As a ‘development entrepreneur,’ I have been looking for ways to implement social innovations for children at UNICEF for over 11 years. Currently, I'm serving as the Data, Research, Policy Planning Specialist at UNICEF HQ in New York City, where I leverage data science to solve complex problems affecting children through data collaboratives with the private sector and academia. I am also conceptualizing a "Cities for Children" initiative, looking at the intersection of urbanization, climate change and child rights in Latin America.
Borrowing from the design world, I introduced a Human Centered Design approach to support the development of Regional Policies for Children in Nicaragua, implementing design techniques such as prototyping, service trials, empathy-driven programming, ethnographic research, co-creation, and crowdsourcing. Through quick feedback loops and 'Lean Startup' techniques, I worked with large government coalitions to develop technically fit and politically sound policy interventions and reforms.
In partnership with the private sector, I also explored new ways ‘to do development’ through the creation of 'entrepreneurial ecosystems.' I conceptualized and implemented the Sociopreneur Initiative, which combines social entrepreneurship and collaborative solutions to create value for children and foster responsible tourism practices. I contributed to the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, through the creation of a social community-based platform named, Tola Conecta. It involved all tour operators in Tola, as well as the community and public sectors (check out my TEDx talk about the idea of creating a 'Silicon Valley' in this rural tourism area).
Previously, I worked at UNICEF Mozambique, where I have broadened the intersection of child rights and Public Finance Management. I was responsible for securing our office’s first partnership with the Ministry of Finance and the Parliament, and played an integral role in the creation of a civil society Budget Monitoring Forum.
At 14, I opened my own business, an english school in the countryside of Brazil, teaching over 50 adults and children. Those savings put me through college and allowed me to travel and live abroad for over a year.
I have a Master's in Human Rights from Columbia University and a Bachelor's in French Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where I graduated summa cum laude and with the highest honors. In my free time (and I do take work-life balance seriously!), I enjoy reading, watching movies and TV series and am 'slightly addicted' to Pinterest. As a native Brazilian, I also enjoy dancing samba and forró, especially in the old neighborhood of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro. I have recently taken up surfing classes, holding a 3-second-standing record, which has since been difficult to duplicate. I've been married for almost 15 years and have a wonderful son.
To get a full picture of where I come from, here's a podcast interview I did with Arch Street Press that connects all the dots!
You can also check out my LinkedIn profile