, has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Linguistics from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), and is a Brown University fellow.

Jeison Poletto | Technology Manager

Jeison joined Worldfund in 2016. He worked in the Barigui Automotive Group for more than 13 years in the areas of information technology, project management, database administration and system development. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems from the University Presidente Kennedy.

Anna Andrea Adas Dualibi | Finance Manager

Anna Andrea joined the Worldfund team in 2017. She has worked in the financial administration area for over twenty years, serving diverse national and multinational companies such as the developer Rossi Residencial, the multinational gaming company IGT-GTetch Brasil, the publishing company Pulo do Gato, the construction company Morro Verde, and the food distributor Buffalo Beef. Andrea received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP) and has partially completed an MBA at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas.

Maria Cecília Jurado | HR & Administrative Manager 

Maria Cecília joined the Worldfund team in 2017, bringing with her 35 years of experience as an Executive Secretary in large and multinational companies such as Eurofarma Laboratórios, Goodyear, Telecomunicações Intraco and Sperry Vickers. Maria has a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature from the Universidade São Marcos.

Anderson Sakuma | Manager, STEM

Anderson acted as a Senior Trainer at Worldfund before officially joining the team in 2018. He worked as a researcher at the LACTEC Institutes and TECPAR Institute of Technology in Paraná in the area of Environmental Engineering with emphasis on Effluent Treatment. He was also Professor and Coordinator of the area of renewable energies of the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná and Senior Researcher at Geo Energy Company. Sakuma graduated in Technology in Public Management from the Federal University of Paraná, Technology in Environmental Management from the Faculty of Education of Araucária and he holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Materials Sciences from the Federal University of Paraná.

Laura Fatio | Communications Coordinator

Laura joined the team in 2017. She has worked with data research at the Institute of Media and Research of the University of Zurich for 18 months and later joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Research Centre for International Policy. She is also the ‘One Young World’ Coordinating Ambassador for Brazil. Laura speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, German and French. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Geography from the University of Zurich. 

Izabela Desgualdo | Program Coordinator, STEM Brasil

Izabela joined Worldfund in 2016. Her professional experience includes seven years as Financial Coordinator in travel related businesses. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism from Unibero and completed a specialization course in Management and Entrepreneurship at PUC São Paulo.

Lucas Lobo | Senior Programmer

Lucas joined Worldfund in 2017. His professional experience includes four years in Database System Development, installation and configuration of softwares with an emphasis on Moodle, Oxwall and Tableau platforms. He worked at technology companies as well as the Barigui Automotive Group. He is currently finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology Management at FACSUL.

Hyginus Ugwu | Program Assistant, STEM Brasil

Hyginus Ugwu joined Worldfund in 2017. Originally from Nigeria, he has worked in China, Qatar and now Brazil in diverse areas such as business consulting, marketing, construction and procurement. Hyginus has an educational background in natural sciences and is working towards a degree in Engineering.

Bianca Molina | Program Assistant, STEM Brasil

Bianca joined Worldfund in October, 2017 as its Princeton in Latin America Fellow. Her past experience includes an internship with Eleva Educação where she worked with Brazilian high school students and college readiness. Bianca speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Latin American and Latino Studies as well as a minor in Mathematics.

Jean Cleber da Silva | Project Assistant, STEM Brasil

Jean joined Worldfund in 2018. Previously, he worked as Coordinator at the Research Center for Government Contracts. He also has 20 years of experience in production engineering in the cosmetic industry as a Planner and Project Coordinator at Grupo O Boticário, and in the pharmaceutical industry as a Planner at Becton Dickinson. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Faculdade SPEI.

Ana Maria Fernandes | Trainer, STEM Brasil

Ana Maria Fernandes has participated in STEM Brasil since 2014 as a contracted trainer, but in 2017 she officially joined Worldfund as a permanent team member. She has more than 20 years of team leadership and training experience in the customer service industry and has led legal support teams in pharmaceutical companies and in telecommunications companies such as Claro and TIM. Ana received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Instituto Paulista de Ensino e Pesquisa and is a certified Professional Coach. 

Gabriela Vieira | Programming Intern

Gabriela joined Worldfund in 2018. She holds a technical degree in Computing from SENAI and she is currently studying Computer Science at Campus Universitário de Andrade.   

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