Our Non-Resident Fellows are recognized experts from across the Western Hemisphere and Europe with diverse backgrounds in government, industry and academia. They are an integral part of all of our programming and thought-leadership efforts.
New York City
Soffia Alarcon-Diaz was recently appointed Associate Director, Americas, Sustainability Business at Schneider Electric, where she leads regional sustainability services with a strong focus on climate risk, ESG and net zero frameworks.
Previously, she was the Director of Sustainable Finance at IHS Markit where she supported the development of the next generation of ESG solutions to advise corporate and financial institutions on how to disclose and manage ESG and climate-related risks. Prior to joining IHS Markit, she was Director of Carbon Trust Mexico where she spearheaded the expansion of the activities on green and sustainable bonds, sustainable agriculture and transport, energy efficiency, carbon markets and certification across LATAM. In 2012, she worked for the World Resources Institute in DC and later joined Mexico’s public sector as Director of Climate Change Mitigation Policy to lead the design of the National Emissions Register as well as the implementation of the Climate Change Law for the country. Soffia holds a master’s degree on Public Administration from Columbia University. She is also Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) fellow and was one of the international judges for the Million Cool Roofs Challenge. In 2021, she was named #Gamechanger by the Bloomberg Business week magazine. In the academic world, she taught a course on climate change policy and science and has collaborated in different magazines and television networks across Latin America.
Mexico City, Mexico
Leonardo Beltran was Deputy Secretary for Planning and Energy Transition en the Administration of President Peña Nieto (2012-2018). As part of his responsibilities he was appointed non-executive director of CFE and Pemex. He was the Chief Planning Officer and the Chief Technology Officer in the Mexican Energy Sector. He studied a Master´s in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, and studied Law in the Faculty of Law of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México.
In 2005, Mr. Beltran joined Secretaria de Energia (SENER) as Director for International Negotiations, participating in high level meetings of the Energy Working Group of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Mechanism (APEC), the International Energy Agency, the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, and in bilateral and multilateral negotiations with the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, India, New Zealand, Spain, and United States of America.
In 2010, Mr. Beltran was appointed Director-General for Information and Energy Studies at SENER, where he took part in the National System of Science and Technology and collaborated in the Technology and Science Research Information System of the National Science and Technology Council, as well as the Special Program on Science and Technology. He also coordinated the interdepartmental working group on Carbon Capture, Use and Storage, and the working group to develop the Sustainable Building Mexican Voluntary Standard.
Leonardo Beltran has been a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. He was part of the International Affairs division of the campaign and transition team of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Leonardo Beltran has been part of the World Economic Forum´s Council of the Future of Electricity (2014-2016), and the Council of the Future of Energy (2016-2018). Currently he is a member of the Advisory Council of the Partnering to Accelerate Sustainable Energy Innovation Project. Since 2017 is a member of the Administrative Board of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), and in 2018 he joined the Board of Fundacion por Mexico. He is also a consultant to the World Bank.
Santiago de Chile
M. Trinidad Castro Crichton is the Executive Director of the World Energy Council Chile, a platform for open dialogue between high-level leaders from the public and private sectors and academia, where the most important issues of the country’s energy sector are addressed.
Castro is a commercial engineer and has extensive experience in management in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, specifically in the design, operation and commercial execution of projects. She has a strong orientation toward achievement and management by objectives. She has an autonomous management capacity, proactive personality, with the ability to establish interpersonal relationships and lead work in multidisciplinary teams.
Castro holds a Bachelor in Business Administration & Economy from Universidad de los Andes and a Diploma from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Public Policy. For the last two years she has been studying for a Master in Innovation at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Santiago Chile.
She is very happy to be part of this select group of experts where she hopes to contribute in particular with a citizen’s view on the challenges and issues to be addressed.
Buenos Aires, Argentina/Miami, Florida, USA
Andres Chambouleyron is non-resident fellow at the Institute of the Americas. He has worked extensively in the private sector as an economist and consultant for public utilities (electricity, natural gas, water and sanitation, and telecommunications) and other regulated and non-regulated businesses. His work involves economic analysis, pricing and rate setting, valuation, business advisory, regulatory design and analysis mostly in the energy sector.
