November 07, 2023


Washington, D.C. – On the margins of the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Colombia Business Council (USCBC)’s 2023 Annual Meeting on November 1, the USCBC’s board of directors ushered in new leadership for the 2024-2025 period. It was announced that Sarah M. Aiosa, Senior Vice President and President, Latin America, at MSD (known as Merck & Co. Inc, in the U.S. and Canada) will be assuming the role of Chair of the USCBC. She will be joined by Karim Lesina, Executive Vice President and Chief External Affairs Officer of Millicom (Tigo), who will serve as Vice Chair. They will succeed current Chair Mauricio Ramos, Chief Executive Officer & Interim Chairman of the Board of Millicom, and Vice Chair Richard Mullen, Chief Executive Officer of Drummond Company, Inc. 

The Chamber and its members founded the USCBC in 2017 to foster the strongest possible bilateral relationship between the United States and Colombia, and it is proud to represent the top U.S. investors in Colombia. The Chamber has long supported and worked with both governments to promote strong commercial and economic ties with Colombia. U.S. foreign direct investment in Colombia exceeds US$8 billion, with more than 600 U.S.-owned firms contributing over 107,000 direct jobs and 350,000 indirect jobs to the country. 

"On behalf of the U.S.-Colombia Business Council and our members, we are excited to count on Sarah Aiosa’s leadership to elevate the importance of the bilateral relationship and impact of the U.S. business community.  Sarah is a recognized leader and changemaker, committed to leveraging the power of public-private partnerships to meet the region’s health needs. We are also fortunate to be able to work with Karim Lesina, who brings a proven track record of accomplishment in the bilateral economic relationship. We look forward to collaborating with Sarah and Karim to execute their vision for the Council's future--one anchored by optimism, opportunity, and solutions driven by enhanced public-private partnerships," said U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President of the Americas Neil Herrington. 

Since 2023, MSD has served as Chair of the USCBC’s Health Working Group; it was in this capacity that MSD joined the USCBC and the Chamber’s Global Initiative on Health and the Economy (GIHE)’s forum in Bogota, Colombia, on August 10 to advance public-private partnerships as a tool to strengthen the health of communities and build a more sustainable and resilient health system. With 75 years of presence in Colombia, MSD has contributed to the well-being and sustainable development of communities through programs and initiatives such as MSD for Mothers and the Grants & Donations program.

“I am honored to assume the role of Chair of the Board of Directors of the USCBC for the 2024-2025 period. This opportunity fills me with enthusiasm and commitment as we strive to further enhance the bilateral commercial ties between the United States and Colombia. I pledge to leverage this important position to foster stronger public-private collaborations, economic partnerships, and drive mutual prosperity. Together, we will continue to strengthen the bonds between our nations and actively work toward the expansion of the U.S. private sector footprint in Colombia. I look forward to leading our collective efforts for a more prosperous future, so people in Colombia can live better lives,” said Aiosa. 

Aiosa has served as SVP and President, Latin America for MSD since February 1, 2022. In her current role, she sets the strategic direction and oversees the P&L and pharmaceutical operations in Human Health across all Latin American subsidiaries encompassing nearly 5,000 employees in more than 30 markets. Sarah also serves on the Board of Directors for the Council of the Americas, and as President and Chair of FIFARMA, the Latin American Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry. In 2022, she was recognized on Diversity Woman Magazine's Power 100 List, and in 2023 she was recognized as one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas by ALPFA, the Association of Latino Professionals for America. 

 The USCBC, led by MSD, will continue to bolster two-way trade ties and public-private collaboration, including fostering the development of a resilient healthcare system through policies that promote innovation, competitiveness, investment, and the adoption of technology.