Our People

IPD is comprised of a closely knit group of energy sector experts. Our multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual team possesses specialized background in economics, finance, government relations, and regulation, all specifically related to the Latin American oil, gas and power industries.

David Voght

Managing Director

As Managing Director and founding partner of IPD, David has built the firm’s client-focused services on a platform of efficient, precise, and timely knowledge transfer. He developed IPD’s core consulting methodology to provide high value analysis, based on ethically and locally collected intelligence, for clients navigating highly complex investment environments.

David has worked in energy and general infrastructure development with a focus on business strategy, market analysis, political and economic risk, financing, and business-to-government relations for 23 years. Having resided in Venezuela from 1991 to 2011, David is one of the premier experts on that country’s energy industry. In 1999 he founded IPD, which has offices in Caracas, Mexico City, and Bogota, and provides a network of consultants who advise clients on energy investment throughout the region. From IPD’s base in Madrid, Spain today, David oversees the company’s regional business, which furnishes advisory services to multi-national energy developers, oilfield service companies, foreign governments, and financial institutions.

David publishes and speaks regularly on the Latin American energy industry with particular focus on legislation, regulatory and government issues impacting the day-to-day operations of the oil, gas and power industries, and scenarios for the build-out of new energy infrastructure.

Prior to founding IPD, David was employed at a Washington, DC based consulting firm advising the U.S. Government and multi-lateral banks on infrastructure investment throughout Latin America.

International Solar Energy Society
Venezuelan Gas Processors Association

Bachelor of Arts, Boston College, 1991 – Major: International Politics

Languages Spoken
English (native), Spanish (fluent), French (proficient)

John Padilla

Managing Director

As Managing Director and partner at IPD, John leverages years of Wall Street experience in structured energy and infrastructure financing to offer comprehensive perspective on energy investment throughout Latin America.

John led IPD’s expansion into Mexico in 2001. He has since played a vital role in the development of lobbying efforts to encourage a healthy, more vigorous Mexican energy sector. With 15 years of direct consulting experience in Mexico, John is one of the premier experts on the politics and policy of that country’s energy industry. In 2011 he relocated to Bogota in order to participate more directly in the resurgence of Colombia’s oil and gas sectors.

John co-heads IPD’s business throughout Latin America, contributing a strong pragmatism and tactical expertise to support project risk and opportunity assessment. He has devised comprehensive government relations, key stakeholder management, and legislative and regulatory analysis services to enhance clients’ ability to navigate Latin America’s complex business environments. John is frequently quoted in the U.S. and international press, and speaks regularly at industry conferences and events.

Prior to joining IPD, John held positions within Dresdner Kleinwort Benson’s Energy, Utility, and Infrastructure Group, focusing on large domestic and international projects in Latin America and Asia. He also held positions with the project finance group at Banque Paribas and the transportation group at Manufacturers Hanover (now JP Morgan Chase).

Bachelor of Science, Boston College, 1991 – Major: Finance

Languages Spoken
English (native), Spanish (fluent)

Patricia Ventura Nicolas


Patricia has worked in the Venezuelan energy sector for 20 years. She oversees IPD’s regional public affairs and government relations services. She regularly leads tactical workshops and studies related to country risk, institutional relations strategy, and corporate positioning, as well as legislative and regulatory concerns. Patricia has extensive experience working with numerous Venezuelan government sectors, including the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and the National Assembly. She is the project leader for IPD’s international stakeholder management and country risk services. She is a Chevening scholar and a professor of petroleum policy in the Petroleum Law program at the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas.

Prior to joining IPD in 2005, Patricia was a journalist covering international and domestic energy issues. She won the Citigroup Award for Excellence in Journalism for her work with the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal. Patricia has also worked with Dow Jones Newswire and the Caracas-based El Diario de Caracas. She has extensive experience covering domestic and international energy issues.

Patricia graduated from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas with a bachelor’s degree in social communication. She also holds a Masters in Law with a focus on Petroleum Law and Policy from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

Languages Spoken
Spanish (native), English (fluent)

Joel Guedes

M&A, JVs and Corporate Finance Advisor

Joel leads IPD’s oil and gas strategic and financial advisory services. He specializes in economic modeling for project and business valuation, as well as other strategic and financially oriented analysis. He provides strategy on mergers & acquisitions and joint venture opportunities. He also focuses on issues like financing strategies, including project finance, export credit agency activity, economic evaluation of projects, and valuation of companies and assets. He constantly monitors regional oil and gas activities, supporting IPD’s risk assessment for financial clients exposed to sovereign and corporate risk.

