Introducing Ms. Ileana Catalina Lopez

The New Programme Management Officer for our Biodiversity Sub-Programme

The Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention/Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (CAR/RCU) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Ileana Catalina Lopez as the new Programme Management Officer for our Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Sub-Programme (SPAW).

She replaces Ms. Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri who served in the post for over 20 years before going on early retirement in March 2017.  Ms Lopez takes up her duties in Kingston, Jamaica, effective April 12, 2018.

A native of Guatemala, Ileana is fluent in English and Spanish and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology.  She has over 27 years professional experience, with her most recent post as Programme Officer with UN Environment - Nairobi. 

Ms. Lopez joined UN Environment in 2011 to support the implementation of the biodiversity cluster of multilateral environmental agreements such as the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar). She also lead efforts for the implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at UN Environment.

Prior to joining the United Nations, she worked with marine protected areas in varying capacities across the Mesoamerican Reef ecoregion and the Sarstun-Motagua region (Guatemala) including being a training coordinator in environmental law and sustainable development.

Between 1992 to 1995 she worked as a Research Associate at the Coastal Fisheries Institute (Louisiana State University). Prior to this, she was a Research Coordinator, Assistant Professor, and Sub-coordinator of the Master’s Programme on Environmental Planning at the San Carlos University of Guatemala.

Please join us in welcoming her to our biodiversity family!