Margarita Fernandez

Margarita Fernandez

Vice President for Global Operations and Management
Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe & Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa

Margarita is vice president for global operations and management at IREX.  She is responsible for strengthening the organization's operational efficiency, agility and coordinated management while supporting IREX's trajectory of continued growth and drive for greater impact. She leads efforts to streamline global operations, enhances cross-organizational communications and information management and seeks new ways to align IREX's operations for greater mission impact.  She is directly responsible for core functions and organization wide systems, policies and procedures involving information technology, digital security, global safety and security, crisis management, risk management, overseas operational compliance and registration, legal affairs, business insurance, travel and logistics, and global facilities management. Margarita seeks to use technology, information and analytics to enhance IREX's organizational performance and impact. 

Margarita brings more than 28 years of experience in international development supporting and leading programs and practices around the world focusing on public health, economic growth, public-private partnerships, governance, trade and education. She has partnered with USAID, multilateral organizations, development banks, philanthropic foundations and private sector to implement high impact development programs, under a variety of mechanisms, including contracts, grants and cooperative agreements. As a development practitioner she brings rich in-country experience and a deep understanding of operational challenges. She has been posted long term in Honduras, Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Moldova and Russia, while short term assignments have taken her to more than 20 countries in Africa, Middle East, and Latin America. Her in-country experience, combined with leadership roles in headquarters shape her comprehensive perspective of international development operations.

Prior to joining IREX Margarita was Deputy Division VP of Abt’s International Public Health and International Development divisions where she focused on program management, execution and operations, risk management, integration, financial planning and budgeting, and operational improvement.  She was a member of Abt’s Corporate Leadership Committee, Abt’s ERP Steering Committee and was awarded the company’s Entrepreneurship Prize for her leadership in designing and implementing a company-wide talent marketplace. Prior to her divisional and corporate roles at Abt she was a Portfolio Manager with direct oversight responsibilities for donor funded international development programs.

Margarita began her international development career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Office of Government Services in Washington, DC. where she managed implementation of international development and advisory projects in Latin America, Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union and Asia.  After 14 years at PWC she joined IBM’s International Development Group where she led a variety of bilateral and global international development projects prior to joining Abt.

She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies where she pursued an MA in international relations, and she holds a BA in political science from Carleton College.