Luis (Lou) A. Viada is responsible for the development and execution of GLI – a new and significant strategic initiative for Meridian. GLI's mission is to strengthen private sector and civil society executives' leadership effectiveness in global assignments and international operations through the delivery of proprietary training programs, briefings and seminars.
Lou has had a long and successful career in international business spanning corporate banking, strategic planning, and operational effectiveness. He forged his expertise in global business from sixteen years of in-country executive positions at Citibank in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Highlights included establishing Citibank’s first offices in China in 1982, a turnaround and build-out of the corporate banking business in Turkey, and regional credit supervision for Latin America.
He later joined Standard & Poor’s where he established the company’s first offices in Mexico and Argentina, and went on to head the Latin American region. Lou then moved up to the McGraw-Hill executive team as head of Global Business Development. There he crafted the corporation’s global growth strategy, executing the company’s entry into China, and led major enterprise-wide programs in global sourcing and Lean-Six Sigma operational quality.
From lasting impressions growing up as an expat in Latin America and his later work in Emerging Markets, Lou developed a deep personal interest and commitment to economic development and education. For the last two years, he served as Chief Operating Officer of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, and is now on its Board. Previously, he served seven years on the Board of ProMujer Inc., a microfinance institution where, as a member of the Executive Committee, he played a key role in guiding the strategic transformation of that institution.
Lou is also on the board of the Blues Foundation of Memphis,TN. He served on the boards of the Turtle Bay Music School of New York City and the Stoneleigh-Burnham School of Greenfield, MA. At McGraw-Hill he established and chaired the first Hispanic Employee Resource Group. Lou is currently on the Advisory Committee of rEvolucion Latina - a community service organization in New York City supporting new stage artists and youth performing arts programs.
Lou graduated from Tufts University and received a Masters degree in International Economics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He served in the Army Security Agency as linguist/analyst attached to NSA and is fluent in Spanish, with conversational knowledge of Mandarin, French and Italian. His hobbies include the Guitar, SCUBA diving, and Tennis.