USFQ´s Authorities

Carlos Montúfar, Ph.D.


Carlos Montúfar is an Ecuadorian physicist devoted to education throughout his whole life. He studied undergraduate and graduate programs in the University of Notre Dame where he earned his Ph.D. in Physics. Carlos is a Liberal Arts firm believer and was one of the founders of Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, the top university in Ecuador after just 30 years of foundation.

In 1995, Carlos was also one of the founders of Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito (Elementary, Middle and High School) recognized as one of the best in the city. The school has over 1,600 students and owns the AdvancEd accreditation, one of the most important in the world. Recently, a new campus in Guayaquil was opened with overwhelming acceptance. The success of these institutions lays over the quality of their teachers, its curriculum based in Liberal Arts and the foundational principles of “Goodness, Beauty and Truth.”

Carlos strongly believes that education is essential for development and transcendental for the future of a country. Particularly, he considers that education in science and technology is the only way in which a country can move into the future.

Ximena Córdova, Ph.D.


Ximena’s trajectory started with roles that have proven to be crucial in understanding her current role as Provost of USFQ. She has been both a Professor and Chair of the Industrial Engineering Department, participated in Academic Committees and led internationalization efforts within the Engineering School; which led her to become the Dean for various years. Today, she is the Chief Academic Officer at USFQ.

Ximena obtained her Ph.d at University of Whichita in Industrial Engineering. Her research has focused on modeling, analysis and optimization of logistic systems using CO2 emissions as a performance measure; with a focus on Estimation of GHG emissions for supply chains in emergent markets using Network Transport Methodology. Applications include proposed redesign of the logistic systems for tourism ships on the Galapagos Islands.

After years of working in the Banking Industry, Dr. Cordova looks to balance academia and practice in the every day. She looks to have a robust, excellence-based faculty, for which she closely works with our teaching and learning center called SHIFT and continuously works with Deans to create a strong communication network.

Diego Quiroga, Ph.D.


Diego has led research and international programs at Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ for over 10 years. His efforts and vision have ranked USFQ as the No. 1 University for Internationalization in the Latin America Region (Times Higher Education). Currently, he is Vice President of Research and International Programs as well as Co-director of the Galapagos Academic Institute of Arts and Sciences (GAIAS).

He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His areas of research interest are Human Ecology, Political Ecology, Medical Anthropology in regions such as Galapagos, Amazon and the Andes. Diego has done research on topics that range from Biodiversity vulnerability to religion and traditional medicine.

He is a firm believer that universities should be part of the innovation ecosystem and be connected in order to help shape policy and support to the private sector. His working culture is also based in Liberal Arts which is why he promotes multidisciplinary teams work together, each contributing with their expertise in research opportunities.