EVP Wafaa El-Sadr Visits Santiago Center in Exploratory Climate Trip

Columbia Global team, along with Climate School delegation gathered with key stakeholders to discuss future programs to be developed in Chile.

March 31, 2023

The Executive Vice President for Columbia Global Wafaa El-Sadr traveled to Chile in mid-March to meet with the Santiago Center team while also getting to know key stakeholders and programs upon which the Santiago Center is embarking.

El-Sadr arrived in Chile after having participated in the launch of the Climate Hub | Rio, a Brazil-based climate research and network center carried out in partnership between the city of Rio de Janeiro and the Columbia Global Centers I Rio de Janeiro, which aims to enable more effective collaboration and outreach between local leaders in Brazil and the global scientific community. On her trip to Chile, El-Sadr was joined by Columbia Global COO Cristiane Costa, Santiago Center interim Director Tom Trebat, and Columbia Climate School’s Special Advisor on Climate and Sustainability Dan Zarrilli and Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives Charlotte Munson.

One of the main areas of focus was to explore the possibility of opening a similar Climate Initiative in Santiago for increased interaction between Chile and the Columbia Climate School, which was launched in 2021 to become the first new school to be established at the University in 25 years. While in Chile, the group met with Environment Minister Maisa Rojas, Education Undersecretary Alejandra Arratia (more photos here), and administration and faculty at Universidad Católica, including President Ignacio Sánchez and the Director of International Affairs Lilian Ferrer.

Separately, El-Sadr, Costa and Trebat met with executives from the Luksic Foundation, including the Executive Director Isabella Luksic (photos here), representatives from the US Embassy in Chile and Fulbright Chile, and members of the Santiago Center’s Advisory Board, as well as Giorgio Solimano and Jorge Ramírez from Universidad de Chile's School of Public Health.

In turn, Zarrilli and Munson met with Catalina Undurraga, Executive Director at the Institute for Disaster Resilience (Itrend), as well as with representatives from the Santiago regional governor’s office.