Maria Teresa Villanueva is a Lead Specialist with the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. Ms. Villanueva joined the IDB in 1999, working in areas related to access to financial services, business capabilities and markets for micro, small and medium enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly in the agricultural and rural sectors. In 2007 she joined the MIF, where she has worked on partnering with private sector institutions in the LAC region to generate economic opportunities and employment for poor and marginalized groups. In January 2010, Ms. Villanueva took charge of the coordination of MIF activities to support Haiti’s economic recovery after the earthquake, leading efforts that resulted in the tripling of the MIF’s portfolio in the country to 26 projects worth a total of $52 million.
Since June 2012, Ms. Villanueva has led the MIF Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, which has the mandate to develop and implement interventions with partner institutions that: help women start and grow their businesses; provide women access to training, finance, markets and other services that will help raise their incomes; and integrate gender considerations throughout the MIF’s work in the region.
Ms. Villanueva holds a master’s degree in Development Management from American University in Washington DC, and a double degree in Economics and Business Administration from Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala. In 2010, Ms Villanueva received the “Antonio Ortiz Mena Award” recognizing her outstanding contribution to IDB’s mission, particularly in Haiti.
Ms. Villanueva was born in Guatemala, and has also the Swiss citizenship. She has been living in Washington, DC since 1996. Ms. Villanueva has two children, Ana-Cristina (10) and Eric (7).