Maria Elena Varas
Senior Director, Sustainable Livestock and Feed
Maria Elena is the Senior Director of Sustainable Livestock and Feed at the Freshwater and Food Goal team at WWF-US. She has worked for over 15 years as a sustainable food systems strategist, building high-impact and mature strategic partnerships and platforms for collaboration across food, nature and climate.
Prior to joining WWF Maria Elena was Lead for Regional Partnerships at the World Economic Forum’s Food and Water team at the Centre for Nature and Climate, where she catalyzed platforms for multistakeholder collaboration and led regional programs advancing nature-positive and climate-resilient food systems across the Americas, Africa, and Southeast Asia. She was also Deputy Director of the Trade Commission of Chile in New York and an international free trade agreement negotiator on behalf of the Government of Chile. She has worked at the Economist Intelligence Unit, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCDE). She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a Juris Doctor degree from Universidad de Chile. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.
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