Diego Ontaneda, Co-Founder & CEO

Diego is passionate about bringing socioeconomic development and better governance to Latin America. To achieve these goals, he seeks to develop a new generation of Latin American leaders: ethical, courageous, and entrepreneurial leaders who will transform the continent.


Previously, Diego worked at McKinsey & Company and at African Leadership Academy. He completed his undergraduate degree in Political Economy at Williams College, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa and holds an MBA from Stanford University. He is from Peru.

David Baptista, Co-Founder & Master Educator

David is passionate about helping students develop essential dispositions, skills, habits and values that support long-term health and wellness. He is a master teacher and teacher educator with 15+ years of professional experience and speaks and consults on a wide range of topics, including social and emotional learning, STEM education, and curriculum design.


David graduated from Tufts University where he studied Philosophy, Physics and History. Cognitive Science sparked his passion for education and he is broadly interested in understanding the impact of self-regulatory practices in multicultural contexts.





Regional Director

Marcelo is passionate about youth and the power they have to transform and influence their surroundings. He loves to support students into finding their own truth and what sparks their interests and curiosity in life. During the past few years he has been mentoring high school students into their way to college and designing educational experiences and courses to expand student's world view.

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Community Engagement and Impact MEL Coordinator

Jess is passionate about agroecology, multilingual justice, and finding ways to be mindful of our interdependence. She enjoys cultivating community (often through food or movement-related activities), spotting synchronicities, and celebrating people. She is from Curitiba, Brazil, and has a B.A. in Development Studies from Brown University.



Curriculum Advisor

Kate is passionate about the potential for leadership education to lead to economic development, civic engagement, and protection for minorities. She taught African History, African Politics and Governance, and Entrepreneurial Leadership at African Leadership Academy for five years. Kate grew up in Johannesburg, Paris and Los Angeles. She went to Yale University, and recently graduated from Stanford University with an MBA and a Master's of Education, and was awarded the Miller Social Change Leadership Award. Kate led the design of Brazil Leadership Bootcamp, and is a strategic and curriculum advisor for LALA.


Student Coach

Marc is passionate about the power of social transformation for a more conscious, responsible and authentic youth. He founded Prove, an entrepreneurial education movement that impacts people in more than 5 countries.



Inaugural Colombia LALA Fellow, Colombia Hub Leader, Member of the Talent Acquisition Committee

Daniel is passionate about connecting diverse talent with personal and professional development opportunities. He  is the Co-founder and CEO of Mentors4U Colombia, a non-profit social enterprise that designs career development mentorship programs for diverse college students. Previously, he was the Head of Sales & Business Development at ESCALA Educación and was a Financial Analyst at Citigroup`s Latin America Investment Banking Group. He is also an adjunct professor of "Entrepreneurship & Corporate Social Responsibility" at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. 



Strategic Relationships Manager

Idia Irele is a Nigerian-American global education advocate with a deep commitment to intercultural cooperation and youth leadership. She is a graduate of Smith College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations. Prior to pursuing her Master’s degree in International Education Policy at Harvard University, she lived in the Principality of Andorra, where she taught English and leadership to upper-secondary school students as a Fulbright Fellow. Her professional experience is rooted heavily in youth development, having collaborated with institutions such as UNICEF, The United Nations Association of Greater Boston, UNESCO, the Policy Center for the New South, and the Harvard University Center for Latin American Studies.



Admissions Director

Servet is passionate about innovative education initiatives. He worked at the Amherst College Office of Admission, doing outreach and programming. In addition, he directed the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program, a non-profit organization combating high school dropout rates in New York City.


Game Architect

Edgard is passionate about unleashing the human spirit through the fields of play. At 6'7, Edgard towers over most people. An early career in professional volleyball in his native Brazil was exchanged for a life of social impact.He is co-founder of Instituto Elos, Warrior Without Weapons, and Oasis Game.


Student Coach

Felipe is a partner and one of the founders of Semente, a company that develops entrepreneurial education programs, having trained more than 7,000 entrepreneurs in the 5 regions of Brazil, in Latin American and in the USA.ur own content, or connect to data from your collections.


