OUR TEAMS

Our Staff   ·   Our Board   ·   Associate Council

Our Staff

JF

Jorge E. Figueredo, MPP

Executive Director
Mr. Figueredo has extensive experience leading organizations and programs committed to providing social services, advancing social justice, and advocating on behalf of immigrant communities. Mr. Figueredo was the Executive Director of the Hispanic Committee of Virginia, a local non-profit, which he transformed into a regional multi-million dollar organization. He conceptualized and founded Security One Bank (today known as John Marshall Bank) with 13 other members. He was also the director of the ACLU of Virginia’s Racial Justice and Immigrant Rights Project. Most recently, he worked for The Centech Group, Inc., and the National Federal Contractors Association (NaFCA). He is a native of Colombia, received his bachelor’s degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and his master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland at College Park. He has two young daughters who attend Arlington Public Schools. Mr. Figueredo is excited to focus on providing educational opportunities for our immigrant youth, which in his experience as an executive, advocate, and an immigrant himself, is critical for having a long-term impact in our communities.
Eduardo

Eduardo López

Development Manager / Línea Directa Producer
Eduardo López is the Founder/Producer of Línea Directa, one of the nation’s longest-running Spanish-language television programs dedicated to Latino public service and community outreach. Since 1990, the weekly series has provided thousands of immigrant families living in the Washington metropolitan area with information on important education, health, legal, and social service issues. The program airs each Saturday morning on the capital region’s leading Spanish-language television station, Telemundo 44. Eduardo is also the co-director of Harvest of Empire, an award-winning documentary focusing on immigration.
Norka

Norka Morales

Administrative and Finance Manager
Norka was born and raised in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and moved to the U.S. in 2010 along with her daughter. She graduated from the Higher University of San Simon with a Bachelor’s Degree as a Public Accountant. Norka’s past experience at the Airport Administration AASANA in Cochabamba has given her the opportunity to join Edu-Futuro’s team as the Administrative and Operations Coordinator. Norka admires Edu-Futuro’s strong mission and she is always willing to help other immigrants and their communities.
Susana C

Susana Carpio

Youth Programs Team Lead
Susana began her career working as an economist in Venezuela, where she developed a passion for data-driven analysis and social sciences. She completed a Ph.D. program in Development Economics in France, which allowed her to better understand the challenges faced by vulnerable populations in Latin America and other regions. Since then, Susana has gained experience working with international organizations on youth development, labor markets, socio-emotional development, and education, in the DC area, Honduras and Paraguay. Her empathy and openness are key to building good relationships with her colleagues and her community. Susana enjoys biking with her family and unrolling her mat to do yoga. Her professional goal is to find the best strategies to empower students and, in collaboration with the community, build a path for them to achieve their full potential.
Alejandro

Alejandro Castillo

Adult Basic Ed Instructor/GED Lead
Originally from Venezuela, Alejandro is a recent graduate from Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, VA where he earned his Associate's Degree in Engineering. His passion for technology, learning, and community service brought him to Edu-Futuro where he has served in different roles. Alejandro is a rising leader who continues to advance his professional, academic, and personal development.
Dulce O

Dulce Oliveros

Parent Support Team Lead
Born and raised in Venezuela, Dulce has more than 25 years of experience in project management. Her professional passion led her to be in the area of fire protection engineering, with a proven record of ensuring personal and facility fire safety, as an expert in assisting organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards. Dulce has been in Edu-Futuro for a long time, in different roles. She is absolutely committed to our cause, and she loves working in fast-paced environments while keeping the highest quality standards. Dulce is a generous leader who continuously works toward professional and personal growth.
Florelith

Florelith Fernández

Case Management Team Lead
Florelith was born in San Cristobal, Venezuela, and she moved to the United States in 2018 with her husband and children. She worked for PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela) as a commercial analyst and general services. In addition, Florelith specialized there in supply sales. She's passionate about serving people.
Jessika

Jessika Bermudez

Case Management Supervisor - Prince William County
Jessika was born in Venezuela, where she was in charge of running and managing her family business, while she was attending college. Jessika came to the United States looking for a better future and now she's a Senior Accounting with experience in business administration, human resources, and social services, She has great expectations about her growth at Edu-Futuro.
VH

