The Board of Directors sets the strategic direction of EARTH

Alan Kelson

Alan Kelso
Position: Chair / Country: Costa Rica
Mr. Kelso is the CEO of Ecodesarrollo Papagayo, S.A.; Chairman and CEO of the Sinergo Development Group; as well as the CEO of Desarrollos NHD, S.A.; Hotelera Cali, S.A; Marina de Herradura, S.A; and Datagrama Comunicaciones, S.A. Under his leadership the Global Industrial Park, Papagayo Peninsula, Marriott Costa Rica Hotel, Los Sueños Marriott Beach & Gold Resort, Hyatt Place Hotel, and Hyatt Andaz in Papagayo were developed. In addition to his service on the EARTH University Board of Directors, he contributes to the improvement of education in Guanacaste province of Costa Rica through his work with the Growing Together for the Development of Guanacaste Association.

Mark Brouse

Mark S. Brouse
Position: Vice Chair / Country: USA

Mark S. Brouse retired as president of VISTA Staffing Solutions, Inc., the physician staffing segment of On Assignment. Mr. Brouse joined On Assignment as a result of On Assignment’s December 2006 acquisition of VISTA, a company he co-founded in 1990. Mr. Brouse began his career in pharmaceutical sales in 1980, and in 1986 joined CompHealth, a locum tenens staffing company, where he led specialty teams serving psychiatry and internal medicine clients before founding VISTA. Currently, Mr. Brouse is a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Northern Utah and is a past president of that board. He provides mentoring for social entrepreneurs via his participation in the Ashoka Support Network, which supports Ashoka fellows throughout the world. Mr. Brouse is also a member of the National Advisory Board for the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah and is an active investor and member of the Salt Lake City Angels. Previously, Mr. Brouse served as a member of the board of Utah HealthCare Institute, a not for profit entity providing Salt Lake City with quality healthcare through St. Marks Family Medicine Residency, and PEHR Technologies, an electronic medical records company. He holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Chemistry from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Alejandra Cobb

Alejandra Cobb
Position: Secretary / Country: Costa Rica
Alejandra Cobb is currently an independent business and strategy consultant and active member of the Board of Directors of UNIFOOD Holding, one of Chile’s most important gastronomic operators, and member of the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees of EARTH University. As an executive with Procter & Gamble (P&G) for over 15 years, she held multiple regional leadership roles in Latin America and Europe in the areas of corporate affairs, government relations, sustainability, and communications. She served the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica for 4 years, as an International Trade Negotiator in various bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations, culminating her service there as Adjunct Chief Negotiator for the “Central America – United States Free Trade Agreement” (CAFTA). She has contributed to multiple Boards of Directors for business and nonprofit organizations chambers and associations in Costa Rica and Spain. Most prominent, the Costa Rican Free Trade Zone Association (AZOFRAS), United Way Costa Rica (Asociación de Empresarial para el Desarrollo – AED), Advisor Counsel of Technology for Costa Rica (CAATEC), the Spanish Soap and Detergent Association (ADELMA) and the Spanish Advertising Self-Regulatory Organization (AUTOCONTROL), amongst others. She earned a BA and MBA from the University of Costa Rica and carried out Trade Diplomacy studies at the Center for Trade Policy and Law in Ottawa, Canada.

Ana Regina Aguirre de Riojas

Ana Regina Aguirre de Riojas
Position: Board Member / Country: Guatemala
Ana Regina Aguirre de Riojas is the Director of Grupo Duwest; Founder of the Guatemalan Scholarship Association; President of United World Colleges Guatemala Committee and a member of the International Council and the Board of Directors of the United Way Guatemala. As the founder of Guauhitemala she has published 6 volumes in Spanish about trees and one in English, “Trees in the life of the Maya World”, in aim of rescuing and reproducing native species. She is an active member of CentraRSE (Action Center for Corporate Social Responsibility) and leads their Business Eco-efficiency project. She studied economics at Rafael Landivar University and computer programming at the International Computer Science Institute.

