About Our Associates

The professionals at Avanz International have been helping clients to achieve their performance development goals for over 20 years.  With the list below you can learn more about their background and experience


Paolo Von Schrirach

Paolo Von Schirach is a Washington, DC based international economic development consultant, international affairs commentator and writer.

He is the editor of the Schirach Report, which focuses on politics and international issues with special reference on the changing US role in the globalized world. The Schirach Report also analyzes how ideas and ideologies, new and old, provide intellectual bearings to societies affected by transformative processes unprecedented in scale and speed.

Paolo has been Director of Communications and Senior Research Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, in Washington, DC; Deputy Director of the Global Security Project and more recently Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Program of the School of Foreign Service, (MSFS), at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Paolo is a regular contributor to Swiss Radio and a frequent guest lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute, (FSI), of the US Department of State.

Born in Italy, (with Italian and Austrian background), Paolo is a naturalized American. He frequently lectures to US and international audiences. Recent lectures include presentations at Fudan University in Shanghai, while Paolo was in China as a guest of the Shanghai Municipal Government.

Luisa Turolla

She provided economic advisory for national and international customers in the following areas: country-competitiveness and foreign commerce, regulation and competition, strategy and public policy for development, institutional strengthening and reform, public finance, and fiscal policy. Her clients have included financial institutions, chambers of commerce, government, and international institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the World Bank (BIRF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the CCI/UNCTAD/OMC.  She also provided advisory to legal firms in the context of international arbitrations and administrative or judiciary processes related with competition issues.


Dr. Turolla has been appointed to several offices in the Panamanian government. Most recently (2008-09), she was assigned by the President of Panama to create and organize the Secretary for Competitiveness, a technical body that provides advice to improve the competitiveness of Panama and coordinates all related government programs under execution. As result of that initial effort, Panama improved its ranking in the Doing Business Index of the World Bank. The Secretary also prepared a portfolio of short-term public-private projects to reduce the transaction costs of businesses.  She had previously managed successfully a US$10.0 million competitiveness pilot program financed by the IADB, named “Compite Panama”, aimed to foster exports through creation of clusters in four economic sectors.

At the beginning of the 1990s, she was the Director of the technical team for the design and implementation of the Panama Economic Program (1990-1994), acting as the national counterpart of the IFIs and as principal negotiator with the Paris Group to normalize Panamanian bilateral debt.

Marisol Zubizarreta

Masters in International Policy with a focus on Gender and Development-Monterey Institute of International Studies (California, U.S.A) BA Communications-California State University Fullerton (California, U.S.A).
Specialist in Institutional Strenghthening of Civil Society Organizations, specifically in international fundraising, project design, implementation, evaluation, and mainstreaming of the gender perspective. She has been working actively for more than 10 years with diverse organizations in Latin America and the U.S focused on promoting human rights of rural women, people with disabilities, indigenous communities, and youth. Marisol has worked for several international organizations in collaboration with public sector institutions such as USAID, IADB, EU, IntraHealth International, UNICEF, among others. Additionally, as a project manager for Avanz International, she identified and placed development experts for the EU contracting framework.

Carlos Elbirt

Retired from the World Bank, with more than 30 years of experience as Economist and Country Manager. The main focus of his work has been public policy issues, monitoring and indicators, poverty alleviation and agriculture, structural adjustment, public finances and accountability and institutional issues as they relate to public policies and reforms, public debt analysis, public expenditure analysis, donor coordination, team manager. This expertise has been applied in Latin American countries, Caribbean and Central America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

César Guerrero

Mr. Guerrero is an Economist with over 20 years of experience in management, education, program evaluation, economic and social development, institutional capacity development, and international cooperation. Consultant with extensive practice in evaluation, project design, and training services to several agencies in Canada, multilateral organizations and ministries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa. Direct working experience with governments (Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, The Bahamas, Guatemala and Azerbaijan); International Development Organizations (UNDP, UNCHS-Habitat, The World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, European Union-EU); and with bilateral international cooperation agencies (European Union, Canada-CIDA, Germany-GTZ, The Netherlands-EVD, Sweden-SIDA, United States- USAID, Japan-JICA, Norway-NORAD). Fluent in Spanish, English, French and knowledge of Italian and Portuguese. Mr. Guerrero has been working with Avanz International in EU projects since 2009.


Ricardo Bisso

Mr. Bisso obtained the degrees of BA in Labour Relations at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Masters of Innovation Engineering at the Universita di Bologna, and Masters in International Economic Relations from the University of Denver.


Since 1991 he has worked in the fields of competitiveness policies and assistance to value chains, in Latin America and Eastern Europe, for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Trade Centre jointly formed by the UNCTAD and the WTO, the European Commission, the Inter American Development Bank, and the federal governments of Switzerland and Argentina.


Since 2005, he is in charge of advising on the assistance that UNDP Mexico provides to the federal and state governments of Mexico regarding the strengthening of value chains and the design of long-term regional development policies.

Vilma De Luca Diez

Mrs. De Luca Diez provides legal advisory for national and international customers in the following areas: Customs Procedures, Legislation and Policies, Public Acquisitions, Antitrust Law and competition issues. Her clients included important private enterprises, public enterprises and also has executed consultancy work for international financial institutions as the IDB and also for UNDP.    


She is a skilled professional with more than 25 years of experience, in both private and public sector. In the public sector Mrs. De Luca Diez, has been appointed and occupied important public offices, where she has had the opportunity to accomplish very important tasks.


She has been a part of the economic team that negotiated with the International Financial Institutions, the economic recovery of the Republic of Panama, after the return to the democracy in her country. Also, had an important roll in the elaboration, discussion, approval and implementation of the package of laws that allow the modernization of the panamenian economy.


In 2007, she was aasigned by the President of Panama, General Director of the Panamenian Customs. In this important security institution, she directed its modernization, introducing a new law that allowed customs to become an autonomous entity and enabled it to deepen the facilitation of international commerce; acquiring state of the art technology to guarantee the security in the logistic chain of merchandise transportation; beginning the professionalization of customs human resource, and improving its installations.