Paula Moreno is the founding president of Manos Visibles, a Colombian NGO that implements development strategies to strengthen urban youth organizations and communities of women, with an emphasis on high-risk ethnic communities. Since 2010, Manos Visibles has reached more than 500 community leaders and organizations that influence more than 25,000 Colombians. From 2007 to 2010, she served as Colombia’s minister of culture under President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Moreno was the first Afro-Colombian, as well as the youngest person, to hold a cabinet-level position in the country’s history.
For her service as minister of culture, Moreno was awarded the Order of Saint Charles in 2010 by President Uribe. In 2011, President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa of Mexico awarded her the Order of the Aztec Eagle for her contributions to the improvement of Colombia-Mexico relations. The US National Conference of Black Mayors has recognized Moreno as one of the most influential black leaders in the world and named her the recipient of the prestigious 2009 Unita Blackwell Award.
Moreno holds an MPhil in management studies from the University of Cambridge. She was a US Fulbright Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2014, she was named a Yale World Fellow.
Moreno has been an adviser to several international organizations including the Inter-American Development Bank, UNESCO, and the European Union. She currently serves on the board of trustees of the Ford Foundation.
Moreno joined the Dialogue as a Member in 2014.