Dele Olojede

Position: Board Member / Country: Nigeria
Dele Olojede is the first African-born winner of the Pulitzer Prize, journalism highest honor. A writer, publisher and media entrepreneur, Dele is also a public speaker, particularly on what constitutes the good society, and how we might hope to achieve it, preferably in our lifetimes. He is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative as well as the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a moderator of Aspen leadership seminars. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he is also a winner of the McNulty Prize and numerous others. Dele serves on the board of EARTH University, in Costa Rica, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of Columbia University in the City of New York.

Frankling Chang

Franklin Chang-Díaz
Position: Board Member / Country: Costa Rica
He is founder and current Chairman and CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company, a US firm developing advanced plasma rocket technology with operations in Houston, Texas and Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Dr. Chang Díaz completed a 25 year career as a NASA astronaut and is a veteran of 7 space missions, including three space walks. He founded and directed the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory (ASPL) at the Johnson Space Center. Dr. Chang Díaz is the inventor of the VASIMR® engine, a high power plasma rocket currently under development by Ad Astra for in-space applications. He holds a PhD in Applied Plasma Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Rice University and the University of Houston.

Francis Durman

Francis Durman
Position: Board Member / Country: Costa Rica
Francis Durman is a mechanical engineer graduated from Texas A&M University and currently oversees the holding company that watches over his family’s investments, which include a technology products distribution business, a hospital with facilities in two different locations, a logistics enterprise, two free zone parks, and a helicopter charter flights operator. Previously he served as the CEO for the Latin American chapter of Aliaxis Group, and was the CEO of Durman Esquivel PVC, a family-owned pipes and fittings factory that his father started in 1959. Under his leadership, the company expanded into Mexico, Central America, Peru, and Colombia. Today Mr. Durman is the Director of BAC San José, a leading credit card financial bank in Central America; Chairman of the Board of Manga Rica, Central America’s largest mango farm; President and Chairman of the Board of the Pan-American School; a member of the Board of Purdy Motor Company, Costa Rica’s leading automotive dealer and of the Board of GDC, one of the Central American Region’s largest developers of tourism-oriented projects.

Marisa Brenninkmeyer

Marisa Brenninkmeyer
Position: Board Member / Country: England
She has been part of the Counselor, Family and Bereavement Team of the Thames Valley Hospice working with individuals and families in bereavement or pre bereavement. Mrs. Brenninkmeyer has a Bachelors in Education from George Washington University and a Masters of Science in Integrative Counseling from Roehamption University.

Oliver Niedermaier

Position: Member / Country: Germany/USA

Oliver Niedermaier is the Chairman and CEO of TAU, a New York and Hong Kong-based investment firm focused exclusively on the transformation of global supply chains. He is also the Chairman of Common Ground, a vertically integrated hub that features farming, along with accelerator, incubator and distribution programs for farmers and food entrepreneurs in Hawaii. For more than 20 years, Oliver has worked to accelerate solutions to broken systems that hinder humanity’s potential for achieving a sustainable world. As investor and entrepreneur, Oliver has led and co-lead more than 50 investments and acquisitions from early stage to billion-dollar buyouts.  He holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Munich, is a World Economic Forum/Young Global Leader 2010 and has served on numerous public, private and non-profit boards such as the World Policy Institute, and the National Museum of the American Indian.


Position: Member / Country: Costa Rica

Khan Nedd

Position: Member / Country: Grenada

Emeriti Directors

Isabel Abreu | Country: Dominican Republic

Pedro León Azofeifa | Country: Costa Rica

Theodore (Tim) Solso | Country: United States

Salvador Alemany | Country: Puerto Rico

Luis Alberto Monge | Country: Costa Rica

Eduardo King Carr | Country: Brazil

Norman A. Brown | Country: USA

Jorge Manuel Dengo O. | Country: Costa Rica

Hernán Fonseca | Country: Costa Rica

Rodolfo Cortés R. | Country: Costa Rica

José Elias Sánchez | Country: Honduras

Glen Taggart | Country: USA