We have assembled a multi-disciplinary, international team with diverse expertise and perspectives. Our interests and backgrounds range from engineering and environmental science to social sciences and international development. We have strong expertise in qualitative research, climatological modeling, water and carbon analysis/footprint, and environmental policy and history in Latin America.



Carlos Ruiz, Co-founder and Policy Lab Director

Carlos has experience in program development in the nonprofit sector and has conducted academic and policy research in Venezuela, Brazil, Guatemala, and in Philadelphia and DC in the US in the areas of healthcare, history of medicine, and environment. Carlos has also conducted doctoral work in history of medicine and science in the Peruvian Amazon region. Carlos serves as EFI’s Research & Development Director and chief editor in the research and content development program, guiding the development of educational materials in all areas of EFI’s focus. Carlos is also supporting EFI’s strategic development transition, including research, program development, and fundraising efforts. At Region360, Carlos leads Axis Two, the Policy & Education Program, and leads the research and policy team from the regional office in Washington, DC. Carlos holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Anthropology from Brandeis University.

Location: Washington, DC.

Ronald Panameño, Co-founder and Sustainable Societies Unit Director

Ronald is a PhD Candidate in Industrial Engineering with a focus on sustainability and climate change at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), in Brazil. Ronald also holds a BA in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in El Salvador. Ronald currently serves as a Lecturer and Associate Researcher in the Operations and Systems Department at the Universidad Centroamericana, UCA in EL Salvador. He has extensive experience in diverse industrial areas such as agroindustry, production, maintenance, information systems, project management, and finance in El Salvador and Panamá. He also has experience as instructor and consultant for academia and industry in El Salvador and Brazil. His doctoral work examines issues relating to sustainable development of processes and products using mathematical models for the agricultural sector, using the agroforest sector in Bahia, Brazil as his main case study. Ronald also serves as Senior Research Advisor at EFI. At Region360, Ronald leads Axis One, the Life Cycle Analysis Program, and manages the technical team from the regional office in San Salvador.

Location: San Salvador, El Salvador.

Rodrigo Fernandez, PhD, Hydroclimatology Lab Director

Rodrigo holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from the Universidad del Valle in Guatemala and MSc and PhD degrees in Water Related Disaster Management from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan. Rodrigo has extensive experience conducting research and evaluating the changes on water resources imposed by climate variability and change. Other research interests include physical and water use dependencies of cities on mountainous headwaters, virtual water trades, and modeling social processes on the water cycle. Previously Rodrigo worked as a climate scientist for West Virginia University; as Statistical Software Developer for Living Image (Tsukuba, Japan); and as Research Technician in the National Disaster Prevention Agency in Guatemala. At Region360 Rodrigo conducts research on water related issues in Central America and serves as advisor to the research team and as advisor to EFI’s Research Fellows.

Location: Washington, DC.

Shea Cheatham, Water Justice Lab Director

Shea is an Argentine-American with an M.S. in Earth Systems Sciences and an M.A. in Philosophy, both from Stanford University. As a graduate student, her work ranged from hydrodynamic modeling to environmental messaging and ethics. Now, Shea leads the Water Justice Lab at Region360, where she uses mixed research methods to generate informed water policy recommendations and educational materials. Her diverse experiences with quantitative and qualitative methods position Shea to be an effective analyst at Region360.

Jaqueline Poole, PhD, Senior Research Advisor

Jaqueline holds a PhD in mechanical engineering with a focus on renewable energy from the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil. Dr. Poole has extensive experience teaching and consulting for international development organizations, including the National Institute for Energy Efficiency (INEE), the United Nations Development program (UNDP), the International Energy Initiative (IEI), and the International Advisory Group of the Interamerican Development Bank (IADB) on the areas of wind power and biomass, sustainable development, and energy efficiency. Dr. Poole holds an MS and BS degrees in in Mechanical engineering from the Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil. With extensive international experience in Latin America and North America, and in Asia where she conducted sabbatical studies, Dr. Poole lives in Washington, DC. At Region360, Dr. Poole is leading the research portfolio on sustainability topics in Brazil and serves as a Senior Advisor to the research team.

Location: Washington, DC.

Loreto Stambuk, Education Associate

Loreto Stambuk Buc is from Punta Arenas, Chile. She has BA in sociology from the Universidad Católica in Chile and an MSc. in urban planning from the University of Iowa. She has experience in the field of environmental education, developing programs for K-12 schools (implementing organic urban garden in the context of extracurricular activities), colleges (sustainable student exchange program and interdisciplinary sustainability course at the University of Iowa) and in the post graduate education level as manager of courses in sustainable construction and energy efficiency at the Corporación de Desarrollo Tecnológico, of the Chilean Chamber of Construction. Loreto has additional expertise in public policy consulting for social environmental studies for the State of Iowa and the Ministry of Environment and Superintendence of Sanitary Services in Chile. She has also taught social research methodology for college graduates, environmental engineers and sustainable architects for both the Universidad Diego Portales and Andrés Bello University in Chile. At Region360, Loreto is supporting program development efforts in the areas of policy and education.

Location: Washington, DC.

Marcela Otto, Education Associate

Marcela holds a BA in Business Administration and Economics from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a Graduate Certificate in Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard Extension School. She managed several education programs in Chile and has volunteered with nonprofit organizations in the U.S. Most recently, Marcela worked as a program coordinator at América Solidaria, an international nonprofit that leads social projects in vulnerable communities. She coordinated the U.S. component of CONCAUSA, a Latin America educational initiative organized by América Solidaria with the support of UNICEF. Her primary role was to mobilize youth across the Americas to present their work on projects that address the Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, she developed and facilitated a high school pipeline program in sustainable development leadership for youth in the Washington DC area. At Region 360, Marcela’s interests reside in educational research and development regarding climate change.

Location: Washington, DC.

Meredith Rector, Education Associate

Meredith holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish from Elmira College. Post-graduation, Meredith moved to Nicaragua to work with a non-profit focused on holistic community development and poverty reduction. During her time in Central America Meredith led programming focused on education, healthcare and economic opportunity. From teaching English and health classes to helping run a local cost-effective clinic and providing professional development training to spur job opportunities, Meredith assisted in the daily operations and administrative functioning of the organization along with her fellow volunteers, which affirmed Meredith’s desire to work in sustainable development. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Development Practice at Harvard Extension School and she looks forward to using her studies to advance her professional aspirations. At Region360, Meredith works on developing educational content for a variety of topics regarding sustainable development.

Location: Boston, MA.


Region360 is a project of the Environic Foundation International (EFI) in Washington, DC. EFI enjoys special consultative status with UN’s ECOSOC and is a member of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).