jorge-angulo miguel-coyula dilip-da-cunha alejandro-echeverri belmont-freeman adolfo-garcia

aynel-alvarez-guerra gabriel-fuentes david-guggenheim joseph-scarpacidavid-smith



Jorge A. Angulo Valdés is a full time Professor at the University of Havana’s Center for Marine Research (CIM) and a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE). He was the Director of the Center for Marine Research at the University of Havana and Director of the International Ocean Institute Operational Center in Cuba. Currently he chairs the Marine Conservation Group at CIM. His research interest include marine management effectiveness of marine protected areas, ecology of reef fish, ecology of manatees and sharks, natural resources conservation and bio economics. He has published over 30 papers and several book chapters dealing with his research areas. He has led several research projects funded by international agencies such as the International Development Research Institute, Canada; the Whitley Fund for Nature, England; and the Sea to Shore Alliance, USA.



Photo courtesy Al Jazeera.

Miguel Coyula is an architect, urban planner, professor at the University of Havana, and international lecturer. Coyula is a graduate of the architectural program of the Higher Polytechnic Institute in Havana and has chronicled Cuban architecture since the Colonial Era.

From 1971 until 1990, Coyula worked at the Cuban Ministry of Construction, first as a researcher and later as a specialist in the department of International Relations. He also served as Secretary for Agricultural and Industrial Development for the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), travelling widely through the former Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union.

From 1990 until his retirement in 2012, he worked at the Group for Integrated Development of the Capital (GDIC), the leading government think tank that advises the Havana government on issues of urban development, where his work focused on neighborhood and community development.

Since 2001, Coyula has lectured widely at over 20 universities and research institutions throughout Latin America, the USA and Europe, and served as a visiting professor at the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City. He serves as a consultant to Cubasolar, the leading non-government organization promoting the use of renewable energy and is a member of the Union of Writers and Artists in Cuba (UNEAC), where he serves on the commission for City, Architecture and Culture. His publications include ‘Architecture, Sex, and Revolution.’

Coyula is also featured in ‘Does the diplomatic thaw mean the end of old Havana?‘ (Al Jazeera), where he confronts issues of preservation and cultural heritage, the ‘Cancunization’ of the Caribbean, and the pressures of tourism in the context of Cuba’s future.



Photo courtesy University of Pennsylvania.

Dilip Da Cunha is an architect and planner, Adjunct Professor at the School of Design, University of Pennsylvania; and a Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In collaboration with his partner Anuradha Mathur he is author of Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape (Yale University Press, 2001), Deccan Traverses: the Making of Bangalore’s Terrain (Delhi: Rupa & Co., 2006) and Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary (Delhi: NGMA and Rupa & Co., 2009). Most recently they have co-edited a book entitled Design in the Terrain of Water (Applied Research & Design Publishing, San Francisco, 2014).

An underlying thread in Mathur and da Cunha’s work is a concern for how water is visualized and engaged in ways that lead to conditions of its excess and scarcity, but also the opportunities that its fluidity offers for new visualizations of terrain, design imagination, and design practice. This concern has guided their recent research studios with Penn students in Mumbai and Jerusalem. In April, 2011 and 2012 they conceived and directed an international symposium, In the Terrain of Water, at PennDesign that is also being developed as a book. They are currently working on a project provisionally titled The Invention of Rivers. It stems from questioning the natural status given to rivers and the imaging and imagining that this assumption has inspired. Far from being natural entities, they argue that rivers are products of a cultivated eye that privilege water at one moment in the hydrological cycle when it appears containable and controllable. Through the alternative of a rain terrain – the appreciation of water everywhere before it is somewhere, they are researching an alternate ground for design and planning.

Da Cunha with Mathur is also leading a PennDesign Team for a yearlong project coordinated by Professor Guy Nordenson of Princeton University and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation titled Structures of Coastal Resilience (SCR) with a focus on Norfolk and the Hampton Roads area of coastal Virginia.

