Valeria Merino

CEO, Sangay Group

Valeria Merino is CEO of Sangay Group, an international network of entrepreneurs and experts that provides advice and support to progressive corporations, social enterprises and citizen sector organizations that care about social change, innovation and issues that matter to the world. Valeria is a social entrepreneur who has been committed to social change since she was a teenager. She worked for Ashoka from 2007 until July 2012, based in Washington, DC. She was a Leadership Group Member and VP for a number of areas and programs. She lead the creation and launching of AshokaHub (, was Director of the Rural Innovation and Farming Program ( and also headed Ashoka’s Venture, Fellowship and Integration programs ( This last program is responsible for selecting Leading Social Entrepreneurs to the Ashoka Fellowship and engaging them in a global community of innovators. She also worked for the Pan American Development Foundation as Director of their Venezuela Office and Senior Civil Society Adviser. She was a member of the global general assembly of Transparency International for over a decade and served on its Board on two occasions. In Ecuador, she founded and was CEO of the Latin American Center for Development (CLD), which worked in the intersection of rule of law and human and economic development. She was also a founding member of Participacion Ciudadana and Transparencia Ecuador. She was appointed as a member of the Council of the United Nations University based in Tokyo, Japan, and was Vice-Chair of the Council. Valeria loves nature, bird watching, contemporary art, cooking and reading about historical figures. One of her favourite books is “Washington, the Indispensable Man”.