Profiles written and edited by Andrew Wickenden ā€™09 and Ronny Frishman Pā€™00.

Current Position
Investment Adviser, Governance and Citizen Engagement, Omidyar Network; Mexico City, Mexico

2007 Salisbury Summer International Internship
Mexican Institute of Cinematography; Mexico City, Mexico

Graduate Work
MA in International Relations and MS in Public Relations, Syracuse University

As he begins his new role with Omidyar Network, Felipe Estefan ’08 will soon return to Mexico City, where he spent three months as a Salisbury Award recipient, interning and conducting research at the Mexican Institute of Cinematography.

Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, invests in entrepreneurs to advance social good through contemporary technology, education, financial inclusion, governance and citizen engagement, and property rights.

In returning to Mexico City, Estefan will work on Omidyar Network’s Governance and Citizen Engagement portfolio in Latin America, supporting projects surrounding everything from open government, to independent media, to the way public resources are spent.

Compared to his most recent role in the Public Integrity and Openness Department at the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice, Estefan says that this new job with Omidyar Network, “thematically speaking, is very similar,” insofar as it will carry him further along the path he began at HWS.

A double major in media & society and international relations, Estefan says “the connection between the two areas has been very interesting and has been a theme of everything I’ve been doing since graduation.” His research for his Honors project began during his Salisbury project in Mexico City, where he worked in the Mexican Institute of Cinematography, examining the relationship between contemporary Mexican cinema and the construction of national identity in Mexico.

Estefan later attended Syracuse University for a dual master’s degree that focused on how communications and technology are impacting international relations and policy. His internships at the United Nations and CNN— as well as the job he later landed at CNN — again explored the intersection of journalism, transparency and how new technologies and social media impact the understanding of current events.

At the World Bank, Estefan specialized in open government and citizen engagement, designing and implementing strategies to advance transparency, accountability and citizen participation as a path toward improved governance and enhanced development outcomes. Estefan has developed digital engagement strategies for clients and organizations in the public and private sectors.

“I have been able to pursue all of these opportunities thanks to the guidance of members of the HWS community and thanks to the support of Mr. Salisbury,” Estefan says. “I feel very lucky because I know wherever I go, I will always find members of the HWS community willing to lend a helping hand. I am eternally grateful, because I know that I am able to make the most out of the opportunities that I have been given because of the education and mentorship that I received at Hobart and William Smith.”


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