Marcela Villarreal

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Marcela Villarreal has a PhD in Rural Sociology from Cornell University and a BA/MA in Systems and Computing Engineering from the University of Los Andes in Bogotá.

Marcela Villarreal, Director, Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development Division, is responsible for the implementation of FAO’s innovative strategies on partnerships with the private sector, civil society, academia and research institutions, as well as promoting global multi-stakeholder partnerships. Currently, she coordinates the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI) and the Parliamentarian Fronts against Hunger initiative. She also coordinates the implementation of International Years, including the International Year of Family Farming (2014), the International Year of Soils (2015) and the International Year of Pulses (2016).

Since she joined FAO in 1996, she has been Director of the Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division, Director of the Gender and Population Division, Chief of the Population and Development Service, Chief of the Gender and Development Service and Senior Officer Socio-Cultural Research.

Before joining FAO, she worked for UNFPA, ILO and for the Colombian Government. She has worked and published extensively in the areas of poverty reduction, gender issues, rural development, employment, social inequality, HIV/AIDS and food security inter alia. She has lead and/or participated in UN missions to some 40 countries.
She has been the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Hewlett Foundation, the Population Council and the Rockefeller foundation. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Italian. She is a national of Colombia.

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