Maria Cavalcanti is President and CEO of Pro Mujer. She joined the company in 2016, bringing over 25 years of leadership and expertise in strategy, management, innovation, and alliances to her role. Her extensive career includes senior positions in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors across Latin America, the United States, Western Europe, and India.
Before joining Pro Mujer, Maria was Co-Founder and Managing Partner of FIRST Impact Investing, a private equity fund in Brazil. Prior to FIRST, she served as Chief Strategy Officer for Fundación Avina, where she spearheaded global strategy and led investments in impact investing funds spanning 15 countries in Latin America. Maria began her career in management consulting and technology.
Maria is passionate about equality and has been involved in women’s advancement and poverty alleviation initiatives throughout her career. She was named as Apolitical’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Global Policy in 2019 and is recognized as a leading speaker and author on women’s empowerment, impact investing, digital and financial inclusion.
Maria currently serves on the board of the Equality Fund and previously served on the boards of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), NetHope, Pyme Capital, Sitawi, and FUNDES. She was Co-chair of the Partnership for Responsible Financial Inclusion.
Maria holds an MBA from the University of Texas in Austin, a Master of Science in Information Science from Columbia University in New York, and a Bachelor of Arts from Universidade Federal do Ceará in Brazil. She is based in New York City