Varelie leads the Government of Aruba’s national innovation strategy as the country’s first-ever Chief Innovation Officer. She also spearheads the Futura Lab platform; the Aruba Government Innovation Lab established in 2018 to execute and collaborate on national innovation projects identified in Aruba Innova 2030. She is also a member of the Aruba Sustainable Development Goals 2030 committee and of the UNDP Aruba Centre of Excellence.
Varelie has led numerous innovation initiatives. An island native, Varelie co-founded a non-profit initiative; ATECH Foundation with a mission to develop the startup and technology ecosystem in Aruba and the Caribbean region through community, an annual conference in Aruba (top 15 innovation events in the world ~ Forbes). The ATECH platform has leap-frogged on to the global stage by applying ingenuity and grassroots techniques to the policy creation process. She also helped develop the Isla Innovativo policy framework, led by the Central Bank of Aruba to serve as a public-private collaboration platform to accelerate innovation on the island. She is a fierce advocate for Women in STEM and is at the forefront of pioneering initiatives like Stem The Gap and the Aruba Girls Lounge. In 2018, she was listed as a woman leader to watch in a New York Times publication named “Aruba: Where Women Lead”.
As a Private Equity and Growth Equity expert with over a decade of experience in Financial Services, Varelie has spearheaded multiple billion-dollar global deals and worked with several of the world’s largest investment funds and Fortune 100 companies.
Prior to venturing into entrepreneurship and founding her first business, The Liv Group, Varelie has had a distinguished career as Director of International Tax Financial Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York. She has worked in The Netherlands and Aruba as a tax lawyer. She received her Masters in Law from Leiden University, The Netherlands and completed the Exponential Technologies Executive Program at Singularity University, Silicon Valley.
She was named a global change-maker by the World Bank Youth Steering Committee for her unique approach to leadership and inspiring both entrepreneurs and policy makers to innovate. Her personal journey was highlighted as a case study in the highly acclaimed Build Your Dream Network business and career book.
Varelie is an accomplished keynote speaker and sought after thought-leader on the innovation economy. She has spoken at TEDx and TEDx Women, United Nations, The World Bank, Legacy, SXSW, Columbia University, and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Coinbase, MasterCard Biz, Tech.Co, Inc.com, The Next Web, and other major international publications.