Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA) is proud to announce the appointment of our inaugural Board Chair, Alejandra Mejía, and inaugural Board Vice-Chair, Molly Efrusy. As an organization aiming to transform the Latin American region through the holistic development of social impact leaders championing change in their communities, LALA could not be more excited to welcome such experienced leadership.
“Alejandra’s internal understanding of one of the world’s standout non-profits and LatAm know-how, as well as Molly’s experience working with startup founders and leading a philanthropic foundation, make for an ideal combination of executive stewardship at LALA. We couldn’t have hoped for a better leadership duo,” shared David Baptista, LALA’s co-founder and Executive Director.
Alejandra Mejía is a Global Coach & Consultant for External Engagement at Teach For All, a global network of independent NGOs united by a shared mission to cultivate local leadership to ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive. As a global cross-sector leader, she brings vast experience in helping social entrepreneurs launch organizations and scale their impact by developing the leadership necessary to transform the inequity in education systems across the world. She has previous work experience in the Financial Times and the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. A native of Colombia, Alejandra was a Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2018 and served on the board of Movilizatorio, a civic engagement lab in Latin America.
“The events over this last year have shown us that investing in the development of diverse leadership across Latin America is more important than ever,” Mejia shared. “I believe that youth in our region if given the opportunity, have the power to help shape the solutions to many of the problems that Latin America experiences today. I feel proud that LALA is leading efforts to identify and support children and youth between the ages of 14-20 to elevate their voices and provide them with the tools they need to build stronger communities and ecosystems for themselves and all of us. I’m humbled to be able to support the team in the quest for this transformational change.”
Molly Efrusy, co-Founder and President of the Efrusy Family Foundation, brings deep experience in global youth leadership development and education to our Board. She serves on the Advisory Board for Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service and served on the Advisory Board for the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She was also the founding donor and serves on the Advisory Board of Project Wayfinder, an organization founded in collaboration with Stanford’s d.school that helps students build lives of belonging and purpose. Molly has been a longtime supporter of the African Leadership Academy (ALA), African Leadership University (ALU), and Teach For All. In an interview, Efrusy says:
I have seen the power of new models like ALA to identify, connect, and develop the next generation of leaders in developing regions. LALA has taken these proven models and adapted their practices to the Latin American context. There are countless young leaders spread throughout Latin America who are working tirelessly to transform their communities. LALA has shown that they can find these youth, develop their leadership skills, and provide them with lifelong support and mentorship through their network of changemakers. I am honored to be a part of this movement and to have the opportunity to work with the LALA team and the incredible youth that they serve. We are at the beginning of an exciting journey.
“Ale and Molly have been instrumental advisors and connectors behind the scenes for a while. As we enter a new phase of institutional strength and growth, we couldn’t think of two better leaders to head our inaugural Board of Directors,” commented Diego Ontaneda, co-founder and CEO of LALA.
“Ale and Molly embody the values, purpose, and impact-focused careers we seek to develop in our young leaders. Ale brings a wealth of experience working with social entrepreneurs and other leaders in the education and impact spaces across Latin America. Molly has been deeply immersed in the youth leadership and philanthropic spaces globally,” stated Ontaneda. “Together, they hold a full view of education, leadership, social enterprises, impact measurement, and philanthropy, as well as both Latin American and global trends in these spaces. They also bring ample experience serving on Boards and working with social entrepreneurs. We could not feel more grateful to have their partnership and guidance!”