Dr Marcela Villarreal is the Director of the Partnerships Division Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) since 2012. She is responsible for the implementation of FAO’s innovative strategies on partnerships with the private sector, civil society, academia, and research institutions. She began her career at FAO in 1996, as Senior Officer of Socio-cultural Research. She then worked as Chief of Gender and Populations Service from 2000 to 2004, and as Director of Gender, Equity and Rural Development Division from 2004 to 2012. 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.