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Feb 23, 2022

US-China vaccine diplomacy: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean

By María Eugenia Brizuela de Ávila, Bosco Marti, Riyad Insanally and Claudia Trevisan

The implications of diverging COVID-19 responses, notably at the onset of the pandemic’s rise in the region, will reverberate beyond the health sector. What might the differing US and China pandemic approaches portend for future influence in the region? 

Caribbean China

Issue Brief

Sep 1, 2021

Addressing instability in Central America: Restrictions on civil liberties, violence, and climate change

By María Fernanda Bozmoski, María Eugenia Brizuela de Avila, Domingo Sadurní

Citizens across Latin America and the Caribbean are rising up in protest. Political frustration and economic stagnation are fueling social discontent exacerbated by the continued COVID-19 pandemic and the slow health response. In Central America, restrictions on civil liberties, high rates of gender-based violence and extortion, and worsening climate change are compounding the lack of economic opportunities and pervasive corruption seen in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Climate Change & Climate Action Latin America

Elections 2020

Oct 28, 2020

Five big questions as America votes: Latin America

By Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center

Given its proximity to the United States, an economically vibrant and healthy Latin America is in the interest of the next US administration. Now, more than ever, it is important for the United States to lean in on Latin America as a strategic partner and continue growing its existing economic, social, and political ties for mutual benefit.

Coronavirus Democratic Transitions

Mayu is a courageous woman full of concerns, aspirations, with a will and intellect deeply committed to the reality of our time, both in the national dimension and the international perspective. She is sensitive and inclined to serve, believes in what she says as it responds to a comprehensive, honest and reliable insight into assumed responsibilities. She is especially passionate on the empowerment of women.

Mayu’s initial years were with family businesses, such as La Auxiliadora Funeral Home, becoming CEO and President. She founded Internacional de Seguros in 1997 becoming the first woman President of an insurance company. In 1999 she became the first woman to be designated Minister of Foreign Affairs in her country El Salvador, serving her country for 5 years. On August 2004 she was elected first woman President of a private bank in El Salvador. When her Banco Salvadoreño and Banistmo, the biggest regional bank, forged a strategic alliance, she was elected CEO, keeping this position even when HSBC, one of the world’s largest financial conglomerates, acquired a controlling majority in 2006. In 2007 she pioneered a new function in the region becoming Corporate Sustainability Head for HSBC Latin America up to March 2015. Regarding present formal working relations, Mayu is currently engaged with Inversiones Vision, her Executive Coaching and Consulting firm in El Salvador. She serves as on the Board of several nonprofits such as the University of Miami External Advisory Board on Latin America, and as Non-Executive Director on business Boards, such as Davivienda Financial Conglomerate in El Salvador and Honduras.

Mayu has a solid academic background in Art, Insurance (Swiss Insurance Institute Zurich) and Law (Universidad Dr. Jose Matias Delgado), with a Master in Business Administration from INCAE Business School and a Postgraduate in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge. She taught at two Universities in El Salvador, and lectured at INCAE Business School in Costa Rica.

She served various professional associations: Asociación de Abogados de El Salvador, member since 1985, conferred her “Socia Distinguida” in 1990; Centro de Estudios Jurídicos member since 1989; Instituto Salvadoreño de Derecho Notarial; ASES insurance association; President of AIDA, insurance law association from 1995 to 1998, first woman in Latin America to hold this position. She has actively participated in socially oriented service institution Boards such as Patronato del Hogar del Niño; FUDEM, EMPREPAS and Vital Voices for women development (President 2016-2017); FUSADES, the most prestigious prívate sector think tank; Universidad José Matías Delgado where she is Treasurer; Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano in Honduras as a Trustee; Instituto Tecnológico Centroamericano; FEPADE foundation of the private sector for education; INCAE Business School, where she was one of the first woman members of its Board; Instituto Salvadoreño del Seguro Social; and Fondo de Inversión Social. When Mayu witnessed the number of elderly clients in the Bank who could not read or write, she helped launch a national literacy campaign and became member of the Consejo Ejecutivo del Trienio de la Alfabetización. She is the first Latin-American member of PLAN’s International Board, and was Chair of the Americas Board Junior Achievement covering 31 countries, also serving on their global Board. She was Chapter Chair of WPO El Salvador. Board Member and Founder of the Central American Leadership Initiative; Board Member of IEESFORD Diplomatic Academy of the Chancery; Board Member of the Quality Council of El Salvador; Board Member of CEDES, the El Salvador Chapter of the World Economic Council for Sustainable Development; Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons based in The Hague, and various other services.

The Rotary Club Maquilishuat honored her with “Galardón al Orgullo Salvadoreño2005”; Día a Día Newspaper in Los Angeles California with “Woman of the year 2005” recognition. Mayu was elected Distinguished Professional 2006 by the Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado, Distinguished Graduate 2009 by INCAE and the Most Admired Woman Entrepreneur in Central America 2010. She was the first woman in Mesoamerica to be admitted into YPO, Young Presidents Organization. She received, upon her 30 years of entrepreneurial activity, the Palma de Oro in 2007, maximum recognition granted by the private sector in the country, honor presented to her by the President of the Republic.

Mayu has been married for almost 40 years and has three children and three grandchildren.