Escalera’s Board of Directors

Ana Maria Aristizabal

Board Secretary, Development Committee

Ana is an Investment Manager with Bamboo Finance where she is responsible for developing and managing investments. She sits on the board of an education finance company in Mexico, a housing company in Brazil and MFIs in Salvador and Guatemala.

Ana Maria has over six years of experience in investment banking at Citibank and ABN AMRO and in development consulting at the International Finance Corporation and United Nations Development Program. She holds a BS in Finance & International Relations and an MPA from Columbia University.

Robin Bastar

Audit & Finance Committee

Robin has practiced as a CPA for over 35 years, with his practice focusing on tax consulting; return preparation; small businesses in real estate and related industries; personal service businesses, hospitality and manufacturing.

Robin has been involved with Escalera from its inception and continues to be an active board member. In addition to his involvement with Escalera, he is a member of the Sugar House Community Council and is active in local nonprofit organizations.

Molly Fisher

President, Executive Committee

Molly is an educator as well as a business and social entrepreneur with over seventeen years of experience working in Mexico in senior management and education roles. She has a Biology and Education degree from Indiana University and is passionate about social innovation, education and outdoor recreation. She is Escalera’s Executive Director.

Brian Fuller

Audit & Finance Committee Chair

Brian is a Senior Research Associate at Research Triangle Institute, which provides and evaluates treatment for Neglected Tropical Diseases in 14 countries. Previously, Brian was Operations Director for Escalera where he managed the REACH and Star Scholarship programs. Other work experiences include being an independent evaluator at Social Impact, Inc; the Peace Corps in Albania; and Blue Dragon, an anti-trafficking NGO in Vietnam. Brian holds an MPA from Columbia University and is interested in finding and proving impact.

Bryson Garbett

Founder, Executive Committee, Board Treasurer

Bryson is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, OPM 27, Executive Education, and is president and founder of Garbett Homes, which has built more than 3,500 homes and apartments in 25 communities in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Missouri, and Mexico over the past 30 years. As the principal founder and trustee of Escalera, Bryson has over twelve years of development experience in Mexico. Bryson sits on several boards, including Habitat for Humanity and is a former member of the Utah House of Representatives. He pioneered building affordable green homes in Utah, received a Green Business award in 2010.

David Garbett

Development Committee, Strategic Planning Committee

David is Staff Counsel for the Southern Utah Wilderness Association, an organization dedicated to conserving the canyons of southern Utah. David oversaw the establishment of Escalera’s first scholarship program and has been volunteering for Escalera for over a decade. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Masters in Economics from Utah State University.

Jan VanDenBerghe Garbett

Founder, Development Committee Chair

Jan leads several organizations for children and women that have both local and international reach. As founder and director of EPIK, she works to use collective impact to empower a deliberate digital generation of children. With Families United Toward Universal Respect (F.U.T.U.R.E.), she organized training for Iraqi women in Utah; Washington D.C.; and Sulaimaniya, Iraq to promote the cause of women and families in the war recovery efforts.

Jeff Garbett

Program Committee

Jeff is a Real Estate, Construction and LEAN Management expert. He oversaw Escalera’s construction of nearly 50 schools all over the state of Chiapas in 2015. Jeff has been a part of Escalera since its founding and has visited Mexico almost yearly for almost two decades to volunteer within its programs.

James McGibney

Development Committee, Strategic Planning Committee

James is a Manager at OC&C Strategy Consultants in London. For the past six years he has worked at with some of the UK's largest companies, helping develop data-driven strategies for long-term growth. Prior to this he volunteered with Escalera, working on the pilot and evaluation of their merit scholarship program, and undertook internships at several think tanks in London. James has an MPA from the London School of Economics and a BA in History from Oxford University.

Rosemary McKean

Development Committee

Rose earned her MSW from the University of Utah in 2015 and currently works as a Medical Social Worker at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. Rose developed a love for meaningful humanitarian work on her first expedition to Mexico with Escalera in 2008. Since then, she has traveled with Escalera and other nonprofit organizations on different humanitarian expeditions around the world to improve access to education and basic resources. She believes opportunity is the first step to helping people change their lives and is passionate about the work Escalera is doing in Mexico.

Hugo Rodriguez Nicolat

Program Committee Chair, Executive Committee

Hugo is a public policy expert. He is currently working at UBER where he leads the Public Policy Team for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. He helps cities improve urban mobility by challenging the status quo and helping implement a consumer-centered transportation system that will change the reality of urban dwelling worldwide. Hugo worked as a policy liaison for the Mexico federal government and trade mission to the UN. He holds a Masters from Columbia and specializes in advocacy.

Jon Nieporte

Board President, Executive Committee Chair, Strategic Planning

Jon has over ten years of experience in general contracting and construction administration of large scale building projects in the US, UK and Mexico. He has expertise in efficient scheduling and production methods, organizing and executing projects and teams, and resolving emergent issues in order to execute plans. As Escalera’s Board President, Jon oversees governance and works closely with the Executive Director on questions of mission and strategy. He has worked closely with the Chiapas government on its major school-building campaign that used Escalera’s prefabricated classroom innovation.

Geoffrey Palmer

Audit & Finance Committee, Strategic Planning Chair

Geoffrey currently works for Endeavor Real Estate Group, a leading commercial real estate developer in Central Texas. For over two years, he was a full-time volunteer in Mexico, serving in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Mexico City. At Escalera, he is actively involved in fundraising efforts and the audit and strategic planning committees. Geoffrey graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Real Estate Finance, where he held various internship positions in New Zealand, Mexico, Texas, and Utah.

Joseph Wales

Program Committee

Joseph is a Research Officer at the Overseas Development Institute, Britain's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. His work focuses on the politics of service delivery in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on education systems. He was closely involved in the design of the Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies, and advises a range of international development agencies and NGOs on service delivery issues. He has a background in intervention design and evaluation, including with Foundation Escalera in Mexico and the Akshara Foundation in India. He holds an MPA from the London School of Economics and a BA from the University of Oxford.