Executive Secretary

Eugenia Saini is FONTAGRO’s Executive Secretary; based at IDB Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Since 20 years she has worked in public and private institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean in strategic planning and management of international projects related to innovation, agricultural policy and rural development. She is agronomist engineer, Master’s Sciences in food and agri-business, and doctor in agricultural sciences from University of Buenos Aires.  She also has an extended curriculum of courses in agricultural production, accounting and administration from the Argentinian Business University (UADE), others courses in economics from Johns Hopkins University. She was awarded with a Fulbright Scholarship at Cornell University, a Hubert Humphrey Fellow, where she specialized in leadership, agricultural economics and agricultural policy. Recently, she was awarded with the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) Scholarship at the Center for Strategic &International Studies (CSIS). She is currently a member of the former Fulbright Scholar commission of Argentina. She has taught in several institutions and published research work together with the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) of Argentina, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), among others.


Program Administrator

Juan Balbi is FONTAGRO’s Program Administrator, based at IDB Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Since 12 years he has worked in public and private institutions in U.S. and Latin America, leading general administration and accounting teams as well as planning and management of international projects.
Before joining FONTAGRO, he worked for the office of the General Auditor at IDB Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He also worked for 7 years at a U.S. real estate leader company acting as Shared Services Manager, for the Finance Department.
He holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Universidad de la República in Uruguay and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the same University.



Program Associate

davidgomezDavid Gomez is the Program Associate at FONTAGRO. With more than 5 years of experience, he has worked for the private sector in Colombia and, since 2012, has been working in operations and administrative management at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC. Before joining FONTAGRO, he worked at the Integration and Trade Sector of IDB in topics related to market access and agricultural products. In 2013, he joined the Research Department of IDB, where he coordinated the Studies and Publications Committee and other administrative processes. He holds a Master Degree in Economics from Stockholm University and a Bachelor’s degree, in the same, field from Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. He is fluent in English and Spanish.


Communications Adviser

Carina Carrasco is currently the communications and knowledge management adviser for FONTAGRO, administered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Since 2010 Carina works as a communications adviser for development institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2013 she created the communications department of FONPLATA, a multilateral organization for countries in the southern cone, based in Bolivia. Previously, Carina organized the Seminars Program for several IDB annual meetings and she also coordinated the Juscelino Kubitschek Award, which is given by IDB to institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean for their contributions to social and economic development of the region. In Argentina, Carina was the Academic Coordinator of the World Congress ENGINEERING 2010- ARGENTINA, conducted under the sponsorship of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, which gathered more than 4000 engineers working for sustainable development. She participated in the creation of the Argentina Global Compact Network (UN) in its role as administrator and leader of corporate social responsibility in the private sector. She holds a Master Degree in Communications Management from Universidad Austral/IAE, Argentina.



Specialist, Management of Technological Innovation in Agriculture, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA)


Dr. Priscila Henríquez provides leadership and technical support to technology and innovation programs assigned to the IICA Office in the U.S., and promotes collaborative relationships and strategic partnerships. As IICA’s representative in the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (FONTAGRO), she supports joint agricultural research platforms comprised of public and private organizations in 15 Latin American countries and Spain. She leads areas of agricultural innovation, adaptation of agriculture to climate change, linking farmers to markets and sustainable agricultural intensification. Dr. Henríquez is also technical coordinator of the Regional Forum for Agricultural Research and Development (FORAGRO), which promotes science based policies and investments in research and innovation in 34 countries in the Americas.

For six years, she served as Executive Secretary of the Cooperative Program in Agricultural Research and Technology for the Northern Region (PROCINORTE) coordinating research on genetic resources, and plant and animal health. She guided the strategic planning between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the National Agricultural, Forestry and Livestock Research Institute (INIFAP) in Mexico.

Before moving to Washington, DC, she worked at the IICA Office in her native El Salvador where she contributed to secure funding for the National Fruit Program ($1 million/year over 10 years). She also contributed to the formulation and securing funding for two agricultural value chain development projects funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation. She coordinated a $300,000/2 years project funded by the Organization of American States focusing on fruit agro-industry with rural women’s cooperatives.

Prior to joining IICA, Dr. Henríquez worked at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) coordinating the development of the National Plan for Food Security in El Salvador in coordination with the Ministries of Agriculture, Education and Health, the Association of Municipalities, farmer organizations and development agencies.

She has carried out agricultural research working at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT-Mexico), the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR-IFPRI- The Hague), the Natural Resources Institute (NRI-England) and the National Center of Livestock Technology (CENTA- El Salvador).

She holds a degree in Agronomy (Polytechnic University, El Salvador), an M.Sc. in Entomology from University of Alberta, Canada, a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from University of Greenwich, England. She completed postgraduate studies in Business Administration at the National University, El Salvador.