ABOUT PILAR FRANK O’LEARY
Pilar Frank O’Leary is the Founder and President of PFO Advisory Group, a consulting practice that advises nonprofit and business organizations on their partnership and outreach strategies in Latin America, the U.S. and other countries. She has over 20 years of experience working on Latin America, US Latino and international initiatives at Fortune 100 companies and other leading institutions. A native Washingtonian and of Colombian-American heritage, Pilar is completely bi-cultural and fluent in English, Spanish and French and proficient in Portuguese and Italian
Throughout her career, Pilar’s passion has been to create meaningful and productive partnerships between the U.S., Latin America, and other countries. Most recently, Pilar has served as a senior advisor on Latin America and international initiatives for leading business and nonprofit organizations such as The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Facebook, the Hilton Foundation, Shakira’s Fundación Pies Descalzos, Blackboard, Enterprise Holdings, EDENS, The International Women’s Media Foundation, the National Geographic Society and many other institutions.
Pilar is a graduate of Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to establishing PFO Advisory Group, she worked as a corporate lawyer and business executive at leading organizations, focused primarily on business and partnership development in Latin America. At Goldman Sachs she was a Latin American equities analyst evaluating different companies in the region; at JP Morgan she worked initially from the firm’s Buenos Aires office and then in New York representing the company on business and legal matters across Latin America; and at Fannie Mae, Pilar helped facilitate lending programs for the Hispanic community and fixed income sales to Central Banks in Latin America. Pilar also served as Director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, serving as senior advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Smithsonian on relations with U.S. Hispanic and Latin American communities, developing partnerships with organizations such as Carlos Slim’s foundation and establishing educational initiatives such as the Smithsonian’s Young Ambassadors program which was recognized as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House in 2015. She also served as a pro bono advisor to the US Chamber of Commerce in establishing the US-Colombia Business Council, in partnership with the Embassy of Colombia.
Pilar maintains a broad network of contacts in the U.S., Latin American and international diplomatic, business and cultural sectors and is actively involved with a number of charitable organizations. She is currently a member of the Meridian International Center Global Leadership Council and serves on the Board of Directors of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the Board of Trustees of the Madeira School. She is a long-standing supporter of Catholic Charities. Previously, Pilar served on the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Transformer and Imagination Stage. Additionally, Pilar is the co-founder of Isabella & Ferdinand Academia de Español, a respected nonprofit Spanish learning program for children, accredited by the Instituto Cervantes, which is part of the government of Spain.
Pilar has been a frequent speaker on Latin American issues and has been profiled in numerous publications for her work in supporting the Hispanic community. Recognitions include “2006 Influentials: Ten to Watch” (Hispanic Business Magazine); “15 Phenomenal Latinas of 2006” (Latina Magazine); “2006 Triunfadores” (Telemundo); “Han Triunfado” (Vanidades); 2006 “Substance & Style” Awardee (Washington Life Magazine). She also served as the commencement speaker for the New World School of the Arts in Miami (2008). In 2018, Pilar was awarded the Order of San Felipe Arcangel for her service to the US-Colombia partnership.
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• Demonstrated ability to effectively and comfortably interact at the highest corporate and government levels.
• Track record of successfully working with a wide array of functional groups across different types of organizations and business cultures.
• Leadership in building and fostering effective relationships and networks with others.
• Broad network of contacts in the U.S. and Latin American diplomatic, business, and cultural sectors locally and internationally.