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Margarita María Parra

Hewlett Foundation
Program Officer, Environment Program
Margarita María Parra serves as a program officer in the Foundation’s Environment Program. She directs the Foundation’s grants to support sustainable transportation, a critical component of the Foundation’s work to reduce transportation-related air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, China, Mexico, Brazil, and Europe.

Parra joined the Foundation in 2010 from ClimateWorks Foundation in San Francisco, where she helped develop strategies to reduce carbon emissions in Latin America. Before that, she served as a consultant on policy and research for a variety of environmental organizations, including Greenpeace International, the Climate Action Reserve, and Rainforest Action Network, among others.  

From 2001 to 2008, Parra worked for ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, starting in ICLEI’s Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, office, and then moving to the Berkeley, California, office in 2005. She led ICLEI’s initiatives with municipalities around the world to quantify their emissions and implement different mitigation projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and waste management. Earlier in her career, Parra worked at Asociación Parque Entre Nubes, a grassroots nonprofit organization in Bogotá, Colombia, where she helped direct projects to improve waste management in the city’s eastern slums.

Parra has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the National University of Colombia in Bogotá and a master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. She also has a diploma in population and sustainable development from the Centre for Development Studies in Trivandrum, affiliated with Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.