Patricia Erb has been committed to helping children since she herself was a child. While traveling through Bolivia, she witnessed the devastating effects of poverty. She knew from the age of 14 that she would devote her life to creating opportunities to break the cycle of poverty. She attended university in Buenos Aires during the military junta era and despite the violent repression of the government, Patricia became a student leader and social activist working in the city’s ghettos. Like many of her generation, she was arrested and was subject to the brutality of the regime. When she gained her release, Patricia was all the more committed to making life better for the most vulnerable.
After earning a Master’s degree in International Development Planning at Cornell University, Patricia began working for Save the Children. For more than twenty years she has held key positions including: interim program direction, country director for Bolivia and Peru and regional director for Latin America.
Patricia is particularly skilled at fostering collaborative relationships with stakeholders whether governments, funders, partner agencies, private sector or civil society including children and youth organizations. She has a history at Save the Children of achieving immediate and sustainable change in the lives of children.
Her efforts in the area of both human and children’s rights, have received international recognition from both government and civil society. She has served as a board member for 27 non-governmental organizations including the Board of Directors of Defense for Children International (Bolivia Chapter).
Patricia’s leadership style is cooperative. She understands that leadership requires the ability to listen as much as the ability to direct. Patricia believes that the world can change for the better but only if we work for that change together.
Photo credit: Bruna Sofia Simoes/Save the Children