Felix Maradiaga is President and Founder of Fundación Libertad, a "do-tank" aimed at coordinating philanthropic and civic initiatives. After serving as the youngest-ever Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, Felix has dedicated himself to strengthening peace, democracy, and the rule of law in Nicaragua. A recognized international expert in civil society and leadership development, he seeks to heighten international awareness of what he sees as Nicaragua's worsening political climate and human rights violations, and to help resource key human rights and pro-democracy organizations.
He is a widely published thought leader, educator, and political commentator, and in addition to his pro bono work with civil society, Felix is also an advisor and consultant to private companies in Central America. He is a 2009 Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and in 2010 was inducted into the Aspen Global Leadership Network. In 2015, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs honored him with the prestigious Gus Hart Fellowship for his outstanding contributions in social entrepreneurship and social innovation in Central America.
Recent events in Nicaragua have prompted many to fear the country is returning to a cycle of violence and oppression similar to the one that left it in ruins 40 years ago, when corrupt dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle launched a bloody campaign to eliminate his opposition, the Sandinistas.