Maria Cavalcanti is President and CEO of Pro Mujer, and an internationally recognized speaker on impact investing, women’s empowerment and financial inclusion. With over 25 years of professional experience advancing women, Maria leads Pro Mujer in sustainable growth, developing an extended, large-scale platform to empower women throughout Latin America.
Prior to joining Pro Mujer in 2016, Maria worked with a wide range of business and non-profit organizations across Latin America, the United States, Western Europe, and India. Maria co-founded and became 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 strategy and operational initiatives across the organization, spanning 15 countries. Earlier in her career, Maria worked at Dell Inc. where she was closely involved in the company’s expansion into Latin America. She also previously served as a management consultant with A. T. Kearney and TPI.
In addition to speaking at leading events, including the Women Deliver and Fortune Conferences and the World Economic Forum, Maria has authored multiple trade and academic articles. In 2019, she was named among Apolitical’s Gender Equality Top 100: The Most Influential People in Global Policy. She has served on international boards, including the Equality Fund, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, PYME Capital Fund, NetHope, and FUNDES. Since 2017, Maria has served as Co-chair of Partnership for Responsible Financial Inclusion (formerly MCWG).
Maria holds a Master of Business Administration degree 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.