Director of External Affairs
Carolina M. Alvarez-Mathies is a Salvadoran-born, New York-based, arts professional and longtime philanthropist, recently appointed as El Salvador’s Ambassador on Special Mission for Cultural Affairs.
She currently works as Director of External Affairs at Creative Time, the public-arts nonprofit committed to working with artists to produce large-scale socially engaged projects that embody the dialogues, debates and dreams of our time. She joined Creative Time in August 2016, leading communications, marketing, and branding across all platforms. In 2017, her role expanded to include full oversight of development activities—creating a new department that seamlessly integrates fundraising and communications strategies.
Previously, Carolina served as Head of Communications for 2.5 years at El Museo del Barrio, New York City’s leading Latin American cultural institution. There she worked on critically acclaimed exhibitions such as ANTONIO LOPEZ: Future Funk Fashion (2016), THE ILLUSIVE EYE (2016), UNDER THE MEXICAN SKY: Gabriel Figueroa-Art and Film (2015), and MARISOL: Sculptures and Works on Paper (2014).
Carolina’s parallel passion, philanthropy, has been central to her life since childhood, and she remains committed to raising awareness for social and cultural causes, with an emphasis on Latin America. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors of Y.ES Contemporary, dedicated to supporting and developing contemporary art in El Salvador and beyond; and as an advisor to Fundación Rafael Meza Ayau, her family’s foundation, supporting initiatives benefiting the most vulnerable sectors of El Salvador. Carolina also actively supports Glasswing International, a non-profit that addresses the root causes of poverty and violence through education, health, and community empowerment, as well as Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education.
Carolina’s work in philanthropy has led her to participate in Nexus, a global movement of next-generation wealth holders, social entrepreneurs, and impact investors uniting to catalyze new leadership and accelerate solutions to global problems. At Nexus conferences Carolina has spoken on the topics of art, design and healing. Other speaking engagements include briefings on arts and conflict resolution for the United Nation’s Department of Public Information’s Non-Governmental Organizations Relations Unit.
While New York is Carolina’s primary residence, she maintains close personal and professional ties to El Salvador. She is co-owner and head of business development at Ceres Estates, her family’s specialty coffee operation dating back to 1895. In 2017, El Salvador appointed her as its Ambassador on Special Mission for Cultural Affairs, with the dual goals of strengthening and promoting her country’s culture worldwide (especially among the millions of Salvadorans abroad) and raising the visibility of Salvadoran artists by creating new opportunities for exposure and dialogue around their work.
Born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador, Carolina moved to the United States at age 15 to receive her education at The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas Christian University and a certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College. Prior to working in the arts, Carolina worked for fashion designers Angel Sanchez and Roberta Freymann.