Veronica Herrera

Case Management Specialist
Veronica attended Northern Virginia Community College and earned a Career Studies Certificate in Business Information Technology in a business-related field in basic business practices. She is fluent in English and Spanish languages and her experience of great interpersonal and customer service skills has supported the community with different social services. Veronica enjoys meeting with clients and their families, connecting clients with professional service, and maintaining consistent communication. She offers solutions to problems and believes in Edu-Futuro values and ethics.
Olga M

Olga Molleja de Sánchez

Case Management Specialist
Olga was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She has a Degree in Advertising and Marketing, with a Specialization in Market Research. In her more than 15 years of experience, Olga was able to work as an Account Executive for companies like Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola. Olga's greatest passion is to help the community, so she volunteers at a Local Church holding events to raise funds for humanitarian aid and collecting supplies to donate.
Joceline

Joceline Briceño

Case Management Specialist
Joceline was born and raised in San Cristobal, Venezuela. She got her degree in Accounting and worked for 4 years in sales. Her passion has always been serving and helping others to grow. She moved to Florida, USA in 2020 and, because of her eagerness to serve at Edu-Futuro, she now lives here in Arlington with her husband. Joceline handles everything she does with persistence and care. She has a special place in her heart for those navigating through the process of immigration and seeking to make their way of living in the USA like herself.
MB

Mariana Balgurevich, M.S.

Volunteer Coordinator
Born and raised in Argentina, Mariana brings 8 years of independent consulting work experience. She has helped organizations going through a culture change work more collaboratively so they can improve the experience of those they serve. Her strong belief in deep empathy is needed when making others' lives better, and her exceptional interpersonal skills, are key to helping underserved immigrant families. In her current role, Mariana leads a team of three people to empower high school students and their families to get access to better education and resources, and dream of a better future for them and the generations to come. Mariana has a Master of Science in Organization Development and Knowledge Management from George Mason University, and a BA in Business Administration from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. At home, she is the proud mom of Nathan and Abigail, married to Emmanuel, who also works to improve people's lives in Latin America. She enjoys living in Arlington, VA, and her work is based at John Lewis High School in Springfield, Fairfax.
Beatriz BEA

Beatriz Gutiérrez

Parent and Youth Outreach Specialist
Beatriz was born in Medellin, Colombia. She's an Advertiser and she has postgraduate studies in Marketing management. Beatriz brings 19 years of experience as Chief Product Officer and Client Service Director, besides her experience working with international brands like H&M, Johnson & Johnson, and L'Oreal Paris. Her experience has allowed her to integrate communication strategy, media strategy, consumer research, and team management. Beatriz loves to connect with people. Her passion turned from developing brands to developing individuals, and she is very committed to inspiring and helping people to generate positive changes in their lives. Beatriz prefers people call her Bea, so, Bea has complementary studies related to women’s leadership, inspiring leadership, and coaching.
Gabriela

Gabriela Aramayo

Parent & Student Outreach Specialist
Gabriela was born in Bolivia and currently lives in Woodbridge, VA. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and has experience supporting families for more than 15 years using the Systemic Psychology System in the private sector. Gabriela has worked developing educational programs to achieve goals for institutions such as Compassion Int. and Latino Health Initiative. She also volunteers as a teacher for young adults in a community church. Married for 24 years and a mother of 4, Gabriela is eager to support the community with her work and experience.

Our Staff   ·   Our Board   ·   Associate Council

Our Board

Jeanne Balcom, Board President (2018-2023) has over 20 years of experience in international securities market regulation and financial services. She is currently an Executive Director of Regulatory Policy at the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). At OCC she is also a Member of the Diversify, Equity and Inclusion Council and on the leadership team of the Hispanic/Latino OCC Leaders and Allies (HOLA), an employee network group. Prior to this role, she served as a Senior Director for International at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, where she spearheaded the founding of the Americas Chapter of the International Forum for Investor Education to share best practices across Latin America and represented FINRA on the Council of Securities Regulators of the Americas. Ms. Balcom holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese. This is her second term on the Board and her first term as President of the Board.

