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Founding Executive Director

María Carla Chicuén earned a Bachelor´s Degree in History with High Honors from Harvard University, and a Master´s in International Relations with Merit from the London School of Economics. Prior to FIU, María Carla led special projects in the Office of the President at Miami Dade College, where she focused on strategic partnerships and community engagement. Earlier, she held positions as a Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Panama City, Panama and the World Bank in Washington, DC, in the integration and education sectors. María Carla has extensive experience in the area of higher education access, and has guided numerous students, including many students from Cuba, on university applications. She is the author of the book titled Achieve the College Dream.

Advisory Board

  • Agustín Arellano Sr.- chair of construction firm NV2A Group, board chair

  • Ray Rodríguez – former president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications, vice chair

  • Cesar Alvarez – senior chairman of Greenberg Traurig and member of the FIU Board of Trustees

  • Nestor Carbonell, Sr. – former international public affairs and business leader at PepsiCo

  • Jacqueline Dascal Chariff – founder and chief executive officer of CosmeticPerks 

  • Alfonso Fanjul, Jr. – chairman and chief executive officer of Florida Crystals Corporation and Fanjul Corporation

  • George Feldenkreis – executive chairman of the board of Perry Ellis International

  • Andy García – award – winning actor and director

  • Alberto Ibargüen – president and chief executive officer of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

  • Jorge Mas – chairman of the board of MasTec

  • Lily Prellezo – author

  • Claudia Puig – president and general manager of Univision Communications and chair of the FIU Board of Trustees

  • Mark B. Rosenberg – president of Florida International University

  • Eduardo M. Sardiña – former president and chief executive officer of Bacardi U.S.A.