Skip directly to content

Victor Pineda

Mr. Victor Pineda stopped walking at age 5 and by the time he was in high school, he used a machine to help him breathe. His mother quickly realized her son would have few opportunities in their home of Venezuela so the family moved to California. It was opportunity and resilience that allowed Mr. Pineda to flourish. His physical condition has never stopped him from living his life fully. Mr. Pineda has studied and documented the socio-cultural factors that kept people with disabilities marginalized and stigmatized all over the world. World ENABLED and The Victor Pineda Foundation are part of his dedication and commitment to the advancement of the human rights of young people with disabilities. Mr. Pineda emerged as one of the young global leaders of the international disability rights movement, and was the youngest delegate negotiating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century. Mr. Pineda is a recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service for his life-long efforts for promoting equal rights and opportunities for children and young people with disabilities. (Recipients of the award also include: Arthur Ashe, Bill and Melinda Gates, Lance Armstrong, Steve Jobs, and many other civic leaders). Victor has presented his work to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Aid, the US Department of Justice, the US Treasury, the World Bank, the United Nations, as well as to the governments of Thailand, Serbia, Cuba, Venezuela, Bosnia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Victor Pineda studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where he obtained degrees in Political Economy, Business Administration, and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning. He earned his PhD at the University of California-Los Angeles. Mr. Pineda is also the 2009 Fulbright-Hays Fellow at the Dubai School for Government in the United Arab Emirates.