US Chapter Event "Investment Horizons: Capitalizing on Energy and Infrastructure Projects in Colombia and Venezuela"

María Eugenia Salazar-Furiati, became partner in 2010, and she is very active in investment protection and international arbitration, as well as in public law, in particular on telecommunications and energy.

According to Chambers, market insiders and peers have described María Eugenia as a key partner that is very active in the dispute resolution arena, and is "a very able lawyer." Legal 500 also recognizes María Eugenia as a key player in investment arbitration, energy and natural resources, environmental and public law. María Eugenia is a respected authority on several areas of law in Venezuela, and her expertise is regularly solicited by leading publications and organizations.

In addition to her practice, María Eugenia has also served as a Professor of Investment International Arbitration at Universidad Moteavila Faculty of Law and of Telecommunications Law at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello Faculty of Law.

María Eugenia hold degrees from the Central University of Venezuela (Master Administrative Law), McGill University, Montreal (LL.M. Telecommunications), and Andrés Bello Catholic University (M.C.L. Honors).

Barbara Blakely, became the Director for Corporate Relations for Latin America and the Caribbean for Shell on August 1, 2021.  She has worked for Shell for 20 years and before taking on this role she was the VP of External Relations for Projects and Technology in the Netherlands, leading external communications, engagement and social performance of a global organization that runs about $40 billion of annual spend through its supply chains and spends about $1 billion a year on research and development with about 150 projects in different phases of the development cycle. In her current role she leads a regional team accountable for government relations, internal and external communications, non-technical risk management, social performance and stakeholder management across a complex cross-business portfolio that includes upstream, downstream, midstream, NBD and portfolio activities. Barbara has led Corporate Relations in multi-billion projects that have taken FID, and led External Relations for Renewables, Hydrogen and CO2, with global presence.

Barbara has more than 25 years of experience in energy and project delivery and a Diplomatic career for the Mexican Government and crisis management.

Francisco J. Monaldi, Ph.D., is the fellow in Latin American energy policy and the director of the Latin America Energy Program at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

He is also a fellow at the Center for the United States and Mexico, a lecturer in energy management at the Jones Graduate of School of Business, and a lecturer in energy economics at Rice University. He is a member of the International Faculty at IESA School of Management in Venezuela and Panama, where he was a professor and the founding director (2005-2012) of the Center for Energy and the Environment. He is a nonresident fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Monaldi was previously a visiting professor at the School of Government at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in México; an adjunct senior research scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University; a visiting professor of energy policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; an associate of the Geopolitics of Energy Project and the Roy.

Sudan I. Maccio, has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 27 years. He started his career in Maraven S.A., affiliate of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., in 1994.

Before joining Ecopetrol USA, Sudan represented TotalEnergies in matters related to multibillion-dollar refinery projects and petrochemical joint ventures in Texas. He previously served as Assistant General Counsel for Eni US Operating, providing legal support to deep-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico, including coordination of transactions and litigation support. In recent years, Sudan has been involved in providing legal support to foundations and public charities in the US, providing humanitarian relief for Venezuelan refugees.

Sudan is admitted to practice law in Venezuela (1993) and in Texas (2008). He holds a law degree from the Universidad Católica del Táchira, Venezuela (1993), and a Legum Magister degree (LL.M) from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (1998). He is fluent in Spanish, English, and Italian.

Orlando Ramirez, is Managing Counsel – Latin America of Wood plc, a global leader in consulting and engineering across energy and materials markets, headquartered in Aberdeen and Houston. Orlando has been with Wood plc for 20 years. He provides legal advice in all areas of the law for all Wood plc business unit operations in the Latin American region. In his role, Orlando has legal oversight of legal matters in the region, including contracting advice, corporate, M&A, risk management, labor and employment, mobility, real estate, cross-border transactions, finance, tax, disputes, and litigation. Orlando was formerly in private practice with an international law firm and holds a JD from the Andres Bello Catholic University Law School, Caracas, Venezuela, postgraduate studies in civil and commercial litigation from the same University, and a LLM from the Law School of the University of Houston.

Alejandro Mesa Neira, joined Baker McKenzie in 1995 and became a partner in 2008, where he has focused his practice in matters related to the Energy, Mining and Infrastructure sectors.

He is a highly regarded expert in project finance transactions and is recognized for his advisory and representation work for American and European companies in the Colombian market. Alejandro has also been listed as an expert in Power, Oil, Environmental and Projects Law by Chambers Latin America, and in Chambers Global and The Legal 500 global directories, which highlight his experience and recognition in the field.

Due to his experience working with Colombian government entities, he has advised major clients seeking to participate in government procurement procedures or to structure distribution channels in Colombia.

Alejandro holds a degree in law with honors from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.