Betsy Jaffe, Board Vice President (2018-2023) is a public affairs executive dedicated to serving foundations and non-profit trade associations. She is currently Director of Marketing & Communications for Nacha, the organization governing the ACH Network, the payment system driving direct deposits and direct payments to banks and credit unions. Previously she was President and CEO of Amplitude Strategies, a strategic communications firm. Her work has been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today and numerous business journals and trade publications. Ms. Jaffe holds a bachelor’s degree from American University and a master’s degree from George Washington University. This is Ms. Jaffe’s second term on the board.

Chris Falcon, Board Secretary (2018-2023) is the Civil Division Supervisor, Legal Counsel, and Deputy Clerk of the Arlington Circuit Court. He is also the founding attorney and owner of The Falcon Firm PLLC, focusing his practice on business consulting and estate planning. Mr. Falcon serves on the Fairfax County Human Services Council and the James Madison University Board of Visitors. He was previously appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to the Virginia Latino Advisory Board, which he served on from 2014-2018. Mr. Falcon received his J.D. from the Widener University Law School and B.B.A. from James Madison University. This is his second term on the board.

Richard Dangay, Board Treasurer, is an Operations executive with 30 years of experience in international development consulting in over 25 countries. He is currently Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at DT Global, an international development firm consulting. Previously, he was Vice President, Operations at Cardno Emerging Markets USA where he had direct oversight of the Finance, Contracts, Pricing and Compliance, HR, IT, and Recruitment groups. His experience includes leading corporate operations, project management, change management, and business and corporate development in both commercial and public sectors. Originally from France, Richard holds an MBA from The American University. This is Richard’s first term on the Edu-Futuro Board.

Ligia M. Perez Reyes (2022-present) has over 15 years of experience in international development including management of projects/contracts, monitoring and evaluation, strategic planning, oversight of financial operations, and design of projects and activities to improve the social conditions of citizens around the world. She has also worked in urban planning and planning of public infrastructure to guide sustainable development of vulnerable regions. Ms. Perez Reyes holds a Master’s degree in Urban Studies and Community Planning from the University of Maryland, a Master’s in Business Administration from ISEADE/El Salvador, and a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies from the Florida International University.

Tonia Waetjen (2020-2023) is a strategic communication professional with 20 years of experience in international affairs. As a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, she has directed communication and outreach in multiple countries and regions throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe. Also a former English as a Second Language teacher, Ms. Waetjen is a leader in developing strategies for communicating across cultures. She currently advises on foreign policy at the Department of Defense. This is her first board term.

Hugh Pace (2021-2024) is the Director of Human Resources for United Income, Capital One’s wealth management technology business. Previously he was responsible for the strategy, design, and delivery of a program that produced thousands of technology hires. Prior to joining Capital One, Hugh held roles at McKinsey & Company and Korn Ferry. Hugh holds an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in Economics. While he was born in Lima, Peru he considers home Mexico City, Mexico where he grew up. Hugh currently resides in Reston, Virginia. This is his first term on the board.

Dr. Marjorie L. Myers (2021-2024) joined our Board of Directors in February of 2021. During her 46-year career in education, she taught Kindergarten through-Higher Education and worked as a Spanish teacher, an ESOL teacher, a bilingual counselor, central office program manager for ELL students, an adjunct professor, an assistant principal, and a principal. She taught and worked as a school administrator in Florida, Georgia, Venezuela, DC, and Virginia. She holds a BA in Secondary Spanish Education from the University of Florida (1972), an MA in bilingual and multicultural education from George Mason University (1985) in Fairfax, VA; has 33 hours of post-graduate coursework in computational and applied linguistics and a Doctorate of Education in Bilingual Special Education from The George Washington University (2009) in Washington, D.C. From 1995 to 2018 Dr. Myers was the principal of Francis Scott Key Elementary in Arlington, Virginia. In September of 2012, that School was recognized by the Ministry of Education of Spain as the International Spanish Academy (ISA) “School of the Year 2011.” Dr. Myers is a contributing author in the 2014 Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas book, Creating Dual Language Schools for a Transformed World: Administrators Speak. She is published in other articles and books. In January of 2018, Dr. Myers was awarded La Cruz de Isabel la Católica by King Felipe VI of Spain for a lifetime of promoting Spanish language and culture in the Americas. She retired from APS in July of 2018. The Key School PTA established the Dr. Marjorie L. Myers Scholarship Fund with Edu-Futuro as a legacy fund at her retirement, and to help first-generation college students with educational expenses. The Rotary Club of Arlington awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award. In October 2018 Edu-Futuro presented a plaque to Dr. Marjorie L. Myers Principal Emerita Francis Scott Key Immersion: The Edu-Futuro Arlington County Community Partner of the Year Award, in grateful recognition of her outstanding efforts and proven success in educating students and others to understand the benefits of communication in more than one language in the context of their diverse cultures, as members of the community and citizens of the world. Dr. Marjorie L. Myers is honored to join our Board of Directors.

