Fernando Botelho, an Ashoka Fellow, leads the F123 initiative, a service that provides high performance software, training, and technical support--at extremely competitive prices--to foundations and organizations helping the blind and visually impaired. He has extensive experience managing projects in the areas of poverty reduction, technology, and disability. He specializes in tools and strategies that are inherently low cost and scalable; in his own words "The only solutions that matter, given the enormous challenges humanity faces, are those that can be scaled.”
Fernando's experience includes managing the Visionaris Award, a partnership between Ashoka and UBS AG, in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Before his work for UBS Philanthropy Services in Zurich, Fernando worked for the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO, an agency of the United Nations in Geneva. At ITC, Fernando led the development of the first methodology for the integration of professionals with disabilities in the services export sector. Before joining ITC, Fernando was Director of Technology at a New York NGO where he led the development of eSightCareers.Net, a groundbreaking online community for the professional advancement of people with disabilities.
Fernando has published and spoken on trade, open source software, public policy, and disability topics in over 20 countries in four continents. He has
degrees from Georgetown University and Cornell University. Fernando also has over two decades of first-hand experience with blindness.