All of our attorneys were born in Latin America and work in the region, as do many of the other members of our team. Our team works in offices in South America, Central America and North America.
Gladys Martínez is AIDA's Executive Director, working out of San Jose, Costa Rica. For eight years, she led AIDA’s Marine Biodiversity and Coastal Protection Program. Gladys has a law degree from the University of Costa Rica and a master's degree in Environmental Security and Peace from the United Nations University for Peace. She also became a Kellog Executive Scholar in Nonprofit Management through Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Anna Cederstav is AIDA’s Deputy Executive director and Chief Financial Officer. Having worked for the organization since 1997, she was for many years AIDA's Co-Director. Anna has significant expertise in the environmental impacts of mining, fossil fuel development and other extractive activities, climate change impacts, and marine resource protection in Latin America and beyond. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. from Yale University. Anna is based in San Francisco, California, where she also works with the Earthjustice International Program.
Vania Albarracín Silva is Bolivian and an attorney with AIDA's Ecosystems Program, working from La Paz, Bolivia. She is a lawyer from the Universidad Privada Boliviana and a sociology student at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (Cochabamba, Bolivia). She holds a diploma in Sustainability and Social Justice from the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). Vania has experience working with social organizations in defense of the environment and territory.
Liliana A. Ávila is the Area Coordinator of AIDA's Human Rights and Environment Program. A Colombian, she works from the Bogotá office. Liliana is an attorney from the Universidad Externado de Colombia, a specialist in constitutional law, and holds a Masters in Legal Argumentation from the University of Alicante in Spain. She has experience in international human rights law and international systems for the protection of human rights. She's a professor of international law at the Universidad Externado and has worked as a legal advisor on human rights, international humanitarian law, and public health.
Camila Bartelega is Brazilian and a fellow with AIDA's Climate Program working in Belo Horizonte (Brazil). She has a degree in International Relations from the Universidad Estatal Paulista and in Economics from the Universidad Federal de Paraná. She also has a postgraduate degree in Development and Social Policies from the University of Minho (Portugal). Camila has more than ten years of experience working with civil society organizations and the United Nations. She is currently concluding a Master's degree in Economics at the Universidad Estatal de Campinas with a research related to climate finance.
David Cañas is Ecuadorian and collaborates with AIDA as a scientific advisor from Quito He has a degree in Geographic and Environmental Engineering from the Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE (Ecuador). He holds a Master's degree in Geospatial Analysis from the University of London (UK). David has eight years of experience in environmental impact studies and identification of socio-environmental conflicts related to oil and mining activities. He has worked as a cartographer and geographer in research on climate change, risk, demography and education. He has also worked as a volunteer teacher in a community school belonging to the Achuar nationality.
Emilia Carrara is the Development Coordinator based in AIDA’s San Francisco office. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). Emilia has experience in environmental research with a focus on Tropical Ecosystems, and has collaborated as a research assistant both in the academic and non-profit sector. She combines her strong scientific background and work experience in the organizational and managerial areas to support environmental protection strategies.
Jorge Carrillo Bañuelos is Mexican and Fellow Attorney of AIDA's Climate Program. He is a graduate of the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (Mexico) and holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Harvard University, where he completed his studies as a Fulbright Scholar. Jorge also holds a Diploma in Climate Change Law and Governance from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His professional and academic experience has been focused on climate change litigation, environmental rights and constitutional proceedings. He worked for almost three years at the Supreme Court of Justice in Mexico, where he had the opportunity to collaborate in the drafting and analysis of rulings. He has also collaborated with the Washington D.C. office of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).
José David Castilla Parra is Colombian and an attorney with AIDA's Human Rights and Environment Program, working from Bogotá. He has a law degree from Universidad La Gran Colombia and a degree in Social Communication and Journalism from Politécnico Grancolombiano. José David has a specialization in Administrative Law from Universidad del Rosario, Colombia. He has more than three years of experience in environmental litigation with civil society organizations. He has also worked as a researcher, journalist and litigator.
