Mariela Machado

Mariela Machado

Mariela Machado is a skilled professional with +15 years of experience building, deploying and scaling global programs at the intersection of technology, social innovation sustainability and public policy in the private sector, public sector and academia. She has a Telecommunication Engineering dual degree from Universidad Catolina Andres Bello (UCAB) in Caracas, Venezuela and from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona, Spain. She has a MSc in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) from UPC and a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) in Development Practice from Columbia University.

Currently, Senior Director of Humanitarian Technology at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) where she leads multiple programs at the intersection of social/environmental impact and technology for this engineering society worldwide. Prior to IEEE, she was the Director of Programs at Newlab, a social innovation hub based in Brooklyn focused on scaling transformative technologies through public-private partnerships. She also supported their expansion to LATAM starting with Uruguay and Colombia. Her work at Newlab focused on managing the operations of the Innovation Studios programs which matches deep technology ecosystem research with the innovation needs of corporations aiming to adopt and scale cutting edge technologies into new social impact business verticals. Some partners include Verizon, Globant, Ford, NYC EDC, Orsted, etc.

Before Newlab, she was Senior Program Manager at the American Society of Mechanical Engineer (ASME) & Engineering for Change working to support technology for development across all continents. In this position Mariela led, built and scaled research programs managing +138 engineers, designers and architects who produced over 72 research reports for over 80 multisectoral clients worldwide. These reports included recommendations and insights that have guided the strategic sustainability goals and implementation strategies of technological projects for patterns such as EPA, World Bank Climate and Innovation Centers, National Renewable Energy Lab, Autodesk Inc, UNHCR, UN Habitat, Norwegian Refugee Council, Huawei, Habitat for Humanity, MIT, Save the Children, Innovation Norway, MIT Dlab, among many others.

Before working in the technology for development space, Mariela was Technical Project Manager for Telefonica, an international telecoms company for over 5 years which gave her the much-needed corporate perspective and experience in high level program management having deployed more than 36 connectivity infrastructure projects, 2 large IoT deployments, SMS expansion, and satellite TV.

Mariela advises capstone projects at the intersection of digital technology and policy at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University which has included projects in Malawi with the World Bank, Peru with the Ministry of Education and Dominican Republic with Wikipedia and The Mount Sinai / St. Luke’s Global Health Division. among others. Additionally, since 2018 Mariela has taught a master class on digital infrastructure, digital technologies and public policy for MPA-DP students at SIPA.

Some relevant publications and media appearances include 1) Report with Jeffrey Sachs on how ICTs could enable the achievement of the UN SDGs by 2020 that was presented at the World Economic Forum of Africa in 2016; 2) An article about the Cuban Internet on Foreign Affairs given the findings of an independent study conducted at SIPA in 2016, 3) Two media appearances on CNN en Espanol on engineering for global development and the Cuban Internet research.

Mariela is fluent in 5 languages: Spanish, English, French, Swedish and Italian.


  • MPA in Development Practice, Columbia University
  • MSc in Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC)
  • Telecommunications Engineer, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya and Universidad Catolica Andres Bello