Carolyn Engel is WOLA’s Assistant Director for Institutional Partnerships, managing the organization’s grant-based fundraising activities and stewarding strategic relationships with grant-making institutions. She comes to WOLA with 12 years of experience working for grassroots nonprofit organizations in Latin America. Her work has spanned from urban community development initiatives to incubating sustainable farming businesses in the Amazon rainforest.
Originally from Indiana, Carolyn recently moved back to the U.S. after spending 15 years living and working in Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. Her love and respect for Latin America made her passionate about WOLA’s mission to advocate for human rights in the region. Before her current role, Carolyn was the Program Director at Fundación Aliados, where she managed a diverse grant portfolio geared towards conservation through sustainable business development. Carolyn also served as the Country Director for Manna Project International Ecuador, where she directed an educational community center for underserved youth on the outskirts of Quito. Beyond this, Carolyn has been a teacher, a small business owner, and a volunteer.
Carolyn holds an M.Sc. in International Development from the University of Edinburgh, where her dissertation focused on the corrupt behaviors found in the ethical certifications of international commodities. Prior to that, she obtained a B.A. in Film Studies and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College. Carolyn has a home in the Ecuadorian Amazon which she visits frequently, and contemplates how lucky she is to bask freely in the equatorial sun.