The Idea Center at Miami Dade College (MDC) has a new executive director, Romi Bhatia. Pamela Santos also joins the team as director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs.
Bhatia comes to MDC from the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), where he served as the deputy director for the Office of Development Finance. He previously held the position of vice president of international operations at Microfinance International Corporation (MFIC) and was an adjunct professor at the George Washington University (GWU) School of Business.
He brings extensive knowledge in small enterprise development, impact investing and diaspora partnerships through his work at USAID, where he spearheaded the agency’s approach to diaspora engagement launching the first Global Diaspora Forum and the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance in 2013.
Bhatia spent six years at MFIC where he launched its U.S. lending program for underbanked immigrants and later created the
Transnational Loan Program for Latin American immigrants in the U.S. to channel their remittances to start businesses in their countries of origin. He also taught microfinance and crowdfunding for eight years as an adjunct lecturer at GWU.
Santos joins MDC from the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As managing director of Consulting Services, she spent more than 15 years developing training initiatives and targeted consulting projects to guide non-profits, communities, and public-sector organizations in leveraging entrepreneurship to enhance financial sustainability and social impact. As Social Entrepreneur in Residence, she advised and mentored student innovators developing and running ventures with a social mission.
She has taught Social Ventures as an adjunct lecturer in the Entrepreneurship minor since 2012. Santos served as Cultural Competence Committee chair and as a member of the Global Economic Development Committee for the North Carolina Coalition for Global Competitiveness.
She learned to solve social and economic issues using entrepreneurship as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, and has since dedicated her career to helping social entrepreneurs and organizations make a powerful impact.
Her focus is on foresight analysis and strategic planning; collaborating with stakeholders from diverse sectors to create inclusive innovation ecosystems; revenue generation for financial sustainability, and success metrics and evaluation. At MDC, Santos oversees overall programming at The Idea Center and develops strategies to infuse innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the college.
To learn more about the trendsetting Idea Center, visit www.theideacenter.co.