Our people

Sofía Barboza
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Sofía Barboza

Ocean Manager

Sofía is a passionate environmental advocate and mission-driven climate professional. She has spent the last few years working in ocean conservation at Sustainable Ocean Alliance where she held the roles of Ocean Leadership Program Associate and Global Community Manager. There she engaged in ocean conservation grantmaking, ocean policy initiatives, and overseeing the operations of the global young ocean leader network. Sofia was also a key organizer and implementer of international events such as the United Nations Ocean Conference Youth & Innovation Forum in Portugal and the Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit in Panama, which featured honored guests such as UN Secretary General António Guterres and the UN Environment Programme’s Advocate for Life Below Water (actor Jason Momoa).

She holds a Master’s in Climate & Society from Columbia University where she studied climate dynamics, climate change & variability, and related societal impacts; at Columbia she was a teaching assistant for the “Water Resources & Climate” course for the MS in Sustainability Management and worked with the Kenya Red Cross on a geospatial analysis to understand climatic & weather drivers of the recent locust plague. Sofía is also a Fulbright Scholar, having received 2 Fulbright Grants to Brazil where she taught at the Federal University of Pernambuco and the Federal University of Campina Grande. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh with minors in Spanish and Portuguese and Certificates in Global Studies and Latin American Studies. Sofía is determined to work in collaboration with others at the ocean-climate nexus in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change on people and the planet.


Why she works for Hispanic Access…

"As the daughter of Costa Rican immigrants to the United States and a dual citizen (US/Costa Rica), I haven’t always felt like I belonged, especially since I grew up mostly in quite non-diverse towns.

I know that our community can face barriers and obstacles to access and I am thrilled to be joining the Hispanic Access Foundation to engage with and for the benefit of US Latinos. As one of the fastest-growing groups in this country, it is essential that we are heard and represented. Additionally, studies have shown that Latinos are more engaged and concerned with the topic of climate change than other groups in our country; I am so excited to work with the Hispanic Access team and community to make progress at the ocean-climate nexus. Finally, I really value the intersectional approach at Hispanic Access - everything is connected!"


In her spare time…

“In my spare time, I love to cook and try new recipes (especially when I can cook for others!), read, listen to podcasts and music, sing as a member of my community choir, and do yoga! I also absolutely love to travel and learn new languages; I’m currently studying Italian in my free time!”

Her favorite book…

“One of my favorite books is “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez. I first read this book when I was 18 years old and it had such an impact on me as it is based on the true story of the Mirabal sisters resisting the repressive dictatorship in the Dominican Republic at the time. The way they exemplified courage and took action was incredibly moving and inspiring. Being one of 4 sisters myself, this book also spoke to me on that personal level. Thinking about this book always reinvigorates me to continue working towards justice.”

A person she finds inspirational…

“Malala Yousafzai inspires me immensely through her perseverance, resilience, and advocacy for education. I often think of the quote “You can’t save what you don’t love, and you can’t love what you don’t know” in relation to the climate crisis and am reminded of the paramount importance of education. I am also tremendously inspired by Dr. Sylvia Earle. She is an incredible marine expert and was the first woman to lead NOAA!”

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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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