silvia vasquez lavado

Silvia Vasquez-Lavado


Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is a humanitarian, adventurous mountaineer, explorer, social entrepreneur, author, and technologist. In 2016, Silvia became the first Peruvian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal. By 2018, she completed climbing 7 Summits (the tallest mountain in each continent), becoming the first openly gay woman to do so.

In addition to founding Courageous Girls, Silvia is a fierce advocate for LGTBQ+ equality and women’s rights and sexual abuse survivors.

Silvia’s memoir In The Shadow of The Mountain, will be published by Henry Holt in February 2022. In addition, Silvia’s journey will be turned into a feature film featuring Selena Gomez as Silvia. 

Shailee Basnet


Shailee Basnet is the leader of the “Seven Summits Women Team,” a group of climbers from Nepal that became the first female team to scale the highest mountain in each continent. She and her team have received global accolades ranging from an audience in the White House to one of the highest civilian medal decorations from the President of Nepal.

In addition, Shailee co-leads education and empowerment projects in Nepal. Shailee is an internationally sought public speaker and a stand-up comic who performs in Nepal and the US.

Maya Gurung


Maya Gurung is a pioneering mountaineer from Nepal who was the first female from her ethnic community to scale Mt Everest in 2008. She then continued her mountaineering venture with the ‘Seven Summits Women Team,’ the world’s first female group to summit the highest peak in each continent. In addition, she is the first Nepali woman to lead a climb to a virgin peak, Mt Gyaljen, in the Jugal mountain range in the year 2019. Having escaped from child marriage, her rural roots made her deeply aware of various forms of gendered social ills ranging from domestic violence to sex trafficking of underage girls. As a result, Maya has led outdoor training programs, provided scholarship and mentorship to many rural women, and leads the Trekking Leadership Academy in Nepal.

Katherine Alva

Project Director

Katherine Alva is an international consultant in education, social emotional learning, and government. She has held leadership roles in public and private organizations and projects, in Peru and Latin America. Currently, she is the CEO and founder of Amaral, a technological educational initiative with the main purpose of developing social-emotional skills. She is also the former Regional Director of Education of Lima and Head of the National Office of Transparency, Public Ethics, and Anti-Corruption of the Ministry of Education. She is a professor in social project management and lawyer with a Masters’s degree in Law Economics and Public Policy, from the University of Salamanca, Spain. Also, a graduate of the GCL Program at Georgetown University, the Leadership for the 21st Century Program, and the ECD LEAD Program at the Center of the Developing Child, both at Harvard University.

Natalie Gil

Project Advisor

Natalie Gil is an award-winning technology leader, founder, angel investor and board member; she has delivered technology solutions and strategy worldwide for Fortune 50 companies. She leads the adoption of disruptive tech: GenAI, web3 and more at AWS.  She has led technology and digital adoption during her time at Banco de Credito, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, the Inter-American Development Bank, Auna, rational7 and Darshana. She is a member of the board of the Boston Ballet and Latinas in Computing and co-founder of LATINITY (annual conference for women in technology). She has a degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Lima; holds an MBA in Innovation and Global Leadership from MIT from the Sloan Fellows program, and a Master’s degree in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University. Currently, she is a Principal Tech Advisor at AWS. The Hispanic IT Executive Council recognized her from 2019 to 2022 in the group of the 50 most influential Hispanics in IT, and she is in the 2023 Women Who Code 100 Technologists To Watch list. Natalie is a lifetime member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, New York chapter, and an international speaker.

Andrea Macedo

Education research analyst

Andrea Macedo is a recent graduate from the University of California, San Diego. She was born in California, raised in Virginia, and now lives in North Carolina. She has a background in Public Health and Neuroscience. She recently led a COVID Response Team for UC San Diego and the California Notify Call Center for 2.5 years. She is passionate about creating and implementing inclusive healthcare policy for diverse backgrounds and will be starting her MHA degree next Fall 2024. Andrea loves the outdoors including hiking, swimming, and running.