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Maria Gabriela Sigala of Venezuela joins Board of Directors

The Special Olympics International Board of Directors has elected a new member, Maria Gabriela Sigala, a leading philanthropist in Venezuela and former First Lady of Carabobo, Venezuela.

Genuine Passion as an Advocate

“Maria Gabriela Sigala embodies the core values of Special Olympics,” said Chairman Timothy Shriver. “She has dedicated her life to serving people with intellectual disabilities, working with Special Olympics Venezuela and the local Program in Barquisimeto. Her genuine passion to advocate for and serve children with intellectual disabilities and their families will continue to inspire the movement for inclusion around the world.” 

Mrs. Sigala attended her first Board Meeting for Special Olympics earlier this week in London, England. 

A portrait of Maria Gabriela Sigala against a white background

Maria Gabriela Sigala intends to improve the lives of children and families with disabilities in Latin America.

About Maria Gabriela Sigala

Maria Gabriela Sigala is recognized as one of the leading philanthropists in Venezuela. Mrs. Sigala received her law degree from the prestigious Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB) located in Caracas of and she has a diploma in information and war at the Complutense University Madrid. Prior to attending UCAB, Mrs. Sigala served as First Lady of Carabobo in Venezuela. 

During her tenure, she used her influence to advocate for, build and coordinate a network that assisted the families of children with special needs in Carabobo. Soon after graduating from UCAB, Mrs. Sigala worked as an attorney and financial advisor for the Stanford Bank Legal Department. 

However, her commitment to social responsibility led her to invest more time in working with children and families, such as working with Special Olympics in Barquisimeto and supporting small farms owned by women. Mrs. Sigala’s stated goals are to focus more and more on the area of impacting the lives of children and families with disabilities in Latin America.

About the Board of Directors

The Special Olympics International Board of Directors is the ultimate governing authority for the Special Olympics movement and is composed of Special Olympics athletes and leaders in the areas of business, government, disability, sports and entertainment. 

The Board is responsible for the global affairs and strategies of Special Olympics; determines its policies and programs and oversees all top-level management. Board Members are elected to a three-year term and may be re-elected twice – for up to nine consecutive years of service.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.3 million athletes and Unified partners in 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog.