Meet the New 2021 Board of Directors!

Partners of the Americas elected eight directors to the 2021 Partners International Board of Directors. These leaders are from both within the Partners Network as well as the wider international development community. We are excited to see their contributions to the policies, programs, and direction of Partners!

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Ms. Liz de la Vega Avendaño, Director (PartnersCampus Uniatlántico, Colombia Chapter)

Ms. Liz De La Vega Avendaño is the president of the PartnersCampus UniAtlántico Chapter. She previously started volunteering with the Chapter as an environmental project leader and a project director in the area of education in charge of programs like the Buddy Program and the Enjoy Language Program. In 2017, Ms. De La Vega Avendaño became vice president of the Chapter. She is a lawyer currently studying procedural law, in addition to being in the ninth semester of a degree in foreign languages.

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Mr. Reynolds Hawkins, Director (Long Island, New York Chapter)

Mr. Reynolds Hawkins is the president of the Long Island, New York Chapter. He first joined the Partners Chapter in 1988 as the chair of the Youth and Sports Committee. During the same year, Mr. Hawkins traveled to St. Vincent to consult, teach, and train track and field athletes prior to their participation in the 1988 Summer Olympics. In addition to working with youth and sports, Mr. Hawkins provides individual and couples therapy related to stress management, crisis intervention, crisis related to substance use, and anxiety disorders.

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Ms. Cathy Healy, Director (District of Columbia)

The former editor of the National Geographic Intranet and Américas Magazine, as well as a Reuters Digital Vision Fellow at Stanford University, Ms. Cathy Healy has bridged networks of educators since 1990. A director emeritus of iEARN-USA, Ms. Healy is an advisor for its world-languages program, an advisor for Educadores Globais/iEARN-Brasil, and a veteran member of Partners' Chapters in Washington, D.C. and her home state of Wyoming.

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Dr. Sandra Hodge, Director (Virginia)

Dr. Sandra Hodge became involved with Partners in the early 1980s with the Virginia-Santa Catarina, Brazil Chapter, where she served several positions, including executive director. She had a Partners Kellogg Fellowship in International Community Development (Fellows II) and was a Fulbright Scholar to the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in 1994. Dr. Hodge is a certified mediator and was a Senior Fellow at the Dispute Resolution Center at the University of Missouri Law School.

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Ms. Heather Martinez, Director (Panama)

Ms. Heather Martinez works at IOM as a client service assistant. Ms. Martinez started volunteering at the age of 16 in 2007 with the Special Olympics, TECHO, Ponte en Algo, and FLJADIS Panamá, among other organizations. She joined the PartnersCampus Panamá Chapter in 2013 and later became its president in 2015. Ms. Martinez was the recipient of Partners' Education & Culture exchange grant in 2017. She currently advises on the Partners Board's policy, finance, programs, and personnel.

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Ms. Aubrey Cox Ottenstein, Director (Oklahoma Chapter)

Ms. Aubrey Cox Ottenstein's relationship with Partners began during childhood. Her father held leadership positions in the Oklahoma Chapter and she would attend Chapter meetings to learn about Partners' work. In high school, she spent a semester living with the family of the Jalisco Chapter's president in Guadalajara, Mexico. Professionally, Ms. Ottenstein has worked extensively in Latin America during her time at Operation Smile, ACCION International, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. 

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Mr. Steve Richards, Director (Kansas Chapter)

Mr. Steve Richards is the president of the Kansas Paraguay Partners (KPP) Chapter. He has spent more than 15 years as a member of the Chapter, previously serving as the vice president and as a co-chair of KPP's Emergency Preparedness project. In 2014, Mr. Richards was a mentor for the American Youth Leadership Program. He has served on his local school board and a community clinic, as well as on a regional visioning task force for the United Methodist Church.

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Mr. Wayne Ferdinand Williams, Director (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Chapter)

Mr. Wayne Ferdinand Williams has been a member of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Chapter in the Caribbean for 30 years. Since 1993, he has served as the Chapter's Chairman of the Youth and Sports Committee. Mr. Williams had the honor of implementing and managing the first A Ganar program in an English-speaking country and assisting in training the coordinators of several other countries. Since 1995, Mr. Williams has helped to source funds and fulfill basketball scholarships to eligible Caribbean players.

Want to read their full bios and meet the other Directors? Learn about their dedication to changing lives here.