Bryslie Cifuentes Velasco is Guatemalan and an attorney with AIDA's Ecosystems program, working from Guatemala. She has a law degree from Rafael Landívar University, Guatemala, and a Master's degree in Environmental Law from San Carlos University, Guatemala. Bryslie has more than 15 years of experience in ocean governance issues; drafting proposals for environmental regulations, policies and planning instruments for civil society organizations and the public sector in Guatemala. She has been a professor of public international, environmental, administrative and constitutional law for different universities in that country.
María Paula Conrado is Colombian and a junior scientist in AIDA's Ecosystems Program. She is a biologist from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. During her studies, she made proposals for marine conservation projects in the Colombian Pacific, involving local communities. At AIDA, María Paula contributes to biodiversity conservation efforts and the proper management of natural resources.
Javier Dávalos González is senior attorney for the Climate Program. He works with AIDA from Quito, Ecuador. He has a background in international relations, human rights, international cooperation, and population and development sciences. He has experience managing programs and projects related to climate change, international environmental law and sustainable development in international, national and civil society entities. He has been a university professor and facilitator of participatory processes and learning communities.
Laura Yaniz Estrada is part of AIDA's communications team, in charge of outreach. She holds a master's degree in Journalism and Public Policy from the Centro de Investigación y Docencias Económicas (CIDE). She holds a degree in Media and Journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and a diploma in National Security from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). She is interested in new narratives and environmental security.
Isabela Feijó is Brazilian and and Fellow Attorney with AIDA's Human Rights and Environment Program working in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She holds a law degree from the Universidad Federal de Pará (Brazil) and a Master's degree in Human Rights from the Posgraduate Program in Law at the same university. Isabela has extensive academic and professional experience in international human rights litigation, multidisciplinary scientific research work, as well as training and practical performance in strategic litigation, especially before the Inter-American Human Rights System. She conducted a research on cases of human rights violations in the Amazon region. She worked as a lawyer in international lawsuits in this area and in the Federal Prosecutor's Office of Brazil, where she advised the criminal enforcement of judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Gisselle García is an attorney with AIDA's Climate Program working in Mexico. She is a graduate of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She holds a Master's degree in Environmental Law from Rovira i Virgili University (Spain) and a Diploma in Public Policy and Evaluation from the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (Mexico). Gisselle has more than 10 years of experience in applied research and strategic litigation on climate change, air quality, biocultural heritage, indigenous law and food sovereignty. She is a member of the Berta Cáceres Legal Clinic for Environmental Justice at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México.
Daniela García Aguirre is an attorney with AIDA's Climate Program working in Colombia. She is an attorney and environmental engineer from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. Daniela did a research internship at Cornell University and holds a Masters of Laws degree in Environmental Law and Environmental Public Policy from Stanford University, California. She has research experience in air quality measurement and monitoring, as well as in the development of environmental public policy from an environmental justice perspective. She has worked in academia advising and accompanying communities in the design of strategic litigation and proposals for judicial or policy solutions to prevent socio-environmental conflicts and guarantee the rights to health and a healthy environment.
María José González is Argentinean and an attorney with AIDA's Ecosystems Program, working from Mendoza, Argentina. She is a lawyer from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and has postgraduate studies in Environmental Law and Water Resources, International Human Rights Litigation, International Law and Legal English. María José is a candidate for a PhD in Legal and Social Sciences at the University of Mendoza. She works also as a legal advisor in environmental and human rights law and is a member of legal teams of local and national organizations in defense of the environment.
Maria José Gonzalez-Bernat is the Area Coordinator for AIDA's Ecosystems Program. She works from Bogotá. María José is a biologist with a Masters in Marine Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. in Governnace from the University of Western Australia. She has experience in the conservation and management of marine ecosystems, climate change, marine-coastal governance and policies, as well as the effective management of marine protected areas. She has worked with non-profit organizations and in Guatemala's public sector, primarily in research and issues related to marine protected areas.
