THE TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARIAT
EUGENIA SAINI – Executive Secretary
Born in Argentina. Agronomist, Doctor in agricultural sciences, passion for agriculture, feeding people and making life better for farmers. Almost 25 years of work in strategic planning, execution, and reporting for national and international operations in agriculture, rural development and sustainable agribusiness for Latin American and the Caribbean countries, with a special focus on family agriculture. Her challenge is to strengthen links among public and private organizations that enhance ag-governance and corporates, increasing investments in R&D and innovation to improve farmers’ lives, inclusion, natural resources conservation, sustainability, and food security. Eugenia’s professional background allows her to work in multicultural and interdisciplinary teams, sharing knowledge from basic and applied sciences, portfolio financial management, and agribusiness policy design. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at Cornell University and more recently with the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) Scholarship at the Center for Strategic &International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C.
JUAN BALBI – 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.
DAVID GÓMEZ – Program Associate
David 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.
ANIMUS is a digital agency with more than 10 years of experience, based in the Argentinean Patagonia. It has a staff of designers, programmers, communicators and digital marketing specialists. Its team work as an integrated interdisciplinary way and has developed web sites and apps for companies, organizations and government entities in Argentina, United States, Spain and Switzerland.
They have an extensive expertise in custom software development in tourism, media and science and technology areas.
ANIMUS Works alongside FONTAGRO updating and developing its digital platforms, managing calls for proposals, implementing digital campaigns and posting online content.
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.