Prior to joining IPD, Joel worked with Venezuela’s PDVSA for 20 years. He was a Senior Advisor in PDVSA’s Corporate Planning Department and, later, a Corporate Manager focusing on financing strategies, PDVSA cash flow analysis and forecasts, oil market analysis for Venezuelan OPEC officials, monitoring of Venezuelan crude oil production, market studies for Venezuelan crude oil and products, and crude oil price forecasts.

Joel is a regular speaker at international conferences like the Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan Global emerging markets corporate conferences.

Joel holds an MBA from Manchester Business School in the UK (2003), an MSc in Finance from Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion – IESA (1999) and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Universidad Santa Maria – USM (1995). He also attended a Negotiation Program at Harvard Business School (2004/2005) and the O&G MBA at Institut Français du Pétrole – IFP (2006).

Languages Spoken
Spanish (native), English (fluent)

Juan Palma

Technical Advisor – Natural Gas Industry

Juan is IPD’s natural gas industry Technical Advisor. He has 38 years of experience in the Venezuelan natural gas industry, having held top management positions in the Corporate Planning and Commercial departments of PDVSA Gas (subsidiary of PDVSA). He possesses extensive sector experience and a broad social network within the industry, allowing him to contribute unparalleled insight to IPD’s natural gas advisory services. Juan leads IPD’s natural gas supply and demand modeling practice and supports IPD’s diluent balance and general hydrocarbons production analysis. Juan also plays an integral role on IPD’s Venezuela government relations advisory team.

Before joining IPD, as PDVSA Gas Strategic Corporate Planning Manager, Juan managed the development of the PDVSA Gas business plan, the company’s gas projects portfolio, and its capital expenditures (CAPEX) budget planning. Juan led negotiations for the purchase of gas from Colombia through the Ballenas-Barrancas gas pipeline.  He also led PDVSA’s gas purchase negotiations with Repsol and ENI for Cardon IV off-shore gas supply. He was also involved in the identification and execution of pipeline expansion projects throughout Venezuela as part of a PDVSA Gas effort to support the nation’s electricity sector.


Juan holds a degree in management consulting for public gas companies from the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain (2009), an International Program for Hydrocarbons Business Management degree from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion – IESA (2005), an Advanced Management Program in Integrated Marketing degree from Metropolitana University (1997), and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Universidad Simon Rodriguez (1989). He also attended an O&G Mini MBA at CWC School for Energy (2012) and the World Gas Congress held by the Association Francaise du Gaz (AFG) in 2008.

Languages Spoken

Spanish (native), English (proficient)

Kevin Ramnarine

Senior Consultant – Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Surinam

Kevin is the former Minister of Energy of Trinidad and Tobago (June 2011 to September 2015).

During his tenure, he was credited with opening up Trinidad and Tobago’s deepwater acreage to exploration. In total nine deepwater “production sharing contracts” (PSC’s) were signed with BHP Billiton and its partners. Arising out of these nine contracts BHP Billiton conducted the largest ever 3D seismic survey conducted by an International Oil Company in the history of the oil industry.  In total, he has signed twenty-three PSC’s and E&P licenses which is record for a single Minister.

As Minister, he presided over a four-fold increase in petroleum related Foreign Direct Investment from $US 501 million in 2010 to $US 1.9 billion in 2014.  He also oversaw the first energy related initial public offering (IPO) in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. The TTNGL (Phoenix Park) IPO went on to become the largest IPO in the history of the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.

Prior to being appointed Energy Minister, he held positions in the Energy Chamber and at BG T&T where he worked as the Lead Economist for the East Coast Marine Area. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry, a M.Sc. degree in Petroleum Engineering and an MBA. He is also a Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

In 2016, he was made a distinguished affiliated scholar with the University of Texas, Austin.  He has given several lectures on the Trinidad and Tobago energy sector in international fora. For his contribution to the development of the Trinidad and Tobago energy sector he received the award of “Energy Executive of the Year” from the Petroleum Economist magazine in 2014.

Over the last two years, Kevin has been a frequent speaker in Guyana on matters related to the new oil and gas industry of that country.  In January 2017, he delivered the inaugural Guyana Oil and Gas Association (GOGA) lecture.  This lecture was attended by Senior Government Ministers and leaders of the private sector. He has also addressed the Rotary Club of Georgetown and the Guyana Chamber of Commerce and Industry on separate occasions.  His speeches in Guyana are carried widely by both print and electronic media.

