Head of the Latin America and the Caribbean Unit
Cristina Hoyos is currently the Head of the Latin America and the Caribbean Unit of DCAF. Mrs. Hoyos has more than twenty five years of experience working in development cooperation, diplomacy and security-/peace-related issues, leading multilateral and bilateral negotiations (OECD, African Development Bank, Inter- American Development Bank, and significant bilateral cooperation programmes) in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
She has been working in the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) for the last 12 years, where she was responsible for developing new approaches to countries in fragile situations and for programmes related to conflict prevention in development cooperation contexts. From 2005-2008, Mrs Hoyos was the Co- Chair of the OECD Conflict, Peace and Development Co-operation (OECD) representing Switzerland. Within the Colombian government, she was advisor to two Ministers and Head of International Cooperation in the Ministry for Environment (1998-2000). During that time she was part of the negotiation team in the peace process with the ELN (1998) and participated in the negotiations with the FARC-EP in 2000. As a Diplomat for the Colombian government she held different positions in Germany (1995-1998) and in Brazil (1991-1994).
Mrs. Hoyos holds a PhD in Geography from Humboldt University, Berlin, with a thesis about the Peace Process with the FARC-EP (1999-2002).
Project Assistant, Latin America and the Caribbean Unit
Cédric Bolli has been working for DCAF’s LAC Unit since July 2017, first as an Intern and since January 2018 as a Project Assistant. Supporting the Head of the Unit at all levels of the Project Management Cycle, Cédric helped to frame the Unit’s strategy since its early beginnings and substantially contributed to the expansion of DCAF’s project portfolio in the LAC region. He was heavily involved in the design of the Unit’s current projects in Colombia and Honduras and is supporting the implementation of all of the Unit’s projects in the LAC region.
Prior to joining DCAF, Cédric worked as an Academic Intern and thereafter as a Consular Assistant at the Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Korea. He holds a BA in History from the University of Bern and a MA in Transnational Studies with Distinction from University College London (UCL), where he was awarded the “Transnational Studies Departmental Price” for having achieved the highest marks of his cohort. Cédric grew up in 5 different countries and is fluent in German, Spanish and English.
Project Coordinator, Latin America and the Caribbean Unit
Natalia Escobar works in DCAF's Latin America and the Caribbean Unit as Project Coordinator. She supports the Unit in managing DCAF’s projects in Honduras, Colombia and the wider LAC region.
Ms. Escobar has over 10 years of experience in the design and implementation of multi-stakeholder initiatives. She has conducted several assignments in the areas of governance, institutional reform, and sustainable development for organisations such as the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as for government institutions like the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia. Prior to joining DCAF, she was in charge of coordinating and monitoring inter-agency teams working on designing post-conflict transition plans for seven regions (40 municipalities) in Colombia, and led the assessment of the institutional changes required for implementing the Colombian Policy of "Territorial Peace". She was also advisor to the Director-General of the Department of Social Prosperity, the Colombian government agency responsible for the country’s socioeconomic development. In that capacity, she formulated public policies and drafted bills such as the bill on public-private partnerships. She was responsible for coordinating projects across different organisations and ensuring the strategic alignment with partners ranging from ministries to local governments to multilateral organisations. She has also supported the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights with inputs for the reports on Corporate Human Rights Due Diligence and on Public Procurement and Human Rights.
Ms. Escobar holds an MSc in Management and Strategy from the London School of Economics (LSE), her background is in Economics and also holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Intern, Latin America and the Caribbean Unit
Tobias Fontecilla has been interning with the LAC Unit since September 2018. He obtained a MA in Political Science from the University of Essex in 2016, specializing in International Relations. Shortly thereafter, he worked as a researcher focused on human rights and sociopolitical issues affecting the LTAM region in a Washington D.C. think tank. He has also worked with the CCPR Center where he helped monitor the 123rd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Tobias is fully fluent in Spanish, English and French.