Implementation Partner, Colombia

Juan Sebastián is passionate about the transformational power of education and the way business creates value for society. He is the Head of Sales at Caltek. Prior to Caltek, he worked as Budget Advisor for the Deputy Secretary of Education of Bogota. Juan Sebastián is also the Co-Founder of Mentors4u Colombia, a non-profit mentorship program that helps the most talented and motivated Colombian college students develop their career plan.


Story Officer

Antonio Rodriguez is passionate about the transformative power of story. 

For nearly two decades, he's explored how intergroup dialogue and experential learning can be used for social impact with school districts around the world, as well as organizations like AmeriCorps, bigSTORY and particularly the Posse Foundation, a revolutionary non-profit that was one of 10 organizations to receive a portion of President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize award.



Student Outreach

Fatou is passionate about people and the power of information technology to make us smarter and have higher quality of life. She grew up in Dakar, Senegal, and has lived in multiple countries including South Africa, USA, South Korea, DRC, Mauritius and Argentina. Fatou is leading the launch of LALA bootcamps in Argentina.


Student Coach

Nathalie is a partner at SOMOS Educacao responsible for Colegio Anglo 21 in Sao Paulo. Prior to starting and managing the school, she worked at the company’s M&A and School Operations teams. Nathalie started her career in investment banking, before she made her way into education in search of meaning and social impact.


Student Coach

Nayara worked for 5 years at Amana-Key, a Brazilian consulting firm specialized in radical innovation, strategy, management and leadership.
Independently, she supported various Brazilian startups in their business models and also acted as VP of talent management at AIESEC, the largest
network led by young professionals.



Database and CRM Support

Robyn is passionate about designing and implementing systems that work, and about developing young people. Robyn spent three years building African Leadership Academy's careers and internships program, and running programming for alumni all over the world. She has been working in Salesforce administration for the last five years, and recently joined Salesforce as a Solution Engineer. She has a degree in English Literature and International Relations. 


Legal Support

Andrew is passionate about furthering the U.S. State Department's mission: To create a more peaceful, prosperous, and democratic world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.  A career diplomat, Andrew has been in the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly a decade, serving overseas in Pakistan and Australia.  From 2014 to 2016 he was a Special Assistant in the Executive Secretariat, supporting Secretary of State John Kerry in his international engagements throughout the world.  Andrew benefitted from the great public schools of his hometown, Northville, Michigan.  He graduated from Harvard College and is completing a JD/MBA at Stanford University.


 Partnerships & Operations Manager

Ana is passionate about creating sustainable solutions to improve living conditions of humans and animals. Her core values are leadership, compassion and loyalty, using them to work with global and local teams that also believe in social transformation. She has 8 years of experience in Business Development and Project Management. Previously, she worked 5 years at AIESEC in Colombia and sat on its Latin American board, leading and empowering young leaders towards peace and maximizing humankind's potential. She now supports LALA's mission by building a collaborative network of allies in Colombia and across Latin America.


MBA Intern, Strategy and Business Development

Anacris is passionate about improving lives through the intersection of business and social impact, particularly in Latin America. She worked in marketing consulting for a few years, helping companies better serve the multicultural consumer in the U.S. Anacris has a degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University and is currently getting her MBA at Harvard University. She supported LALA's bootcamp expansion strategy, newsletter launch, and communications strategy.


Fundraising Support

Mariana is passionate about the life changing possibilities that can happen through education. She grew up in Porto Alegre (south of Brazil) and is currently a consultant at EY. Mariana holds an undergraduate degree in Production Engineering and completed one year of her studies at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, when awarded a scholarship from Science Without Borders. Mariana helps in fundraising research and is a volunteer at LALA.


Ecosystem Mapper 

Ruchi believes in the magic of intersecting the creative arts with ethical education. She is passionate about decolonising curricula and reworking structures of self-care and community within educational institutions. She has worked with vulnerable communities and youth groups in India and the U.K. to focus on healing and celebration by using performance poetry, art, stand-up comedy and theater. She has a Master's in Social Anthropology from SOAS, University of London.


MBA Volunteer, Finance and Business Strategy

Ezgi is passionate about creating education programs that raises critical thinkers and social innovators for a more socially conscious world. She worked at different marketing and strategy roles in both for profit and non-profit organizations. She grew up in Turkey and is currently doing her MBA at Stanford University.