Oswaldo Madrid

Strategic Partner, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay

Oswaldo is Managing Director of Quito-based Probus Advisors, an IPD regional strategic partner. He has over 24 years of professional experience, most of it in the oil upstream industry, with special focus in the development of new oil fields and the construction of field production facilities.  Oswaldo has an engineering degree in Geotecnichs, a master degree in business administration, a master degree in international business, and also is a certified Project Manager Professional, among other relevant studies.  Has held several senior management positions, and recently was the General Manager of Petroamazonas, the state owned E&P Company in Ecuador, where Mr.Madrid was responsible for the operation of more than the seventy percent of the total country oil production, and led important processes of growth and expansion of the company by the incorporation of new blocks and the merge with other state owned operations. Oswaldo has also directed the processes of negotiation of several investment contracts to optimize and increase oil production in mature fields, building an important business network with oil operators and services companies in Latin America and around the World.

Languages Spoken
Spanish (native), English (fluent)

María Claudia Díaz

Senior Consultant

Maria Claudia specializes in energy economics and infrastructure development. She has broad experience in Colombia’s power, oil, gas and mining industries. Maria Claudia currently leads IPD’s economic, policy, and regulatory analysis efforts in Colombia and Mexico. She is a key member of IPD’s natural gas market analysis team, and has extensive expertise with due diligence, oil and gas fiscal systems, and bid round terms and conditions.

Before joining IPD, Maria Claudia acted as advisor to the CEO of a private electricity distribution company in Colombia. As an economic analyst for the Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME) of the Colombian government, she researched, monitored and evaluated mining industry performance, with particular attention to foreign direct investment and trade in the domestic and international markets. She also participated in a technical cooperation project between Inter American Development Bank and Invest in Colombia Corporation (Coinvertir) and other projects to attract FDI to Colombian companies.

Maria holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia and a Specialized Master of Energy Management from ESCP Europe. She has also pursued graduate studies in management, leadership, and investment promotion.

Languages Spoken
Spanish (native), English (fluent)

Kirsten Froede

Senior Consultant – Corporate Communications

Kirsten manages all IPD communications to ensure consistency, clarity and quality. She supports the firm’s marketing efforts, and plays an important role in the development and roll-out of new products and services.

Prior to joining IPD, Kirsten ran her own communications consulting business, with clients from the financial services and medical sectors. She was a communications consultant for the United States Agency for International Development in Tanzania and in Nepal, where she also advised senior staff from JICA, the Japanese development agency, and World Wildlife Fund. In 2003, she moved to Latin America, where she developed an interest in the energy sector.

Kirsten holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and a master’s degree in adult education from Columbia University in New York.

Languages Spoken
English (native), Spanish (fluent), Italian (proficient)

Leonardo Rodríguez

Consultant, IPD Latin America

Leonardo is a trained economist and finance specialist with more than twenty years of experience. He has participated in multiple domestic and international activities to promote various projects across Venezuela’s oil industry, and has taken part in the OPEC Economic Commission Board as a team delegate. He has held positions in private and government institutions, as well as academia.

Prior to joining IPD, Leonardo worked with Venezuela’s PDVSA for 12 years. He served in the Corporate Finance and Corporate Planning offices, where he researched and analyzed industry dynamics and scenarios to support development of the Corporate Business Plan. He also contributed to various aspects of the company’s corporate finance strategies and activities, including capital budgeting, project valuations, financing, mergers and acquisitions, insurance plans, and treasury management. He acted as PDVSA’s delegate to the gas price formation group of the International Gas Union World Gas Conference for three years. Leonardo taught economics at Universidad Metropolitana and the Central University of Venezuela, and was a financial consultant and economic analyst at the Ministry of Finance of Venezuela, the Secretariat of the Venezuelan National Defense Council, and financial services company American Express, in Caracas, Venezuela.


Leonardo holds a degree in Economics from Universidad Central de Venezuela, a postgraduate Diploma in Financial Mathematics from Cass Business School in London, UK, and an MSc in Finance from Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración – IESA — in Caracas, Venezuela. He also attended an Executive Corporate Finance Program at the London Business School in the United Kingdom.

Languages Spoken
Spanish (native), English (fluent)

Sergio Torres


Sergio focuses on political and social developments within Colombia, and how they affect the oil and gas industry. He has extensive regional expertise in community issues, security, and environmental regulation. He also participates on IPD’s renewable energy team, evaluating new regulation and project development opportunities.

