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Executive Biographies

Richard Burns

Richard Burns is the general partner of Blackhall Ventures, a firm that works with private corporations and nonprofit organizations to grow and protect their assets. Blackhall invests, advises and helps entrepreneurs realize value in their enterprises.

Prior to Blackhall, Burns was the longtime general partner of Isis Ventures Partners and chairman of its operating companies. Isis Ventures has invested in a variety of companies, including: AVENUE magazine; the Manhattan Newspaper Group (Our Town, The West Side Spirit, The Chelsea Clinton News, The Westsider); City Arts; The New York Press; 02138 Magazine; New York Family Media; Dan’s Hamptons Media; The Baby Show Series; the Wendy Art & Antiques Shows; Latin Trade magazine; the BRAVO Business Awards; Datarisk Global corporate risk services. In New York, Isis built a market-leading community media enterprise. In Latin America, its holdings represented the leading information, networking and business services company for corporations operating regionally. Richard formed Isis Ventures with his co-general partner James Lyle in 2002.

Until he stepped down in May 2002, Richard was president and CEO of Thomson Financial Media (TFM), a company holding the banking, insurance and electronic commerce media assets of The Thomson Corporation with media and software revenues in excess of $400 million. Prior to joining Thomson, Richard was president and CEO of Euromoney Publications America. In this role he was chief executive officer and publisher of Institutional Investor, the prime media business for investment and finance professionals.

Richard has served on a variety of public and private boards, including 24/7 Real Media (sold to WPP Group, was chairman of the audit committee), Interaudi Bank, also as chairman of the Audit Committee, and Intelligent Security Systems. From November 2019, he has also joined the board of directors of Silvercrest Asset Management Group (SAMG – NASDAQ). Richard has served on the board of the Americas Society and as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History. He currently sits on the board of Carnegie Hall, representing New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

He was educated at St. John’s College, Oxford University, the Ludwig-Maximilians Institute at the University of Munich and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Santiago Gutiérrez

Santiago Gutiérrez is the Executive Editor of Latin Trade Group, responsible for both the print and digital editions of Latin Trade. He is an award-winning journalist, having received eight journalist prizes, including Colombia’s prestigious Premio Nacional de Periodismo Simón Bolívar, a Citigroup Journalistic Excellence Award, and three-time winner of the Premio Anif de Periodismo Económico. Prior to joining Latin Trade, Gutiérrez covered the Andean region for Debtwire, a new and information service of the Financial Times Group, and was Director of Dinero.com from 2008 to 2011.

Gutiérrez completed his PhD studies in Economics at the University of Minnesota, and took courses in Management and in Journalism at MIT and Columbia. He has worked extensively in economic research, and was vice president of the Colombian Bankers Association, in addition to serving on more than a dozen boards.

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz

Ricardo is a strategic advisor at Latin Trade. 

His background includes being an International trade, digital economy and environmental governance expert, policy analyst, and sustainable development advocate. Former diplomat. Experienced international negotiator, trained facilitator, and convener and designer of multi- stakeholder dialogues, complex problem-solving and conflict management processes. Public speaker. Policy entrepreneur. Author, editor, research initiator and curator.

Lead writer, editor and/or publisher of hundreds of top-tier policy and academic
material conceived, tailored and packaged for delivery to decision-makers or general public. In 1997, I created, and was until 2018, the publisher of a highly successful specialised electronic and in-print suite of reviews, BRIDGES and its sister publications: BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest; PONTES (Portuguese, Brazilian contributions), PUENTES (in Spanish, with Latin American contributors), PASSARELLES (focused on Francophone Africa), QIAO (Chinese), MOSTI (In Russian, focused on CIS, and later the Euroasian Economic Union), TRADE NEGOTIATIONS INSIGHTS (following EPA negotiations between EU and the former ACP countries), and BioRes (on linkages between international trade and environment).

I initiated, led and managed complex collaborative purposeful networks, including the World Economic Forum- ICTSD E15Initiative (400 top experts on the future of the global trade system); the Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement and SETI Alliance in partnership with the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE, Washington, DC) and the Global Green Growth Institute (Seoul) and major manufacturers (Vestas, GE, Trina Solar, Suzlon); and the Trade and Environment Group of the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN).

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