María Angélica Londoño is AIDA's Human Resources Officer. She is a Colombian business administrator from the Universidad Externado and a specialist in Human Talent Management from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. María Angélica works from AIDA‘s Bogotá office. She has more than four years of experience in the administrative and human resources area in international social and environmental organizations.
Cristina Lux is Chilean and an attorney with AIDA's Climate Program, working from Valdivia, Chile. She is a graduate of the University of Chile and holds a Master's degree in Criminal Law and Criminal Sciences from the Catholic University of Valparaiso (Chile). Cristina has experience in environmental litigation in civil society organizations. She has participated in the presentation of national environmental issues in different international instances, such as the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She also has experience in fundraising and financial sustainability of non-governmental organizations.
Bridgett Mccoy is a U.S. attorney and a fellow with AIDA's Human Rights and Environment Program working in Colombia. She holds a J.S.D. from Columbia University in New York, where she was a member of the Immigrants' Rights Clinic and published her research on laws that criminalize protest against fossil fuel infrastructure. Bridgett has been an environmental compliance consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, with a focus on regions of armed conflict.
Verónica Méndez Villa is a Mexican citizen and an AIDA Climate attorney. She is an attorney from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana of Mexico and has experience in environmental litigation and research with an emphasis on climate change issues. Verónica holds a Master of Law (LL.M.) in environmental law from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and she is currently studying Renewable Energy Engineering at the Universidad Abierta y a Distancia of México.
Anna Miller is a writer and media specialist from Buffalo, New York. She has traveled extensively in Latin America and now counts Colombia as one of her homes. As coordinator of AIDA’s communications team, Anna manages the organization's digital growth strategy and oversees its English language content. She graduated cum laude from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.
Sandra Moguel is Mexican and an attorney with AIDA's Ecosystems Program, working from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. She is a graduate of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and holds a Master's degree in Environmental Law from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Sandra has more than 15 years of experience in environmental research and litigation, primarily in wetlands and fisheries protection issues in both civil society organizations and the public sector.
Fernanda Núñez Espinosa is a Colombian graphic designer who works with AIDA from the Bogotá office. She graduated from the National University of Colombia, and has worked for Colombia State entities such as the District Department for Women and the Administrative Department of the Civil Service. She is experienced in design, photography, event organization and social media management.
Abril Oliveros is part of AIDA's administration team, working from Mexico City. She has a degree in Economics, specializing in poverty, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Studies on Cultural Diversity and Social Spaces at the Institute of Indigenous Studies at the Autonomous University of Chiapas (Mexico). For more than six years, Abril has been collaborating with civil society in the administrative and research areas.
Florencia Ortúzar works for AIDA from Santiago, Chile. She obtained her Law degree (2006) from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and also completed an MSc in Environmental Politics and Regulation (2011) at the London School of Economics (LSE) in England. She joined our team in 2012 and has contributed to AIDA’s work on climate change issues. She enjoys spending time with her pets as well as cooking, camping and nature trekking.
Rosa Peña Lizarazo is an attorney with AIDA's Human Rights and Environment Program. She is attorney from the Universidad del Rosario, Colombia whose bachelor's degree focused on Constitutional Law and Human Rights. Rosa holds a Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Development Studies, with an emphasis on Territorial Development Management, from the Universidad de los Andes, in Colombia. She has also experience in community accompaniment and strategic litigation in cases of human rights violations derived from development policies and projects.
Santiago Piñeros Durán is an attorney with AIDA's Ecosystems Program, working from Bogotá, Colombia. He is a lawyer specialized in Environmental Law from the Universidad Externado de Colombia. Santiago is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Conservation and Use of Biodiversity, with emphasis on reef governance and management of coastal marine systems, at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia). He has dedicated his professional career to the defense of human rights, the investigation of extractive industries and the accompaniment of communities affected by development projects, migrant families and victims of the justice system.
