The team


Carolina Pozo – Chief Executive

Economist from Toronto’s York University, Master in Public Management from SDA Bocconi University in Milan and scholarship holder of the “Leadership Program for Competitiveness” at the University of Georgetown in Washington DC In 2009, Carolina founded AVANTI with the aim of raising awareness about poverty in Ecuador and carrying out projects of sustainable development in the poorest communities.

In 2012 she was selected to be part of Global Shapers Community / Quito HUB, an initiative of the World Economic Forum and was Curator of the HUB in 2013.She is currently one of the continent’s 24 fellows of the Leaders Program for the Promotion of Open Government of the Organization of American States OAS.

Charlie Vayas – Managing Director

Mechanical Engineer from Worcester Polytechnic Institue (WPI) in Boston, Fire Protection Engineering Master from WPI and MBA from IDE Business School. His focus is to promote urban connectivity through shared workspaces and innovation labs.

Jimena Romero – Coordinator

Architect graduated from Universidad Católica del Ecuador, has a Masters in Urban Design and Architecture from Columbia University in New York city. She has worked several years in the public and private sector, and since 2012, she worked in the Office of Special Plans of the Secretariat of Territory, Habitat, and Housing at Quito’s Municipality. She has accumulated work experience in Switzerland, India, United States, Peru and Ecuador…. In the academic aspect, she was teaching assistant during her Masters program under the guidance of PHD Grahame Shane. She has worked as a full time professor at the Faculty of Architecture of Universidad de las Américas and since 2014 she conducts a research on the impact of airports in rural communities in the cities of Quito and Cusco.

Winner of the William Kinne Award from Columbia University and second prize in the contest Manzana de las Luces awarded by the Latin American Confederation of Schools and Colleges of Architecture in Buenos Aires.

Juan Martín Merlo – Coordinator

He studied Sociology, Economics and Political Science at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany and also has a Masters of Rural Development at the University of Ghent and at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

He has experience in social research projects that have led him to work in Ecuador, Ethiopia and Qatar. Upon his return to Ecuador, his current interest is on the introduction of new forms of governance to make Quito a more inclusive district and the municipality an institution with greater responsiveness capacity


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