Rafael Custódio

Country Director

Rafael Custódio is Smile Train’s Country Director for Brazil.

In this role, he works directly with Smile Train’s Regional Director for the Americas and local program managers across Brazil as the main point of contact and representative for Smile Train in the country. He is responsible for the maintenance, growth, and improvement of programs, operational management, marketing and communications, and fundraising for Brazil, and provides oversight and direction for implementing effective and efficient strategies in line with regional needs and goals, organizational guidelines, and global objectives.

Rafael joined Smile Train in January 2022 after more than 10 years of working for Brazilian and international NGOs focused on access to justice and international human rights law. He is excited to bring these experiences and networks to the team. He started his career in private law, and always dedicated time to volunteering with local NGOs. Rafael is a member of the board of Instituto Pro Bono, a leading NGO promoting pro bono legal advice to other Latin American NGOs and social movements, and was Vice President of the Instituto Terra, Trabalho e Cidadania (ITTC), a Brazilian NGO that advocates for imprisoned women. He led initiatives on the construction and expansion human rights and strategic litigation at the international NGO Conectas Human Rights for eight years, where he also spent many years on the editorial board of Revista SUR, their journal on international human rights.

Rafael holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC/SP), a master’s in law and development from the São Paulo Law School of Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), and an LLM in compliance from the Univeristé de Fribourg, Switzerland.