Isabel Saint Malo

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Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado
Vice President of Panama
In office
1 July 2014 – 1 July 2019
PresidentJuan Carlos Varela
Preceded byJuan Carlos Varela
Succeeded byJosé Gabriel Carrizo
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama
In office
1 July 2014 – 1 July 2019
Preceded byFrancisco Álvarez de Soto
Succeeded byAlejandro Ferrer López
Personal details
Isabel Cecilia de Saint Malo García

(1968-06-27) 27 June 1968 (age 52)
Panama City, Panama
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Omar Alvarado
Alma materSaint Joseph's University and Nova Southeastern University
Isabel Saint Malo with Reuven Rivlin, the President of Israel

Isabel Cecilia de Saint Malo García de Alvarado (born 27 June 1968) is a Panamanian politician and the Vice President of Panama from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2019.[1] She ran with elected President Juan Carlos Varela, on the ticket made up of an alliance of the Panameñista Party and Popular Party called "El Pueblo Primero". She is the first woman in Panama's history elected for this post.[2]


De Saint Malo de Alvarado holds a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Saint Joseph's University and a master's degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University,[3] and has extensive experience in the development and public policy sectors.


De Saint Malo de Alvarado has over 20 years of experience in consulting, development and implementation of public policies in Latin America. Following her election as Vice-President and her appointment as foreign minister, she became the first woman to hold both positions in the history of her country.

De Saint Malo de Alvarado started her diplomatic career occupying different posts between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama and the United Nations Permanent Mission in New York (1990-1992), where she served as Alternate Permanent Representative. She also worked for 15 years with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Panama, occupying different positions, including Assistant Representative. From UNDP, she led the team that designed and executed the Agreements Panama 2000 ("Acuerdos Panamá 2000"), where the framework for the legislation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) was created. The ACP was to administer the waterway once it reverted to Panamanian hands.

In October 2015, de Saint Malo de Alvarado was recognized by the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Promotion of Peace for results achieved in building dialogue and consensus throughout her career, and for the role played by the Government of the Republic of Panama preparing the stage for the historic meeting between the presidents of Cuba and the United States, during the VII Summit of the Americas (April 2015). She is the first person in Latin America to receive this recognition and was awarded in 2012 The Women of the Year Award.[4]

The Vice-President has been a member of different boards of directors such as Banco BBVA, Fundación Democracia y Libertad, among others, and is an alumn of the Central American Leadership Initiative ("CALI") of the Aspen Institute (2008). She also was co-founder of the Women Corporate Directors Association of Panama and the Global Shapers hub of Panama City, an initiative of the World Economic Forum to develop the potential of young leaders. She was appointed as an expert to the Global Agenda Council on Transparency (2014) by the same organization.

Achievements in public sector[edit]

Currently, in her capacity as Vice-President of the Republic, and based on the priorities of the Government of Panama, she presides the Social Cabinet ("Gabinete Social") and supports the National Council for Development ("Concertación Nacional para el Desarrollo"), where she seeks to articulate social policies, around the strategic objective of eradicating poverty and social inequality through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In that same course of action, from her office she promotes matters related with transparency, national consensus on education and health and gender equality. She is the Latin American and Caribbean Champion for the UN Women – ILO initiative: "Equal Pay International Coalition".[5]

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, she promotes the project of modernization and institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose main objective is to encourage the professionalism of Panamanian diplomacy.

Her vision is to inspire a foreign policy where Panama serves as a country of dialogue; consensus building, a country who is positioned at the forefront of the global development agenda.

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Omar Alvarado and has three children: Alberto, Carolina Isabel and Julio Raúl.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ García de Paredes, Guadelupe y Cannata Zevallos, Sonia. "Genealogía de Familias Panameñas" (PDF).CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Chambers, Mon Alicia. "Isabel de Saint Malo: La vicepresidenta". La Prensa.
  3. ^ "Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado". CaliFoundation. Central America Leadership Initiative.
  4. ^ "Mujer destacada del año". La Prensa. 3 May 2012. Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  5. ^ "EPIC coalition is launched in Panama to close pay gap between women and men in Latin America and the Caribbean". 30 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Fernando Núñez Fábrega
Minister of Foreign Relations
Succeeded by
Alejandro Ferrer López
Preceded by
Juan Carlos Varela
Vice President of Panama
Succeeded by
Gabriel Carrizo