Ruben Ayala is a physician and public health specialist from Panama with 23 years of experience with Operation Smile. He was first introduced to the organization in his hometown of David, where he volunteered as a student translator. Shortly after completing his undergraduate degree in Oregon he was offered a job as an Operation Smile Mission Coordinator and continued serving in the following years as Senior Program Coordinator and Senior Manager of International Programs. He also worked in Mexico to establish an Operation Smile foundation. After graduating from medical school and serving as the Director of Programs in Mexico, he returned to Operation Smile as a Project Leader of Training Programs, later serving the organization as Medical Officer. Dr. Ayala received his master’s degree in public health from the London School of Tropical Medicine and currently serves as Operation Smile’s Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs. He is also a board member of the Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma and Anesthesia Care and is a representative of Operation Smile at the World Health Organization’s Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care. Dr. Ayala is highly focused in the fulfillment of Operation Smile’s goals and the innovation and expansion of safe surgical care to some of the most underserved communities around the world.