Prior to becoming a National Urban Fellow Madeleine Villanueva had an extensive career within the financial services sector. She has served on the asset management teams of a number of proprietary mutual funds at key global financial institutions, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, and Merrill Lynch, among others. With an emphasis on emerging markets, she has traveled throughout Asia and Latin America to meet with political and corporate figures. Her asset management background includes private banking, where she collaborated in advising high net-worth individuals in the allocation of their funds. She also has experience within the corporate credit, municipal credit and trade credit insurance arenas.
Additionally, Madeleine has worked within the healthcare and real estate sectors. Her experience in healthcare not only activated her passion for women’s health, education, and social justice but also reinvigorated her interest in economics. She believes that real estate is at the core of economic development, which in turn is at the core of public policy issues -- a key factor in building equitable and sustainable communities.
Madeleine has volunteered at a cross section of organizations representative of her varied interests: A Better Chance, Inc., The Chron’s & Colitis Foundation, and the Athena Film Festival. She has also worked at the St. Francis Xavier Mission and participated in the Astoria Cooks for Sandy Relief efforts.
A member of the first co-ed class at Columbia College of Columbia University, Madeleine majored in Economics. She is an alumnus of the A Better Chance, Inc., through which she received a scholarship to attend George School, a Quaker boarding school in eastern Pennsylvania.
Madeleine’s journey has taken her from a lower working class Puerto Rican community in the Bronx to a career on Wall Street with access to world leaders. The experience has driven home that the seemingly disparate worlds of her humble beginnings and Wall Street are interconnected. Madeleine brings to National Urban Fellows the goal of reconciling these worlds, using social justice and equity as guiding principles.