He is also a visiting faculty at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore where he is collaborating with the Law+Environment+Design Laboratory on a research project for the re-visualizing and transformation of the Western Ghats of India.



Alejandro Echeverri Restrepo is a Colombian architect born in Medellin who believes in the ethical responsibility of designers to contribute to a better society. His focus has been on emergent territories characterized by informality, exclusion, inequity and instability. He has led multidisciplinary teams in architectural or urban projects that become the backbone for social and territorial development of a flexible and holistic ecosystem. To this end he has built connections with government, civic institutions and communities. The hallmark of his work is innovation and creativity, with design as a constant learning process.

Between 2004 and 2008, as general manager of the Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano and then as the city’s director of urban projects, Echeverri led the social urbanism strategy to improve Medellin’s most impoverished neighborhoods, with the support and partnership of the city’s mayor Sergio Fajardo. The results made Medellin a blueprint for the future for other distressed cities worldwide.

Since 2010, he is the founder and director of URBAM, the Center for Urban and Environmental Studies of EAFIT University. URBAM delves into the urban, environmental and social issues of developing countries, particularly those with weak political and institutional structures. It has an ongoing collaboration with the Action Cities Network.

He maintains an active design practice through his studio Alejandro Echeverri + Valencia Arquitectos, focusing on projects designed for low environmental impact. His work has earned the 1996 Colombian National Architectural Award SCA, the 2008 Pan-American Biennale Award for Urban Design, the 2009 Curry Stone Design Prize and the 2013 Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design from Harvard, among others.

Echeverri believes it is an ideal moment in his life to look with critical distance at the processes he has been involved in and to study the urban, environmental and social issues of emerging countries. During his Loeb year he will be broadening and helping to consolidate the network of experts and institutions interested in these complex urban processes.



Belmont Freeman, FAIA is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City, and earned his Bachelors of Architecture from Yale University and his Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Fine Arts. Since the founding of his practice in 1986, Mr. Freeman has earned a wide reputation as an innovative designer, a progressive practitioner and a scholar. His work is regularly featured in the international design press. Belmont Freeman Architects has built work in North American, Europe and Asia, for a wide variety of public, institutional and private clients.

Mr. Freeman is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. From 1997 to 2008 he was the President of Storefront for Art & Architecture, an internationally known not-for-profit design gallery in New York City. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni and the Board of Directors of the Society of Architectural Historians.

An American of Cuban descent, Belmont Freeman has done extensive research, writing and lecturing on the subject of Cuban architecture, as well as leading numerous architectural tours of Cuba. In 2004 he co-produced, at Storefront for Art and Architecture, the landmark exhibition “Architecture and Revolution in Cuba, 1959-1969,” which examined the remarkable avant-garde design produced in Cuba during the first, heroic phase of the revolution.



Gabriel Fuentes is founder and director of DA|S Design Action Studio for Research, Architecture + Urbanism



Adolfo Garcia is a Partner at Brown Rudnick, and focuses his practice in the corporate and international areas.  He has extensive experience handling various corporate and business transactions including financings, private equity, securities, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, investments, restructurings and contractual arrangements in the US, as well as most other parts of the world.  Dolf also represents non-US based clients with their US based and/or US law governed matters.

Dolf has done significant work outside of the U.S. including Western Europe (particularly the UK, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Ireland), Canada, Central and South America (particularly Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico), the Caribbean, Asia (particularly China, Hong Kong and Japan), and the Arab Middle East (particularly the Emirates, the Gulf and Saudi Arabia) on behalf of US and non-US clients.

He has extensive expertise regarding US laws and regulations applicable to US and non-US clients doing business outside of the US such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act, the Export Administration Act and US laws and regulations administered by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) with focus on Cuba, Dolf’s country of origin.

