Sara Aviel is the new President & CEO of the Inter-American Foundation, a U.S. foreign assistance agency advancing community-led development in Latin America and the Caribbean
WASHINGTON, DC, April 27, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Inter-American Foundation (IAF), a U.S. foreign assistance agency advancing community-led development in Latin America and the Caribbean, is pleased to announce that Sara Aviel will succeed Paloma Adams-Allen as its President & CEO. Interim President & CEO Lesley Duncan will return to her role as COO. Aviel brings to the IAF more than two decades of experience in international development with the U.S. government, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector.
Aviel most recently served as the founder and principal of Margalit Strategies, advising a range of organizations on strategic planning, policy development, and stakeholder outreach. She was also a senior advisor on international development policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“I’m honored to take the helm of an organization as respected and effective at driving real impact as the IAF,” Aviel said. “Long before it was recognized as development best practice, the IAF was empowering communities to take the lead. As our region confronts a range of significant challenges—from violence to deforestation to poverty—expanding the IAF’s reach offers us a promising way forward.”
Previously, Aviel served as chief of staff and executive associate director at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (2015–2017), managing operations with a focus on foreign assistance. Aviel represented the United States on the executive boards of the World Bank Group institutions (2012–2015). She was appointed Director for International Economic Affairs for both the National Security Council and National Economic Council (2011–2012). Aviel served as Senior Advisor to the Treasury Secretary during the global financial crisis (2009–2011).
“We’re thrilled that Sara is bringing her savvy, experience, and tenacity to the IAF,” IAF Board Chair Eddy Arriola said. “Under her leadership, we’re poised to meet the moment and continue expanding the resources we’re investing in grassroots recovery and resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Aviel received an MBA, as well as M.A. and B.A. degrees in Political Science, from Yale University. Aviel has worked with international development organizations in both headquarters and field offices worldwide, including CARE, Mercy Corps, and Root Capital. She also served as a senior fellow on development policy at the Brookings Institution and as a lecturer on international development and humanitarian relief at Yale University.
She assumes leadership of an agency that last year invested the highest level of grant funding in its history at $30.3 million. This brought the IAF’s total grant portfolio to more than $120 million, complemented by nearly $160 million in resources committed by nearly 400 active IAF grantees across 27 countries.
The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is a nimble and transformative U.S. government agency that invests in community-led development across Latin America and the Caribbean. The agency directly engages local leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in underserved areas to create more prosperous, peaceful, and democratic communities. The IAF’s active portfolio includes approximately 400 projects in 27 countries.
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