Maria Nelly Rivas
Assistant Resident Representative
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Maria Nelly Rivas is the Assistant Resident Representative, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Previously she was the Central American coordinator for the United Nations World Tourism Organization. In the past she was a partner at Crea Comunicaciones. Prior to Crea, she was Minister of Tourism of Nicaragua. As Minister, she was in charge of promoting, developing and expanding tourism in Nicaragua. Under her leadership, tourism became the top revenue generator for the country. Previously, she was associate director of PRONicaragua, Nicaragua's investment promotion agency. Before joining PRONicaragua, Maria served as senior strategic media planner at multi-national advertising agency McCann-Erickson in New York City and Buenos Aires. While at McCann-Erickson, she managed accounts such as Coca-Cola and Starmedia. In New York, she was responsible for overseeing the agency's network in Latin America while managing quality standards and service for its international clientele. During her post in Buenos Aires, she was responsible for more than US$40 million in media investment. She holds a BA in communications from Queens College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She was born in Granada, Nicaragua and resides in Managua with her family. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.