Prior to joining Brown Rudnick in February 2013, Dolf was a partner in the Boston office of K&L Gates from November 2010 to February 2013. Before that, Dolf was a partner in the Corporate Department of Ropes & Gray and served as Co-Head of the firm’s International Practice Group. In this role, among other duties, Adolfo maintained, managed, supervised, reviewed and expanded Ropes’ non-US counsel network. He also supervised a team at Ropes & Gray that advised financial institutions on the securities laws of over one hundred foreign countries (so called “WorldSky” matters) with emphasis on private placements, investments and significant shareholder issues, and required filings.

From 1982-2003, Dolf was a partner at McDermott Will & Emery and served as a member of the firm’s Management and Compensation Committees. At various times, he also headed the firm’s Corporate, Corporate Finance, Securities and International Law practices in the Boston office.

Dolf has spent a substantial portion of his 41 years of practice dealing with various types of situations involving international business in countries other than the United States. There are few international business situations that Dolf has not seen or has had some involvement or experience with, covering much of the world including major countries and financial centers.  Dolf has an intimate understanding of matters involving US-Cuba relations.  His personal experience as a Cuban exile at the age of 12, coupled with a strong understanding of US laws and regulations regarding Cuba and his long experience in the US and international legal and business environment, positions Dolf well to advise US and non-US companies in matters involving Cuba as the US and Cuba enter into a new era regarding relations with each other.

Dolf has served as General Counsel to clients and has had extensive experience managing and supervising major arbitration, mediation and litigation matters, including the development of strategy, both domestically and internationally (including Canada, Asia, Western Europe, and Central and South America).

Dolf is fluent in Spanish.



Aynel Alvarez Guerra is a Foreign Staff Associate in the Corporate group at Brown Rudnick.

His experience includes mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance with a special focus on cross-border and multijurisdictional transactional work.  He has also provided pro bono service to non-profit entities in the Boston area.

Prior to joining Brown Rudnick, Aynel was a Foreign Associate at K&L Gates LLP working in their Latin American Practice.  Additionally, Aynel interned at the international arbitration group of a top global law firm.

Prior to his departure from Cuba in 2007 to pursue an international legal education, Aynel worked as a legal advisor at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he provided advice on multilateral and bilateral legal issues.  He focused on work involving sovereign immunity and the status of state-owned enterprises in international litigation and arbitration.  A member of the Firm’s Latin America Practice Group, Aynel is also part of the Firm’s Cuba Initiative to assist clients in transactions and matters related to Cuba.

Aynel is fluent in Spanish and French and reading knowledge of Portuguese.

More information soon…



Dr. David E. Guggenheim is a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, submarine pilot, ocean explorer and educator. He is president and founder of the Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization, Ocean Doctor.

Guggenheim directs Cuba Conservancy — an Ocean Doctor Program, and is in his 15th year leading research and conservation efforts in Cuba focused on coral reefs and sea turtles, a joint effort with the University of Havana. His work was recently featured on 60 MINUTES. Guggenheim led the formation of the Trinational Initiative for Marine Science & Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico & Western Caribbean, a major project to elevate collaboration in marine science and conservation among Cuba, Mexico and the U.S. to a new level.

As an ocean explorer, Guggenheim piloted the first-ever manned submersible dives into the world’s largest underwater canyons in the Bering Sea as a scientific advisor to Greenpeace. He was inducted into the Explorers Club as a National Fellow in 2008.

Guggenheim is working to advance cutting-edge technologies for sustainable aquaculture practices to the Americas to reduce pressure on overfished wild fish stocks. Following the tragic BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Dr. Guggenheim has led efforts on a key recovery project in New Orleans East, the Viet Village Urban Farm Sustainable Aquaculture Park, a next-generation fish farming facility designed to grow fish sustainably while taking pressure off of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem during its long recovery. The project will bring green jobs and economic benefits to the largely Vietnamese community of New Orleans East, a community that has been heavily dependent on fishing but has been seriously impacted by both Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

Following the wreck of the freighter, Oliva and resulting oil spill at Nightingale Island, part of the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, Dr. Guggenheim has been leading efforts in the U.S. to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of endangered Northern Rockhopper penguins, half of whose population resides in those islands.

