Panelists

H.E. Juan Guaidó

Interim President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Interim President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and President of the Venezuelan National Assembly. Elected to the National Assembly as a deputy for Vargas in 2015, and as an alternate deputy for Vargas in 2011. He has served as president of the National Assembly’s comptroller commission, and as majority whip. A founding member of Voluntad Popular in 2009, Guaidó earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (Venezuela) and has earned graduate degrees in Public Administration from George Washington University (US) and IESA (Venezuela).

H.E. Carlos Vecchio

Ambassador to the United States from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Born in Caripe, Monagas. Ambassador Carlos Vecchio is the current Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States. A 2013 Yale University World Fellow, Vecchio served as the National Political Coordinator for Voluntad Popular, the party which he founded alongside Leopoldo Lopez. Before going into exile Vecchio was heavily involved in Venezuelan politics; he ran presidential campaigns for the opposition in 2011 and 2012 and ran as an opposition primary candidate for mayor of Chacao in 2008, and for the National Assembly in 2010. Vecchio earned a law degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and received graduate degrees from Georgetown University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar.

H.E. Gustavo Tarre

Representative to the Organization of American States from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Ambassador Tarre is the Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States from Venezuela. From 2015 to 2016, he was a senior adviser to the Rule of Law Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. Prior to this he was managing partner of the political risk consulting firm, Quórum Asuntos Públicos, for 15 years. He was also a member of the Presidential Commission for State Reform (Comisión Presidencial para la Reforma del Estado, COPRE) for 10 years. Ambassador Tarre served in the Venezuelan National Assembly from 1979 to 1999. He was the whip and minority leader for COPEI and presided over the Energy and Mining, Finance, and Internal Politics Committees. In these roles he worked on legislation regarding the Supreme Court and judicial system, corruption, decentralization, congressional ethics, banking, housing, human rights, oil regulations, and Chamber of Deputies regulations, among others. He received his law degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and holds graduate degrees in Public Law and Public Administration from the University of Paris.

Luis Almagro

Secretary General of the Organization of American States

Luis Almagro is the Secretary General of the Organization of American States. He was the Foreign Minister of Uruguay and is a career diplomat. He was also elected to Uruguay’s Senate in national elections in October, 2014. He was the ambassador to China for five years, after holding various positions in the foreign ministry of his country and in the diplomatic missions of Uruguay in Germany and Iran.

David Smolansky

Coordinator for the Working Group to Address the Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Crisis in the Organization of American States

David Smolansky is the Coordinator for the Working Group to Address Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Crisis in the Organization of American States. In 2015 he was awarded the “Outstanding Young Person of the World” by the Junior Chamber International. In 2013, Smolansky was elected mayor of El Hatillo in Caracas, focusing on security and transparency. He is a founding member of Voluntad Popular and participated in the 2007 protests against Hugo Chavez’s constitutional reform. He majored in journalism at the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello and received a master’s degree in political science from the Universidad Simon Bolivar. He is also a Global Competitiveness Leadership Program alumnus of Georgetown University, where he is currently a visiting scholar.

Deputy José Manuel Olivares

Deputy, National Assembly of Venezuela

Deputy José Manuel Olivares is a medical doctor specializing in oncology, radiotherapy, and nuclear medicine. He has been in exile since 2018 due to threats received against him and his family. He was one of the first deputies to speak out about the humanitarian crisis and he sponsored the Special Law to Address the National Health Crisis. In 2014 he founded Médicos por la Salud, which publishes the National Hospital Survey. He received his medical degree from the Vargas School at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, where he also pursued his graduate studies.

Deputy Miguel Pizarro

Deputy, National Assembly of Venezuela

Deputy Miguel Pizarro was first elected in 2011 to serve as an alternate deputy for the state of Tachira, and later was elected to the National Assembly for the state of Miranda in 2015. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Social Development Committee in the National Assembly. His legislative work has focused on helping the HIV patients and the elderly, promoting sports, and education. He was recently involved in developing the Social Emergency Program and social strategy for the National Plan.

Deputy Manuela Bolívar

Deputy, National Assembly of Venezuela

Deputy Manuela Bolívar was elected to the National Assembly as a deputy for Miranda in 2015. Her legislative agenda has focused on tackling the humanitarian crisis and childhood undernourishment. In 2017 she founded “Proyecto Nodriza” to provide balanced diets to at-risk lactating mothers. In 2013 she was appointed as the Constituent Relations Director for the mayor of the El Hatillo municipality, David Smolansky. She received a degree in psychology from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Georgetown University.

Francisco Valencia

Managing Director of Organizaciones por el Derecho a la Salud y a la Vida (CODEVIDA)

Founder and director of CODEVIDA. He is a member of the board of directors of the Venezuelan National Transplant Organization. In 2011 he worked on drafting a law regulating transplants and donations of tissues, organs and cells on human beings in Venezuela. He has received numerous awards for his work on human rights and access to healthcare in Venezuela.