Dr. Padmanabhan "Padhu" Seshaiyer (2021-2024) is a tenured Full Professor at George Mason University and a bold visionary leader who combines a strong administrative experience with a successful background in academic research, education, and outreach. He has held several leadership positions including serving as the Associate Dean for the College of Science, Director of STEM Accelerator Program, Director for the Center for Outreach in Mathematics Professional Learning and Educational Technology at GMU, Program Director at the National Science Foundation and most recently being sworn in as one of the STEM advisors to the Governor of Virginia for a newly established VA STEM Advisory Board. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a Master’s degree in Mathematics from India and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a Post-Doctoral Research Associateship from Texas A&M University. During the last two decades, Dr. Seshaiyer has directed a variety of educational and outreach programs to prepare the next-generation workforce through facilitated pathways, graduate and undergraduate research, K-12 outreach, teacher professional development, and enrichment programs to foster the interest of students and teachers in STEM at all levels. This is his first term on the Board.

Board Volunteers

Celina Penovi recently retired from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group, where she served as Senior Legal Counsel. At MIGA she handled international transactions in countries around the world and interfaces with government authorities on issues relating to foreign investment. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked in law firms in Argentina and San Francisco, California where she received a service award for her pro bono immigration work with Hispanic clients.  She is a strong advocate of bilingual education and has published several bilingual children’s books. Ms. Penovi received her J.D. from the University of Buenos Aires and a Masters of Law in International Transactions (LL.M.) from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She has served two terms on the board, most recently as Board President.

Robert Panfil has over 30 years of experience working with transportation and infrastructure projects throughout Latin America, South Asia, and the South Pacific regions. During his 25-year career at the World Bank, he undertook sector and program lending and project procurement and supervision. As infrastructure manager in India, he was responsible for the development of one of the World Bank’s largest highway sector lending programs. He also served as senior advisor to the Australian Foreign Aid Agency. Mr. Panfil has a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania in Finance and an M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin. He has served 3 non-consecutive terms on the Board and has been Treasurer.

Dr. Katharine Panfil has worked in education for over 30 years in the US and abroad, including Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Argentina, and Tanzania. During her career with Arlington Public Schools (APS) where she began as an ESOL teacher, she was Foreign Language Supervisor, Principal of Key Elementary School where she led the development of APS Spanish language immersion program, and Principal of Randolph Elementary School at the time it became the first Primary Years Program of the International Baccalaureate in a public school in the DC metro area. Dr. Panfil holds a Ph.D. in Education from George Mason University. She has served 4 non-consecutive terms on the Board and has been the President and Vice-President.

Dr. Phillip Church is a Senior Economist at DevTech Systems, Inc. where he provides technical advisory and training assistance on the strategic planning, monitoring, and evaluation of USG international development assistance projects and programs. Most recently in Central America, he supervised and trained staff in the monitoring and evaluation of USG grants to organizations working to get child laborers out of work and back into school.  Before joining DevTech, Dr. Church served for 25 years as a Foreign Service Economic Officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). His international development career has led him to work and live in several Latin American and Asian countries. Dr. Church holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oregon, an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, and an A.B. in Economics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Church is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French. He has served two terms on the Board, as Vice-President.

