CITGO Petroleum Corporation, announced the appointment of Mariela Poleo as President of the Simon Bolivar Foundation (FSB), the company’s private non-profit foundation dedicated to bringing together organizations and resources to help alleviate the humanitarian needs of Venezuelans and Venezuelan refugees. As president, she will be responsible for overseeing all areas of the Foundation, including operations, financial administration and activities surrounding our aid and donations program.
Poleo is the first woman to preside over the Fundación Simón Bolívar. In the past year, CITGO has appointed women to key leadership positions: Luisa Palacios, the first woman President of the Board of Directors; Chrysti Ziegler, the first woman to hold the position of Comptroller General; as well as other promotions of women to senior management positions.
Poleo’s appointment comes after a very competitive selection process that included a thorough review of several dozen applications and an exhaustive interview stage conducted by CITGO and the Simon Bolivar Foundation.
Poleo, a Venezuelan national, brings to her new position at the Foundation a great passion for her country of origin, a strong sense of duty, as well as decades of managerial experience in operations and finance.
Prior to taking the helm at FSB, Poleo worked for more than 20 years at EQUINOR ASA (formerly Statoil) where she held various global positions, including Finance and Control Officer (Comptroller) for North American exploration and offshore project development. In the various positions he has held, Poleo has overseen multi-billion dollar budgets, managing strategic planning, risk and financial analysis for large projects in North America, South America, Norway and Africa. She has worked in Caracas, Venezuela; Oslo, Norway; and Houston, USA. Prior to joining EQUINOR, while living in Venezuela, she worked in engineering and supplies for large projects in the oil industry.
Poleo has the credentials to lead the reorientation of the Simon Bolivar Foundation towards humanitarian aid for the women and children of Venezuela. She is an active leader in her community and a fighter for the empowerment of women. Poleo is a member of several professional women’s organizations, including PinkPetro, a community for women in the energy industry, and the Women’s Energy Network. She also served on the steering committee of Women on Board 2020 Houston, Women on Equinor Houston and supported financial literacy at The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston.
“We are pleased to announce Mariela as President of Fundación Simón Bolívar,” said Luisa Palacios, Chair of CITGO’s Board of Directors. “Her impressive operational, managerial and financial experience, her professional ethics, her volunteerism in various NGOs dedicated to helping women and her commitment to her native Venezuela are exactly the characteristics that FSB needs to continue consolidating itself as a leading organization, capable of helping to alleviate Venezuela’s complex humanitarian crisis through its new approach to serving the health of women and children in Venezuela. We are confident that Mariela’s leadership, as the first woman president of FSB, will be a valuable asset to our foundation’s renewed mission.
“It is an honor to be the first woman to preside over the Simón Bolívar Foundation,” said Poleo. “I will work to strengthen FSB and make it a leading foundation capable of transforming the lives of Venezuelans who have been impacted by the complex humanitarian crisis that has hit our country.”
About Fundación Simón Bolívar
Fundación Simón Bolívar is the private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. The FSB supports initiatives, leverages existing resources and invests in organizations to address the health needs of the most vulnerable individuals, primarily those within or from Venezuela, with a special focus on the health and well-being of children and their mothers.