©2019 by Boricuas Unidos en la Diáspora.

OUR TEAM

Committed to the Cause

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EDIL SEPÚLVEDA CARLO

Co-founder

Edil is a NASA scientist, licensed attorney, climate change expert, and Diaspora organizer, currently living in the Washington, D.C. area. He is a staff research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he works as the Applications Coordinator for NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System Initiative. After Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico, some of his work has shifted towards disaster recovery and resilience. Edil has been part of NASA's Black Marble Science Team, which recently was awarded the Agency's Group Achievement Medal for their efforts to support Puerto Rico’s recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Before working at NASA, Edil was a consultant on climate change and environmental legal issues for the Government of Puerto Rico.

LUIS PONCE RUIZ

Co-founder

Luis is SEIU Local 105’s Strategic Campaign and Research Director and a 2016 Latino Leadership Institute Fellow. A Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service graduate, he also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico. His work and experience is focused on the intersection of law, human and labor rights, and community empowerment. In 2014 he served the United Nations Development Program in Peru to support COP-20. Fluent in Spanish, he is also competent in French and Portuguese, and has sought additional certifications in data analytics, political communication, regional and comparative law, and international business transactions in South America and Asia. He currently serves in the Denver Regional Board of the Book Trust.

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DANIEL VÁZQUEZ

Co-founder

Daniel is an international law attorney in Washington, D.C. His areas of expertise are: transnational investments; rule of law; human rights; and conflict resolution, including litigation in US and foreign courts; with a focus in Latin America and Europe. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and reads French. Daniel is licensed in New York, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as well as the U.S. Federal District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He holds a Masters in International and Comparative Law from the George Washington University in Washington D.C., and a Licenciatura en Derecho from the University of Barcelona. He completed his Juris Doctor at the University of Puerto Rico, School of Law and holds a B.S. in Finance degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.

DIANA ISABEL SOTOMAYOR

Communications Director

Diana currently works as a Global Access to Care Project Manager in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is interested in working from a systems thinking perspective to address the social, environmental and political global forces that influence and shape health, particularly that of the most vulnerable. She brings a wealth of knowledge in communications, advocacy, and policy from her work in the United States Congress, the World Health Organisation and the European Commission. Diana holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Global Health from the University of Copenhagen, and her previous experience includes working with government, civil society and multilateral organizations in Puerto Rico, United States, Ecuador, Spain, Belgium and Denmark on issues ranging from health systems and policies, to governance for health and equity.

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PATRICIA DEL CARMEN DÁVILA

Social Media Manager

Patricia is an international development practitioner based in Baltimore, MD, with a portfolio spanning the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), as well as a professional photographer. Her areas of interest are the definitions of identity between the Puerto Rican Diaspora and the archipelago, and how circular migratory patterns affect said identities, particularly among young people. Patricia is fluent in Spanish and English, and is competent in Russian. She holds a bachelor's degree in photojournalism with a minor in linguistics as well as a masters degree in intercultural communication from the University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC).

BÁRBARA JIMÉNEZ SANTIAGO

Human Rights Advisor

Bárbara, a feminist and human rights lawyer, is Equality Now's Americas Regional Coordinator. She has 10 years of experience advocating for access to justice, gender equality and the elimination of discrimination and violence against girls and women in Puerto Rico and in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Her favorite quote is from Nilita Vientós Gastón, a Puerto Rican lawyer, writer, journalist and professor. She said that she was moved by three principles: "Unconformity with everything that needs to be improved. Dissent with everything that offends human dignity and should be changed. Unlimited enthusiasm to fight for dissenters and dissidents."

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MAGGIE WOOTEN

Energy Grid and Green New Deal Advisor

Maggie is a scientific programmer and analyst in the Biospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she uses remote sensing and advanced analytical methods to study Earth systems, energy, environmental, and carbon cycle sciences. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with degrees in Mathematics and Geography, and has a Master’s in Geospatial Information Sciences from the University of Maryland.

DANIELA MARTÍNEZ BERRÍOS

D.C. Metro Area Collaborator

Daniela holds a bachelor’s degree from American University in International Studies focusing on international development and environmental sustainability and a minor in Political Science. At AU she co-founded and led the Puerto Rican Student Organization (PRSO) in an effort to bring Puerto Rican students together to collaborate on projects for Hurricane María recovery in the island. For her work PRSO was recognized as the 2018-2019 Exemplary New Student Organization and the Green Eagle Student Organization Award. Daniela was a 2018 Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) fellow at Princeton University and has interned for several organizations such as the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Carnegie Europe, and the State Department of Puerto Rico.

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RICARDO VERGEL NEGRÓN

Student Collaborator - American University

Ricardo Vergel Negrón is a sophomore majoring in International Relations with a minor in Public Administration and Policy at American University. Since his first year in college, Ricardo has been involved in the Puerto Rican Student Organization at AU, serving as Secretary during 2018-2019, and currently as Outreach Coordinator and representative of the National Puerto Rican Student Coalition in the DMV area. Ricardo also leads the Puerto Rico Alternative Break program and is also co-founder of A Viva Voz, the first hispanic newspaper at American University. He is also an alumnus of the the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program and is fluent in Spanish, English and German.

CAMELIA PESQUERA

Student Collaborator - American University

Camelia is an undergraduate at American University in Washington, D.C. pursuing a Spanish/Latin-american Studies bachelor’s degree and a minor in Political Science and Cinema Studies. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and graduated from TASIS Dorado High School in Dorado, PR. Camelia interned for Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-7th) for a year, focusing on policy issues related to Puerto Rico and disaster aid. In the academic year of 2018-2019, Camelia served as the Outreach Coordinator for the American University Puerto Rican Student Organization (PRSO). She has been active in the Puerto Rican Diaspora community in D.C. and has collaborated with organizations such as Boricuas Unidos en la Diáspora (BUDPR) to organize events related to Puerto Rico. Camelia is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian.

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GABRIEL BRAS-NEVARES

Student Collaborator - The George Washington University

Gabriel Bras Nevares is a student at The George Washington University where he majors in Journalism and Spanish with a minor in Film Studies. He is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he attended Academia del Perpetuo Socorro. His involvement in Model United Nations both at GWU and back home, as well as his knack for writing short political essays and stories on deeply Puerto Rican issues, have cemented a deep concern for his island ́s political status and well-being.