Maria Otero

Maria Otero was sworn in on August 10, 2009, taking office as US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and International Affairs. She oversees and coordinates US foreign policy on a variety of international issues including: Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Environment, Oceans, Health and Science; Populations, refugees and migration; and the Trafic of being human. She has also been appointed Special Coordinator for Tibet .


Maria Otero was formerly CEO of ACCION International , a pioneering association and a leader in microfinance in 25 countries. Under the direction of me Otero, ACCION Network of microfinance institutions has greatly expanded its reach; the number of people benefiting from their services increased from 460,000 to 3.7 million thanks to a combined portfolio that grew from $ 274 million to almost $ 3.6 billion. She is one of the leaders in sustainable microfinance, publishing numerous articles on the subject, and speaking on microfinance, women’s issues and poverty reduction around the world.

Before joining ACCION, me Otero occupied economist for Latin America according to the Office of Women and Development, at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID ). She also worked for five years at the Center for Development and Population Activities (CEPDA)

In June 2006, Maria Otero was appointed by the Secretary General of the UN , Kofi Annan to serve on the UN Advisors Group on the question of openness to all financial sectors. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the United States Institute for Peace ; a job offered to him by Bill Clinton. She has chaired the Bread for the World Board of Directors and has served on the boards of the Calvert Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Inter-American Foundation, and BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Development Committee). She is a member of the think tank Council on Foreign Relations.

Maria Otero is currently the highest ranking Hispanic official in the State Department, and the first Latin woman to hold the post of Under-Secretary of State.


In October 2005, she was selected by Newsweek magazine as one of the 20 most influential women in the United States; then ‘Elite Woman of the Year’ in 2007 by Hispanic Business Magazine . She has also received an award for ‘Distinguished Services in Latin America’ by Notre Dame University in the Philippines, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor .

Personal life

Born in La Paz , Bolivia , Maria moved to the United States at the age of 12 1 .

She earned a Masters in Literature at the University of Maryland , a Master in International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS),(university center that depends on the Johns Hopkins University ) and received a Honorary Doctorate of Doctor Honoris Causa in Human Letters from Dartmouth College . Since 1997, she has also been an adjunct professor at SAIS, where she, in collaboration with a colleague, gives a course on microfinance 1 .

She is married to Joseph T. Eldridge, a human rights advocate and Principal Chaplain at American University 2 .

They have three children and a grandchild 3 .

His cousin Jaime Aparicio 4 is a famous Bolivian diplomat and lawyer, Ambassador of Bolivia to the United States and defender of democracy in Latin America. He was also Chairman of the Inter-American Legal Committee of the Organization of American States 5 .


  • In ) This article is partially or entirely from the Wikipedia article in English entitled ” Maria Otero ” ( see the list of authors ) .
    1. ↑ a and b in ) Melissa Duscha , ” MicroCapital STORY: ACCION International President, Maria Otero, Awarded Ellis Island Medal of Honor for Pioneering Work in Microfinance ”  [ archive ] , (accessed on st October 2009 )
    2. ↑ ( in ) ” Maria Otero ”  [ archive ] , WhoRunsGov.Com (accessed on st October 2009 )
    3. ↑ ( in ) ” Cuban National Reconciliation: Task Force on Memory, Truth and Justice ”  [ archive ] (accessed on st October 2009 )
    4. ↑ name = ”  [ archive ] “

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