Guggenheim hosts The Ocean Doctor Radio Show and ExpeditionCasts podcast series and plays a key role in public outreach and education about the oceans. He makes frequent speaking and television and radio appearances, having recently appeared on 60 MINUTES, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.

Guggenheim holds a strong commitment to environmental education and is currently engaged in Ocean Doctor’s 50 Years – 50 States – 50 Speeches Expedition to all fifty U.S. states, visiting schools and bringing special programs about ocean exploration and conservation to young students. So far he has traveled more than 37,000 miles, visited 17 states, 1 U.S. territory, made more than 55 speeches and reached more than 15,000 students in schools ranging from the northernmost community in North America, Barrow, Alaska, to Macksville, Kansas, close to the geographic center of the lower 48 states, to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Guggenheim played a lead role in forming the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, a partnership among the U.S. Gulf states and 13 federal agencies and Mexico.

Guggenheim previously served as Vice President at The Ocean Conservancy, President & CEO of The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, co-chair of theEverglades Coalition and president of the Friends of Channel Islands National Park.

Guggenheim holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University in Virginia, a Master’s in Aquatic and Population Biology fromUniversity of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s in Regional Science and Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.



Joseph L. Scarpaci (Ph.D., Florida) is Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Cuban Culture + Economy. He is Emeritus Professor at Virginia Tech where he taught urban planning, Latin American Studies, health and social policy, international development, and marketing. Other institutions where he taught include The University of Iowa, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Rutgers University, Virginia Military Institute, among others. Publication awards given to him are the Al Sturm Award from Virginia Tech for the best faculty book, The American Library Association’s Choice Award, and ‘outstanding urbanography’ by the journal Lingua Franca. Fulbright Fellowships have taken him to Chile (twice), Colombia (twice) and Uruguay. During his 74 trips to Cuba, he has introduced over 700 Americans to the island, including students on 15 study-abroad trips.  His current research examines consumer behavior and iconic branding in socialist countries in Latin America and Scandinavia, and was funded by Aarhus University COFUND-Madame Marie Curie Senior Fellowship, European Union.

Scarpaci’s publications include:

  • Marketing without Advertising: Consumer Choice & Brand Preference in Cuba. 2012. New York and London: Routledge (Advances in Business and Management series), pp. 229 [ISBN-10: 0415896983]. (with Emilio Morales)
  • Cuban Landscapes: History, Memory and Place. 2009. New York: Guilford Press.(with Armando Portela).
  • Havana: Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis. (2002) London & Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. (with Mario Coyula, and Roberto Segre)



David A. Smith is the founder and CEO of the Affordable Housing Institute, which develops sustainable housing financial ecosystems worldwide. With more than 30 years direct experience in affordable housing, David uniquely combines the roles of practitioner and theoretician, participant and policymaker.

His work as an international housing finance policy advisor/ program developer encompasses projects on Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, India, Ireland, Kenya, Middle East, Panama, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Turkey,andUnited Kingdom, and he is a much sought-after speaker on affordable housing issues around the world. In the USA, David provides high-quality analysis to Congress, the Millennial Housing Commission, CBO, HUD, and others, and was a principal member of the 1996 Senate mark-to-market working group. A 1975 Harvard graduate, he is an award-winning author with more than 100 published articles in real estate, valuation, and policy periodicals, and a textbook, as well as an influential blog.

David is also founder and Chairman of Recap Real Estate Advisors. (formerly CASFAS, and before that, Recap Advisors), a Boston-based firm that specializes in complex multifamily asset problems, with an active practice area in the finance of existing affordable housing. In this capacity, he was recently awarded the 2009 Vision Award for his lifetime achievement in affordable housing by The National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA).


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