Francisco Pinilla works with AIDA as a digital communications strategist from Brasilia, Brazil. He is Brazilian with Chilean roots. Francisco has a degree in communication, with a specialty in political science, and an MBA in digital marketing from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). His specialty is digital communication, with emphasis on growth, business intelligence and performance. He is passionate about technology as a tool for social transformation.
Victor Quintanilla Sangüeza is a Bolivian freelance communications specialist and journalist. He is part of AIDA’s communications team, working from Mexico City. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Communication from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz, Bolivia. Victor also holds a master's degree and a PhD in communication from the Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México. He has worked in print and television media, as well as in corporate communication in the public and private sectors. Victor is also a researcher in the field of journalism and technology studies. He is currently co-investigator for Bolivia of the Worlds of Journalism study, an international survey of journalists applied simultaneously in 110 countries.
Valentina Raad Rincón is Colombian and AIDA's fundraising assistant, working from Honduras. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Lindenwood University in Missouri, USA, and a Master's degree in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability from CMI Business School in Madrid, Spain. Valentina has experience in the areas of education and fundraising at an international level, which contributes to high performance and timely service to donors, supporters, volunteers and foundations.
Marcella Ribeiro d’Ávila Lins Torres is a Brazilian attorney with AIDA's Human Rights and Environment Program, working from Brazil. She holds an LL.B. in Law from the Universidade Federal da Paraíba, a LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame, and a diploma in Advocacy for NGOs from the Advocacy Hub. She specialized in economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights, international human rights systems, and climate justice. She is well-versed in the practice of human rights law through litigation, advocacy, and campaigning, and is responsible for the coordination of several cases and projects with traditional communities, indigenous people, and HRE defenders at AIDA. She coordinates the Brazilian team, being responsible for identifying opportunities for expanding AIDA’s work in the country. Marcella is AIDA’s focal point on work with defenders and the link between the Human Rights and Climate programs.
Anayantzin Robles Méndez is AIDA's Administrative Manager. She is Mexican and has a degree in International Relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Anayantzin collaborates with AIDA from the Mexico City office. She has completed several degrees in areas such as supply chain and business finance, has worked in organizations from different sectors, and has 10 years of experience in the administrative field.
Magie Rodríguez is AIDA's attorney with the Ecosystems Program from San José, Costa Rica. She has a degree in Law, with a focus on environmental law, from the University of Costa Rica. There she assisted with research on environmental law and agronomy, and developed various extracurricular activities related to marine biology. Through AIDA she contributes to the conservation of the marine and coastal environment of Latin America, especially in the conservation of key ecosystems such as coral reefs.
Claudia Velarde Ponce de León is a Bolivian attorney and Area Coordinator of AIDA's Ecosystems Program. She works with AIDA from Cochabamba, Bolivia. Claudia has a Masters in Environmental Management from the Universidad de León in Spain, with a speciality in the management and conservation of natural areas. She has worked on public policy development, protected areas management, watershed management, climate change, food sovereignty, agroecology and environmental health.
Eli Wilkins-Malloy is AIDA's Development Director, leading the organization’s fundraising strategy. He works from Tallahassee, Florida. Eli holds a Master's in Public Administration with a specialization in nonprofit management from New York University. He brings more than a decade of experience in nonprofit operations, program management, and development to AIDA, having worked to support communities and organizations across the Americas for the protection of environmental, human, and indigenous rights.
Manolo Morales, Ecuador
Executive Director, ECOLEX
Martin Wagner, USA
International Program Director, Earthjustice
Other members of the Board
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peru
Climate and Energy Practice, WWF International
Xavier Martínez Esponda, Mexico
Technical Operating Director, Mexican Environmental Law Center (CEMDA)
Monica Roa, Colombia
Attorney and defender of women’s rights
Rafael Gonzalez, Costa Rica
President, Justice for Nature (JPN)
Principle, Integrated Capital Investing