Prior to joining IPD, Sergio worked in the Bogota-based offices of Control Risks as a political and security analyst and researcher. During his three years with the company, he was responsible for providing in-depth analysis of Andean Region politics and security, as well as regional analysis in Colombia for the mining, infrastructure, oil, and gas industries. Sergio also worked as a research assistant on a joint project between the United Nations Development Program and the Bogota Mayor’s Office. He researched, monitored, and evaluated systems pertaining to democratic participation and public communications in Bogota.

Sergio holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. He also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Universities of Wroclaw (Poland) and Leipzig (Germany).

Languages Spoken
Spanish (native), English (fluent), German (proficient)

Erika González


Erika is an expert in public finances and economic analysis. Her in-depth, detail-oriented work adds a technical, economics-focused angle to IPD’s syndicated research publications and consulting projects. Erika developed a set of municipality tear sheets for the states that contain blocks that will be bid out under Mexico’s energy reform. These tear sheets provide the latest and most relevant information on social development, security, economic activities, environment, and infrastructure, by area.

Erika is a co-author of IPD’s non-technical risk feasibility assessment for the four contractual areas Mexico is offering via the recent energy reform: shallow water, onshore, deep water, and unconventionals. She specializes in the assessment of security, permitting, infrastructure, and climate. She participates on IPD’s renewable energy team, evaluating new regulation and project development opportunities. She is also a key member of IPD’s natural gas market analysis team.

Prior to joining IPD, Erika was a member of the Economic Advisors Team to former President Felipe Calderón. She was also Deputy Director of Public Debt and Strategic Projects at the Public Credit office of the Secretary of Hacienda. As Deputy Director, she wrote research reports on public finances and developed executive presentations.

Erika obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics, cum laude, from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. She also attended the International Summer Program at Stanford University.

Languages Spoken
Spanish (native), English (fluent)

Marcela Medina

Client Experience Coordinator

Marcela is responsible for IPD client relations in Mexico, focusing on internal procedures to support seamless customer service and communications. She regularly coordinates events to help IPD’s clients connect with Mexican government officials. These events provide an open forum for clients to speak with and ask questions of key stakeholders in Mexico’s energy reform.

Marcela also provides research support for IPD’s Mexico office, and collaborates with the company’s managing directors on marketing, conference participation, and industry engagement strategy.

Prior to joining IPD, Marcela was the Office Manager and Postgraduate Studies Coordinator at Strategy and Balanced Scorecard Consulting. She also worked at E! Entertainment Television as a Production Assistant, focusing on research and legal support. As a TESOL certified teacher, she taught English as a Second Language at two universities in China during the summer of 2001. She is experienced in office administration, public relations, real time and written translations, and bookkeeping.

Marcela holds a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas in Austin. She is also TESOL certified from the Study Institute and Global Network of English Teachers.

Languages Spoken
English (native), Spanish (native)

Dulce González


Dulce focuses on Mexico’s social and political issues associated with the energy reform. She is also currently involved in the development of a real-time mapping project of energy infrastructure in Mexico, allowing interested companies to view real coordinates of oil and gas infrastructure surrounding the fields offered via Round One, and how these facilities are spread across the country.

Dulce is honing her research skills to gain in-depth knowledge of Mexico’s political, social, and regulatory environment, and examine how it relates to the energy sector to provide companies with ideas and solutions as they participate in the country’s newly open energy market.

Prior to joining IPD, Dulce was the content coordinator at AIRE, the International Relations Student Association at her university, ITESM. As a collaborator for the online student magazine, Signo 360, she wrote articles for that publication’s political section. She has been the producer and radio host for the “De Todas Latitudes” radio program since 2012, on the student broadcasting station Frecuencia CEM at her university, ITESM.

Dulce is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM).

Languages Spoken
English (fluent), Spanish (native), French (proficient), German (basic)

Andres Level


Andres supports IPD’s Venezuela consulting team with data management and economic analysis as they pertain to the Venezuelan sovereign and the oil industry. He provides support for IPD’s economic and financial modeling projects, and manages the company’s oil, economic, and political information repositories.

Andres graduated with a degree in economics from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (UCAB) in Caracas, Venezuela. He has taken multiple classes on the Venezuelan oil market and other energy markets, receiving UCAB’s prestigious OPEC diploma in 2011.

He has participated in the Model Organization of the Petroleum Exporters Countries and has undertaken extensive coursework on Venezuelan oil history and energy markets. Andres participated in the Harvard World Model of the United Nations in 2012 and 2014.

Languages Spoken
Spanish (native), English (fluent), Portuguese (proficient)