Santiago is a Colombian urban planner fascinated by how government insights can be transformed into meaningful and implementable change for vulnerable urban populations.
Santiago leads Living Cities’ business development and ecosystem building strategy for entrepreneurs of color in cohort cities (Business Starts & Growth). Prior to this role, Santiago managed Start Up, Stay Up, Scale Up, a strategy focused on strengthening ecosystems for high-growth entrepreneurs of color in San Francisco, Albuquerque and New Orleans.
Before moving to New York City, Santiago led the implementation of a component of Colombia’s national income generation for displaced and vulnerable population plan. As part of that project, Santiago assessed the financial and quality of life indicators of more than 2,000 small rural small businesses located throughout the Colombian territory and leveraged government grants to capitalize participating small businesses. Prior to his work on income generation, Santiago supported a USAID-funded initiative to the manage and organize the legislative agenda for the Afro Colombian Caucus.
Santiago holds a Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Affairs from Universidad Externado de Colombia and a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University.