In the public sector, Dr. Chambouleyron has been economic advisor to Argentina’s Secretary of Communications (2000), where he helped design and implement the country’s new regulatory framework (i.e., interconnection, spectrum management, universal service, and licensing regimes); and advisor to Argentina’s Minister of Economy (2001) on regulatory and energy issues.
Before joining the Institute of the Americas Dr. Chambouleyron was Chairman of the Board of Argentina’s National Electricity Regulator (ENRE, 2018-2020) that regulates rates and quality of service for two electricity distribution companies in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area (six million users), one 500 KV electricity transmission company (fifteen million users), and seven 132 KV regional transmission companies. He has also been Undersecretary of Tariff Policy at Argentina’s Ministry of Energy and Mining (2015-2017), where he designed and implemented a subsidy reduction program to both electricity generation and natural gas production and a social tariff regime for low-income families.
Dr. Chambouleyron has provided written or oral testimony as an expert in more than twenty arbitration cases in sectors ranging from electricity generation, transmission and distribution, natural gas production, transportation and distribution, to water and sanitation services, telecommunications and satellite services. He has provided consulting services to both private companies and regulatory authorities throughout Latin America on regulatory issues such as interconnection rates and tariffs for both fixed and mobile telecommunication operators, X factors, and tariff calculation for price-cap regimes in telecoms; natural gas distribution companies and electricity and natural gas distribution and transportation companies.
Dr. Chambouleyron holds MA (1992) and PhD (1995) degrees in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and his research on pricing and regulatory issues has been published in several professional journals. He has collaborated in writing two chapters in two books related to the economics of crime and price and quality discrimination practices by unregulated monopolies. He has taught courses in microeconomics, industrial organization, and regulation at both undergraduate and graduate levels in local universities.
Marta Jara Otero
Ex President of ANCAP (Administración Nacional de Combustibles, Alcohol y Portland), Uruguay • After more than 20 years international experience at Royal Dutch Shell, Marta left her position as President of the Shell companies in Mexico to join the energy industry in her native Uruguay • Chemical Engineer graduated from the University of Buenos Aires • MA in Strategic Financial Management at Kingston University, UK, executive education programs at IMD in Lausanne and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has accepted an invitation to the upcoming Georgetown Leadership Seminar 2019 at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service
Carla Lacerda retired in early January 2021, after 35 years with ExxonMobil. She was President of the Brazil affiliate with a focus on managing a robust upstream portfolio, having been associated with oversight of Brazil business for approximately 20 years. Throughout her career, she made significant contributions across many roles at ExxonMobil, including technical roles in Geochemistry, Exploration offshore South America, Gas Commercialization, Commercial Management for the Americas, and Strategy Development.
She was also chairperson of the exploration and production association in Brazil (ABEP/IBP), working on various aspects of advocacy and regulatory frameworks for the industry, with demonstrated effective leadership in dealing with government, regulatory agencies, and business community. Currently, Carla is on the Advisory Board of the Brazil-Texas Chamber of Commerce (Bratecc). In addition, Carla is active in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives (i.e. Mentorship Programs), with industry association IBP, Bratecc, and other organizations. In 2022, she joined the Institute of the Americas as a Non-Resident Fellow with the Energy & Sustainability Program.
Carla has Bachelor and Master Degrees in Chemical Oceanography from Florida Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University, respectively. She is fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and conversational French.
Nelson Narciso Filho
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nelson Narciso Filho holds graduate degrees in Industrial Administration and Economic Engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and an undergraduate degree in Mechanic Engineering from Souza Marques University. He has held multiple senior executive positions at Exploration and Production (E&P) companies and service providers in the oil and gas industry, such as HRT Africa, Halliburton, ABB, Vetco Gray and Hughes WKM. He has accumulated over 35 years of solid experience and extensive knowledge of management and business development in E&P, as well as start-up operations in Brazil, Angola and Namibia. In addition, he was Director of the Brazilian regulatory agency for oil, natural gas, and biofuels (ANP) from 2006 to 2010, when developed a broad vision of the sector’s regulation, having participated in numerous international forums where he was responsible for introducing the Brazilian market dynamics and promoting investment in the country. During his term, he led the creation of the Local Content Coordinating Body, led the Gas Flaring Reduction program, Improvement of Production Fiscal Metering program, Bidding Rounds and Integrated System for products movement.
