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STAFF

Susana Villarán
 Susana Villarán, Executive Director
In 2017, the Center for Development with Dignity (CEDED) welcomed Susana Villarán as our new executive director. She brings with her four decades of experience with local and national non-profit organizations, human rights advocacy, and government service. She was the first female elected mayor of metropolitan Lima (2011-14) and served as Peru’s Minister for the Advancement of Women and Human Development (2001-01), creating the Mesa de Concertación (roundtable of dialogue) for the struggle against poverty and the National Program Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. As a human rights activist, she was Executive Secretary of the National Committee for Human Rights, Vice-President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for the Organization of American States (OAS), and was elected by the UN General Assembly to serve on the Committee of the Rights of the Child. An advocate of women’s rights and empowerment, she served as president of Peru’s national network of women elected officials (RENAMA). She is delighted to join the Building Dignity community.
 Ana María Mejía Huisa, Program Coordinator
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Ana María joined the Building Dignity team in 2012, bringing with her several years of experience coordinating social justice initiatives and development projects in poor neighborhoods throughout Lima. In particular, she is interested in literacy, education and health.A native of Villa El Salvador, Ana María has founded and led a number of young groups and cultural initiatives in the district. Her work with children and young people focuses on early stimulation, leadership and self-esteem. Previously, Ana María worked for the National Institute of Family Wellbeing and the Saint Martha Home in the district of Pachacamac. As Program Coordinator at the Center for Development with Dignity, Ana María coordinates our community education activities and organizes community outreach efforts. 

Joscelyn García
 Joscelyn García, Program Director
Joscelyn is a Chicagoland native who graduated from Tufts University (2016) with a B.A. in International Relations and minors in Latin American Studies and Chinese. As a Fulbright Scholar, she taught English in Taiwan and has worked and studied in Nicaragua, Ecuador and China. Coming from a Mexican household, she has been passionate about Latin America from a young age and hopes to take part in its empowerment. As a first-generation college graduate, Joscelyn is a strong believer in the power of education. She is deeply invested in human rights and international affairs, and strongly believes that dialogue and collaboration are vessels for positive change. Joscelyn is honored and excited with her role as Program Director at Building Dignity and to be working with such a great team!
Jsús Valencia
 Jesús Valencia, Community Liaison

A native of Piura in the north of Peru, Jesús left behind the poor agricultural village of Tablazo Norte in 1990 to seek a brighter future in Lima. Beginning in 2008, Jesús served as founding director of the Center for Development with Dignity.  A widely respected community leader, Jesús's other leadership posts have included Secretary General of La Encantada, President of the Human Rights Committee of Villa El Salvador, and President of the Multisectoral Commission, which completed a water and sewer infrastructure project for 55,000 poor settlers. Jesús spends his  mornings working as the director of television and radio programming at Radio Stereo Villa, and spends his afternoons and evenings working as a community organizer. In 2007, he hosted visits by Peruvian president Alán Garcia and Bolivian president Evo Morales.
 Martha Huamán, Director of Logistics 
Born in the highlands of Cusco, Peru, Martha migrated to the capital city of Lima in the 1990s where she and her husband Jesús Valencia helped found the neighborhood of La Encantada in 1996. Since then, she has helped La Encantada become a thriving community and has been a principle organizer of our annual Chocolatada project since 2001. In 2008, Martha and Jesús donated the use of their land to the Center for Development with Dignity and they now live on the second floor of the building, with their children Karina, Jean Pierre, and Rolando, and their nephew Plinio.
Henrik Mitsch
 Henrik Mitsch, Web Designer
Having lived in Latin America, Henrik is Building Dignity's Master of All Things Electronic. He works on Mozilla's Open Innovation team based out of Munich, Germany. Before that he held various product management and technology roles in telecommunications, software and automotive industries. Henrik holds a master’s degree in Information Management from the University of Vienna and an Advanced Certificate for Executives from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
 
Luis Omar Cervantes Ríos, Transportation 
A native of Camaná, Arequipa, Omar participated in the 1996 founding of the neighborhood of La Encantada. From 2005-09, he served as La Encantada Grupo 2 Sub-Secretary General and worked to build and improve local community spaces and water and drainage systems. His dream is to see La Encantada with fully paved streets and a beautiful green parks and recreation spaces. Omar works as a taxi driver in Lima and is in charge of transportation for Building Dignity staff and volunteers.