Connie Church was the Director of Finance and Administration for the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) until her retirement in 2009. At APTR she was responsible for all accounting, financial reporting to the board and government partners, human resources, and office administration. She is currently a tax accountant for private clients. Ms. Church grew up in Mexico and lived and worked abroad for several years; in Bangladesh, she served as Vice President of the American International School Board; in Guatemala, she was the co-founder and treasurer of an adoption agency. Ms. Church holds a B.A. in History from Stanford University and an M.A. in Accounting from George Washington University. She has served two terms on the Board, part of that time as Board Treasurer.

Cara Santos Pianesi has helped organizations communicate clearly to garner attention for issues of international development for more than 20 years. She is currently a Communications Lead at the World Bank Group. She previously worked at the United Nations Development Program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Amnesty International. She moved to Alexandria, VA from Miami where she concentrated on private-sector communications vis-à-vis Latin America with Foote, Cone, and Belding. Cara has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. in International Studies and Economics from the University of Miami. She has served two terms on the Board.

Our Staff   ·   Our Board   ·   Associate Council

Associate Council

Guadalupe Sanchez (Co-Chair) (2021) is an experienced education and marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Guadalupe currently serves as the Assistant Director of Multicultural Recruitment at Radford University. She has over 5 years of experience working with prospective college applicants as they strive for higher education. Originally, from California, Guadalupe received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Master of Arts (M.A.) focused in Integrated Marketing Communications from Saint Bonaventure University in upstate New York. As a higher education professional, her goal is to provide as much guidance, mentorship, and resources to all students that are interested in enrolling in a higher education institution. When she is not working with students and families, you can find Guadalupe running half-marathons or checking out a new hiking trail. She also loves to travel and spend time with her loved ones.

Alex Martin (Co-Chair) (2021) is originally from Princeton, New Jersey, and moved to Arlington after graduating from Duke University, where he earned a B.A. in Public Policy and a Certificate in Markets & Management Studies. He currently works as a consultant, where he focuses on helping agencies use technology to improve service delivery. Passionate about social mobility and access to education, Alex seeks to help mission-driven organizations realize value from improved resource management, market development, customer engagement, and financial performance. When not working, Alex serves as an Edu-Futuro Volunteer SAT Tutor with students in the DC area, helping develop test-taking strategies and master critical concepts on standardized tests. He is currently serving his first year as a Co-Chair of the Associate Council.

Anjna Nair (2021) is a Northern Virginia native and a proud Indian American. Growing up in the Fairfax County Public School system and with two immigrant parents, she was introduced to a wide variety of cultures, forming the basis of her passion for promoting diversity and supporting education. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in April 2020 with a B.S. in Molecular Biology Biochemistry, a minor in Chemistry, and a certificate in Digital Media. She focused her studies on the intersection between science, business, and public health and is currently working for Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, a small clinical-stage company, where she conducts phage therapy research. Before joining the Associate Council, Anjna was an ELP I mentor and SAT Tutor. In her professional and personal life, she has shown herself to be motivated, analytical, and a well-rounded team player. In her free time, Anjna enjoys digital art and photography, archery, and deciding future travel destinations.

Daniel Sosa (2021) graduated from the University of Virginia in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs and a minor in Economics. Immediately after graduating, he enrolled in UVA’s Masters in Commerce program where he concentrated on marketing and management and embarked on an international business experience across Greater China. Daniel began his consulting career with Accenture Federal Services and is now a Senior Analyst aligned to the analytics practice working on Tableau dashboard development for USDA. Before serving on the Associate Council Daniel was an ELP I mentor in 2020. In his free time, Daniel enjoys watching and playing soccer, working out, and traveling.

Dashana Flores (2021) is a graduate of Marymount University, where she majored in Mass Communication with a concentration in journalism, obtained a digital media certification along with a minor in public relations. Dashana currently works for Inova Health systems for an HIV grant-funded program that focuses on assisting low-income individuals with medication, housing, dental, substance abuse, and mental health services. Dashana is passionate about helping others and finds joy in what she does day to day. With her passion and educational background, she hopes to contribute her experience and communication outreach skills to promote Edu-Futuro mission. Outside of work, Dashana indulges in trying out different restaurants in the DMV area for the aesthetic and cuisine, and also enjoys photography, going hiking with her dog Max, tutoring middle school students in Spanish, and drawing.

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