Based in Washington, D.C., the Advanced Leadership Foundation (ALF) is an international non-profit organization (501c3) with the key mission to inspire and develop the business, political, and social leaders of tomorrow.
ALF LEADERSHIP TEAM
President of Advanced Leadership Foundation
Corporate and Government Strategist, Advocate for a Green Economy, Global Leader.
Juan Verde is an internationally renowned strategist for both the private and public sectors designing innovative strategies to attract investments, accelerate economic development, and establish strategic alliances. He also specializes in economic sustainable development.
Within the corporate sector, Mr. Verde serves and/or has served as a consultant for a variety of prestigious companies such as Google, Cisco, SAS, American Express and Banco Santander in the United States. He has also collaborated with institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank, Harvard University, and the World Bank. Within the political arena, Mr. Verde has worked with some of today’s most relevant political figures such as former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former vice president Al Gore, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and former Secretary of State John Kerry. In the public sector, he has worked with the governments of Lithuania, Gibraltar, and the United States, as well as numerous governors and mayors in Latin America.
Mr. Verde was appointed by President Barack Obama as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia at the US Department of Commerce, where he led the department’s efforts to solve trade policy and market access issues faced by US firms seeking to grow their business operations in Europe and Eurasia. In addition, he was responsible for developing and recommending policies and programs in regards to US economic and commercial relations with 52 countries in both Europe and Eurasia.
Other milestones and noteworthy achievements in Mr. Verde’s career include his role in founding and presiding over the American Chamber of Commerce in the Canary Islands, as well as his time served as International Trade Adviser for the Department of Commerce during former President Bill Clinton’s second term.
As a driver of social initiatives and a leader in the political world, Juan Verde was a key advocate of former Vice President Al Gore’s The Climate Reality
Project and helped create its Spain and Argentina branches. Mr. Verde currently presides over the Advanced Leadership Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. which seeks to identify and develop the next generation of business, social, and political leaders from around the world.
Juan Verde holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University. Mr. Verde was also elected to the Alumni Board of Directors at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and was a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow during his early career. Additionally, Mr. Verde has been decorated as a knight by the Sovereign Order of the Ecumenical Knights of Rhodes and Malta, and his work has been recognized by Pope Francis. More recently, he was selected as one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential Latinos in the fight against Climate Change,” and was featured at the UN Climate Conference in 2019. Currently, Juan Verde and his family split their time between the United States and Spain. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities such as horseback riding, hiking, and is also an avid marathon runner.
Vice President Advanced Leadership Foundation
Jorge Brown is ALF’s Vice President. In this role, he sets strategic priorities, monitors results, and facilitates relationships with key partners. Dr. Brown is also a partner at the US consultancy firm, MAPA Group, an international business development consulting firm headquartered in Washington D.C. He is also a partner in several start-up companies that range from new technologies to fashion retail.
Dr. Brown has more than 20 years of experience in corporate internationalization and political consultancy at both a national and international level. He has developed most of his career as an advisor to numerous business and political leaders in Europe and Latin America, specializing in growth strategies, business development, human resources and corporate strategies. He served as Senior Advisor to the Mexican Ambassador in Belgium and held numerous posts in the Mexican government including the 2000 Mexican presidential transition team. He was also a development coordinator for The Climate Reality Spain, the Spanish branch of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s climate change nonprofit project.
Global Executive Director/CEO
Catalina Restrepo holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, attended the EUDE Business School where she specialized in Corporate Social Responsibility and Communication Processes, and is a Master of Public Relations from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In addition, she is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government from Harvard University, where she completed the Executive Program of Women and Politics.
With an extensive background in project management consulting and management, Catalina has served as Executive Director of the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area, ACI Medellín, Advisor to the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, Advisor to the Regional Director of SENA, Consultant of the IFC World Bank Group, Advisor of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Advisor to the Government of Antioquia and the Presidency of Colombia, among other positions.
CAROLINA ANDRADE DIRAK
Carolina is a Graphic Design professional and with a degree in Marketing from Icesi University. With experience in varying fields of talent scouting, promotion, design, and communications, Carolina has worked at Los Andes University in Bogotá for seven years, at Icesi University in Cali for eight years, and at SM Group (a publishing house from Spain), in Bogotá for three years.
Carolina supports implementation and monitoring of the Foundation’s communication’s strategy. She creates promotional materials for program portfolio products, text and press releases, blog entries, newsletters and social media management, which includes the website. In addition, she is the National Coordinator of the Orange Leaders project in Colombia, where she manages more than 300 leaders, encouraging them to generate content, meet their ‘leadership’ commitments, record their communication actions and support this large network of people in any way they may need.