Hello, world! My name is Vanessa Revilla, and I am thrilled to be joining NDI’s DemTech team as a Program Associate specializing in Cybersecurity!
I have always had a deep appreciation for democracy. Growing up with Cuban refugee grandparents, their stories instilled in me a desire to preserve and promote democracy internationally. As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia (UVA), I immediately took an interest in public policy, specifically in the context of international development and humanitarian crisis response. For my senior capstone project, I had the opportunity to work closely with community health workers in Palestine to study causes of vaccine hesitancy and develop programs and educational materials to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. It was incredibly rewarding to watch the semester-long project unfold. Through the ever-changing state of the pandemic, as well as the many feedback sessions we had with the health workers, our policy recommendations and materials evolved to better assist the community. I found fulfillment in being a part of cross-cultural collaboration and seeing my work serve others.
Additionally, while at UVA, I was exposed to and began furthering my knowledge of cybersecurity. I researched and wrote policy memos on social media regulation, data privacy, and disinformation. This interest led me to my previous job as the Compliance Officer at a cybersecurity start-up. In this role, I oversaw the company’s implementation of Europe’s strict GDPR data privacy laws. I enjoyed getting to work with international colleagues and deepening my knowledge of data privacy. I also created company-wide cybersecurity policies and GDPR training.
At NDI, I am excited to bring together my passion for democracy, public policy, cybersecurity, and cross-cultural collaboration. I look forward to promoting cybersecurity best practices and combating disinformation and malicious cyber behavior.
In my free time, I love traveling, trying new recipes, and taking care of my ever-growing collection of house plants. I also enjoy video editing and tutoring students in English and Spanish.