Isabel Varela

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Isabel Varela

Senior Engagement Manager


Isabel is a Senior Engagement Manager with the Project Management Team. She oversees Cook Ross’ client engagements dealing with Diversity and Inclusion, Cultural Competency, Unconscious Bias, and Leadership Development.

Isabel has a background in international relations, diplomacy, and social & economic development.  Previous to Cook Ross, she was the Ambassador’s Assistant and Public Affairs Officer at the Embassy of Cabo Verde, her native country, in Washington, DC. She has lived, worked, and volunteered with organizations in Portugal, Canada and the US, including Oxfam Canada, the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability, and as a member of the Genocide Prevention Network with the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation. Isabel is passionate about women and children’s issues.

She holds a BA in Economics from Lisbon Technical University, Portugal, and certificates in Web Publishing from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and Project Management from Georgetown University. She speaks fluent English, French and Spanish and is a native speaker of Portuguese and Creole.

In Her Own Words

What do you do (in 5 words or fewer)?
I strengthen partnerships with Cook Ross’ clients

If you had a time machine, what historical moment would you rewrite?
The discoveries: in my version, it would have been a true moment of discovery  – of cultures, flavors, animals, plants, etc)  – not of conquer and destruction.

What is your biggest fear?
That fear dominates all other emotions.

What gives you hope?
People being kind to other people and living beings.

What is your dream travel destination?
Island, calm and blue sea,  preferably accompanied by good food, wine and music

Tell me about the happiest you’ve ever been.
Very Easy: giving birth to my daughter.

What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy afternoon?
If it’s tropical rain, outside enjoying the warm raindrops. If it’s the other rain, staying dry.