Benjamin Cokelet

  • PODER (Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research)

  • 2010 Global Fellow

Benjamin Cokelet
  • PODER (Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research)

  • 2010 Global Fellow

bold idea

Catalyze the movement for corporate accountability in Latin America using a human rights approach based in strategic research, community organizing, advocacy, strategic litigation, and data and investigative journalism.

organization overview

PODER is a regional not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization that improves corporate transparency and accountability in Latin America from a human rights perspective and strengthens civil society stakeholders of corporations by holding them accountable.

Personal Bio

In 2008, Benjamin Cokelet founded PODER ( and, in 2010, formally incorporated the organization. Early on, Benjamin and PODER received support from a variety of actors, including, in 2009, the Satter Grand Prize from the Stern School of Business at New York University (NYU) and, in 2010, fellowships from the foundations Ashoka and Echoing Green. Previously, Benjamin worked for 12 years as a global trade union organizer and researcher in the United States and Latin America. He holds a BA in political science and African American studies from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in international business and politics from NYU. As a graduate student, Benjamin was awarded the Catherine B. Reynolds Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship and wrote his thesis on business politics and state capture in Mexico. He has also been an adjunct professor in public administration at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU. He sits on the boards of several organizations as a director or adviser, and is also the founder, president, and CEO of the social enterprise Empower, LLC. Benjamin is a 2010 Echoing Green Fellow.

  • Issue Area ?

    A general program area that describes the focus of this Fellow’s organization during their Fellowship.

    Civil and Human Rights

  • Organization/Fellow Location ?

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    Mexico City, Mexico

  • Impact Location ?

    Countries or continents that were the primary focus of this Fellow’s work at the time of their Fellowship.

  • Organization Structure ?

    An organization can be structured as a nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid (a structure that incorporates both nonprofit and for-profit elements).


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