Those of us who serve on ILDA’s Board of Directors have always been proud of its horizontal—i.e., non-hierarchical— and pluralistic nature, the product of patient and collaborative work by people who put time, effort, and ingenuity into promoting the data agenda in Latin America. Patience, horizontalism, and pluralism. All very “Uruguayan” values, in line with the country that serves as its legal host, but above all with the background (and personalities!) of those who birthed ILDA and led it to where it is today: an institutionally consolidated organization, a reference in its ecosystem, that has an impact on the agendas in which it operates.

Fabrizio, certainly, was much more than an Executive Director for ILDA throughout these years. The values that ILDA projects and the track record that supports its operations are, to a large extent, those of people, such as Fabrizio, Silvana or Ana Sofía, who imprinted their character on the organization. Therefore, when Fabrizio told us some months ago, “It is time,” and that he would be stepping down, the members of the Board were faced with the challenge of selecting a new Executive Director, but also with the task of institutionalizing ILDA beyond its founders and alma mater. The board viewed this transition not as a crisis, but as a necessary step and a great opportunity.

The Board members, with the collaboration of the entire executive team, focused on defining the most appropriate characteristics for the selection process and ultimately opted for a closed process, suitable for the times and for ILDA’s operational context. Simultaneously, they defined the desired professional competencies and personal characteristics for applicants, highlighting not only technical skills and mastery of the field, but primarily the ability to exercise collaborative leadership and manage the networks in which ILDA participates.

Finally, the Board members focused on identifying possible candidates and moving forward with personal interviews. The interviews included a panel discussion with the Board and ILDA researchers, with particular emphasis on knowledge of the operational environment and the development of a strategic vision for the organization’s future. The interviewed candidates all demonstrated tremendous competence, commitment, vision, and capacity, making the selection process both satisfying and challenging.

As a result of the process, we are proud to welcome Gloria Guerrero as the new Executive Director of ILDA. She will begin her duties on April 14. We are excited to bring on board a professional with such a high level of commitment, talent, and accomplishment to lead ILDA into the future. Gloria has been working for more than 10 years at the intersection of democracy, technology, and civics, supporting projects in Latin America to strengthen democracy, increase the representation of minority groups, and protect human rights. From her role at Fundación Avina, Gloria has supported civic initiatives to promote the inclusion and representation of traditionally excluded voices.

We are absolutely confident that Gloria’s proven ability and commitment to citizen empowerment through technology and access to information equip her well to lead this organization collaboratively, strategically, and professionally.

In our role as ILDA’s Board of Directors, we are delighted with this decision and look forward to supporting the new Executive Director in her future mission as we together embark upon a new stage of ILDA.