Colombian Legal Counsel

María is passionate about practicing law and using her practice as a tool to learn about the way in which the world works and enable good ideas to become a reality. She is convinced about the key role of education in the improvement of economic and social conditions. Colombian lawyer with an LL.M. degree in International Legal Studies from NYU. Special Advisor to Attorney General of Colombia from 2013 to 2015, and has been a part of international arbitration practices in Houston, New York and Paris. Currently Senior Associate for the Public Law and Litigation team at Esguerra Asesores in Bogotá.  


Legal Counsel

Juan is a legaltech entrepreneur and an attorney. He is passionate about innovation and believes that new ideas, with high social impact, are the best way to build a better future for the Region and the world. As an attorney, he seeks to use the law to empower entrepreneurs and enhance their ideas. As an entrepreneur, he believes in the value of education, resilience, discipline and collaboration as the main and most important ingredients for bringing great ideas to reality. Juan graduated cum laude from the Universidad de los Andes as a lawyer and is currently the Chief Legal and Operating Officer at Phylo Legal and CEO of Lex-Box, both legaltech enterprises seeking to change the legal industry to democratise access to high quality legal services.


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Communications Designer

Claudia is passionate about visual storytelling and unconventional educational programs. She considers herself a hybrid of the humanities and the arts. She worked as a consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank HQs in Washington D.C., where she started off as a member of the Innovation Lab and moved on to work in strategic planning and organizational communication.


Social Media Manager, Student Intern

Julia is passionate about telling stories through videos, films and writing. She recently graduated high school and will continue her journey as a student at San Diego State University. She has helped her family with their educational project in Mozambique and had the honor to share her stories at BLB 2017, a week she will never forget. She hopes to have a positive impact in the world with her productions and to help bring awareness to global issues. Julia managed LALA's social media accounts throughout the summer.


Website Master, Student Intern

Lucas is passionate about technology, social innovation, and Green IT. Lucas is a Colombia Leadership Bootcamp Alumni and starting university this fal. He has been working with web, app, and game development for 4 years. With projects focused on sustainability and education, Lucas' passion is to create technology to impact and influence people's lives for the better. Lucas was a 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Award winner with his app focused on urban forestry. Lucas is managing and maintaining LALA's website.



Talent Acquisition Committee

Ryo is passionate about maximizing the potential of large corporations to create social impact through employee engagement and sustainability initiatives. He launched new types of CSR initiatives at Mitsubishi Corporation after the 2011 earthquake hit Japan, such as impact investing in small to mid-sized companies damaged by the tsunami and creating a winery to help farmers overcome the negative image of the Fukushima disaster. He is now exploring how to integrate these initiatives with the core competency from HR and Sustainability angles. He has worked closely with Diego on the LALA dream since they took Startup Garage together at Stanford GSB.



Talent Acquisition Committee

Harish is keen on building organizations that provide high quality education to a wide audience. Open education, decentralized learning and crowdsourcing are all areas that he's keen to incorporate into the learning process. Harish's professional career has spanned education, technology, finance and management consulting. He is currently building new education products at Great Learning, an edtech firm in India. Harish earned an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, and an MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering from The University of Texas, Austin. Harish is helping LALA with talent search and strategy.

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Talent Acquisition Committee

Vaish is passionate about building high-performing teams and creating engaging environments where employees can learn and thrive. Most recently, Vaish was Director of Human Capital at African Leadership Academy. Vaish began her career as a technologist and has 10 years' experience in HR. She has worked in South Africa, the U.S., Mauritius and India. Vaish recently graduated from NYU with an MS in Organizational Behavior, Systems and Analytics and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University in India. Vaish is leading LALA's executive talent acquisition strategy.

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Talent Acquisition Committee

Lucy is passionate about creating the structures, systems, and enabling environments for people and communities to thrive. She spent the past five years working for African Leadership Academy, as the Chief of Staff and formerly, Director of Finance & Operations.  Before joining ALA, Lucy was the Head of Operations of Nexii, an impact investing advisory firm credited with developing the world’s first social stock exchange. Lucy started her career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley, advising power, utility, and renewable energy clients in North America, South America, Europe and China. Lucy grew up just outside of New York City, and has a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College. Lucy is on the search committee for LALA's third co-founder - a [badass], female COO!

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