Maria Cavalcanti is President and CEO of Pro Mujer, and an internationally recognized speaker on impact investing, women’s empowerment, and financial inclusion. With over 25 years of professional experience advancing women, Maria leads Pro Mujer in sustainable growth, developing an extended, large-scale platform to empower women throughout Latin America.
Previously, she worked with a wide range of business and non-profit organizations across Latin America, the United States, Western Europe, and India. Maria co-founded and became managing partner of FIRST Impact Investing, a private equity fund in Brazil. Before that, she served as Chief Strategy Officer for Fundación Avina, where she spearheaded strategy and operational initiatives across 15 countries. Earlier in her career, Maria worked at Dell Inc. where she was closely involved in the company’s expansion into Latin America. She also served as a management consultant with A. T. Kearney and TPI.
Maria has served on international boards, including the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, PYME Capital Fund, NetHope, and FUNDES. Since 2017, Maria has served as Co-Chair of Partnership for Responsible Financial Inclusion (formerly MCWG). In 2019, she was named among Apolitical’s Gender Equality Top 100: The Most Influential People in Global Policy. Maria holds an MBA from the University of Texas in Austin, an M.Sc. in Information Science from Columbia University in New York, and a BA from Universidade Federal do Ceará in Brazil. She is based in New York City.