Francisco Xavier Salazar Diez de Sollano
Mexico City, Mexico
Francisco Xavier Salazar Diez de Sollano is a partner at Gadex, Enix and Trust Mexico. Gadex is a consulting firm specialized in the natural gas market in Mexico, Enix is devoted to energy regulation while Trust Mexico analyses socio political risks for infrastructure projects in the country.
Francisco is also the Coordinator of the International Confederation of Regulators (ICER).
In 2016, he was appointed as the first “Institute of the Americas Regional Energy Integration Non-Resident Fellow” and as executive fellow at the School of Public Policy of the University of Calgary.
During 2015-2017, he was Chair of the Mexican Chapter of the World Energy Council (WEC). In 2017 he became a member of COMEXI, the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations
From 2005 to 2015, he served as Chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) time during which he was an active promoter of energy reform in Mexico. During 2011-2015 he chaired the Ibero-American Energy Regulators Association (ARIAE).
Prior to being a regulator, he was a congressman for two terms. In Congress he served as a Chairman of the Energy Committee at the Chamber of Deputies.
At the beginning of his professional career, he also was involved in the Chemical Sector.
Mr. Salazar holds an MSc in Public Financial Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi, and Diploma studies in Law and Economics from other universities.
He has taught courses on Public Finance and Monetary Economics at local universities in San Luis Potosi and written on the use of economic instruments in environmental public policy, as well as on energy policy and regulation. Mr. Salazar has also participated as member of editorial boards from major newspapers and business magazines in Mexico.
Uplyme, Devon, United Kingdom
Chris is an advocate for better energy solutions than the ones we have used so far!
Chris is well known across the energy sector, particularly for laying a framework for co-investment between public and private sector energy companies, whilst explaining the different elements of project, contract and country risk. He has a track record of helping governments and regulators to optimise private and co-investment.
His focus as a non-resident fellow at the Institute includes low carbon and zero carbon policies and energy technologies, particularly geothermal and hydrogen, being implemented across the globe, especially in Latin America, Europe/UK and Australasia.
Chris is author of the widely read ‘Energy Matters’ op-ed that tackles big energy issues using real-life personal experiences, extensive research and verification. Chris contributes to numerous media articles and research pieces, and is frequently quoted on energy and climate issues by both the energy press and mainstream media. His articles reflect his passion for the energy sector and how to achieve better outcomes. He has published extensively over five decades.
Chris also has experience acquired on Boards of companies, advisory boards, and business chambers, including the Board of Directors of the Institute of Americas from 2014 through 2021. He has a doctorate in geoscience from the University of Reading and has researched lake systems and their economic importance for over 40 years. His contributions to energy and education have been recognised by the UK Government with both an MBE and CBE, and also the Aztec Eagle from the Mexican Government – the first foreigner in the energy sector to receive this.
Rene Roger Tissot
Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Rene Roger Tissot is an economist, MBA and a CPA with deep experience in international energy policy and geopolitics. Roger started his career at the Canadian Energy Research InsƟtute (CERI), where he led the Institute’s international research, particularly in Latin America. He also worked as international government relations for a large Canadian oil company with largely focused on Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina. Later at Washington based consultancy he advised energy corporaƟons on LaƟn America’s energy policy issues. More recently, Roger led program at Kapsarc, a Saudi energy economic think-tank research on policy evaluation and design on in-country value addition and local content in the oil sector. His research focused on East Africa, parƟcularly Uganda and Mozambique. Since completing his assignment in Saudi Arabia, Roger has advised different organizations and recently completed a study for the Sultanate of Oman on the In-Country Value-added and local content policies. Roger is also engaged in work on a PhD in Global Studies at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).