Our Board


The seven members of the HACIA Democracy Board of Directors are tasked with managing all logistical and substantive aspects of the Summit of the Americas. They are elected democratically following the completion of each Summit by the outgoing staff, and work with a team of over 30 Harvard students to organize each year’s Summit.

PresidentManuel Andrés Meléndez (president@hacia-democracy.org)


Manuel studies Government and Economics with a focus on the comparative politics of Latin America. His main academic interests include institutional design, regime dynamics, and the political role of elites in Central America and the Southern Cone. At HACIA, he has previously served as Recruiting Director (2013), Co-Chair (2012), and delegate (2008-2011).

His professional experience includes work at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and at the Chilean Ministry of Finance. At Harvard, he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Harvard International Relations Council and as the Co-President of Harvard’s International Relations on Campus program.

During his years as an HACIA delegate, Manuel directly experienced this organization’s unique ability to change lives by engaging, energizing, and inspiring young minds. He is honored to serve as the President of the twentieth Summit of the Americas and looks forward to meeting you in March


Business Director: María Camila Rincón (business@hacia-democracy.org)


María Camila Rincón is a third-year student at Harvard University studying Economics with a secondary degree in Government, focusing on the economic development of Latin America. Cami became involved in HACIA Democracy in 2012 when she was selected to co-chair the futuristic Special Reunion of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OAS, addressing an epidemic crisis in Southern Brazil. Outside of HACIA Democracy and her academic work, Cami serves as the Executive Director of the Latina Empowerment And Development Conference at Harvard and as the Co-Captain of the Harvard Middle Eastern Dance Company.
As HACIA Democracy’s Business Director, Cami is responsible for managing the organization’s finances, processing delegation payments, working with conference partners, and overseeing HACIA’s relationship with our host hotel.


Recruitment Director: Julián Atehortúa (recruiting@hacia-democracy.org)


Julian Atehortua Muñoz is studying Economics with a minor in Government. Originally from Colombia, having attended a Panamanian high school, and having lived in Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela and Cristina Kirchner’s Argentina, he has developed a profound interest in Latin American politics and affairs. Outside of the classroom, Julian enjoys watching sports, particularly when the Yankees are losing.
As HACIA Democracy’s Recruiting Director, Julián is tasked with managing the school registration process and the organization’s relationship with the Faculty Advisor community.


Director of English Committees: Benjamin Raderstorf (english_committees@hacia-democracy.org)DSC_0316

Ben Raderstorf is a true Latin American political science junkie, studying globalization, democracy, political parties, and voter linkages in Latin America (focusing on Argentina in particular) at Harvard. Born in Boulder, Colorado, Ben has an undying love for cultures with spicier food than his own. When not studying, living in, dreaming, and breathing Latin America, Ben is an avid backpacker, cyclist, politico, mountaineer, foodie, and music lover. When not doing any of those, he is generally philosophizing with Raúl Quintana, HACIA Democracy’s very own Administrative Director.

As Director of English Committees, Ben works with his team of Co-Chairs to design, prepare, and execute HACIA’s eight English committees.


Director of Spanish Committees: Hilary Higgins (spanish_committees@hacia-democracy.org)


Hilary Higgins is a third-year student at Harvard studying Government and Economics. In particular, she is interested in public economic policy, US-Latin American relations and economic development.  Hilary served as the Co-Chair for the Corte Inter-Americana de Derechos Humanos at HACIA 2013. At Harvard, Hilary also serves as the President of Latinas Unidas, the financial director of the Harvard Undergraduate Legal Committee and the Under-Secretary General for Committees for the Harvard Model United Nations-Latin America conference.

As Director for Spanish Committees for HACIA, Hilary works with her team of Co-Chairs to design, prepare, and execute HACIA’s six Spanish committees.


Development Director: Martín Santiago Molina (development@hacia-democracy.org)


After being forced to move out of Venezuela at the age of 10 due to the lack of security in the country at the time, Martin developed an interest in politics and democracy at an early age. He and his family moved to the state of Wisconsin in the U.S. where he would reside until moving to Boston to attend Harvard College and pursue his interest in economics. During HACIA XIX, Martin served as one of the Co-Directors of the Summit of the Americas. Martin is fun-loving, enthusiastic, and approachable, so don’t be afraid to talk to him if you have any questions regarding the conference in general or simply to discuss politics, indie music, or traveling experiences.

As HACIA Democracy’s Development Director, Martín is tasked with initiating a managing a range of special projects related to social impact, environmental sustainability, and institutional growth. He is very excited to unveil some of these projects in the weeks leading up to conference!


Administration Director: Raúl Quintana (admin@hacia-democracy.org)


Raúl Quintana studies international security and US foreign policy with a particular focus on development, human rights, and international law. Although his family is originally from Argentina, he was born in Singapore and grew up in Chicago and San Antonio, TX without much exposure to Latin American culture or politics. He has spent much of his adult life studying Latin America. He has worked for a human rights organization in Buenos Aires, written about the region for PolicyMic, and researched Latin American security issues for the National Defense University in the United States Department of Defense. At HACIA, he previously served as a Co-Chair for the Inter-American Committee on Hemispheric Security and the OAS Special Mission. Outside of class, he spends most of his time reading, writing, and philosophizing with English Committees Director Ben Raderstorf.

Contact Information:

Manuel Meléndez, President