Marcela del Mar Suazo Laitano

Personal Profile
I consider myself a positive, enthusiastic, practical and proactive person. I have excellent communication and interpersonal relations skills, and can work well as part of a team, as a leader or follower. I have developed competencies in decision making, negotiation; problem analysis and adequate and timely solution response. My working style is results based oriented, within strategic planning, activities prioritization and delegation of responsibilities under supervision. I welcome self-initiative and collaborative work.

My working experiences in public and private arenas, as well as my academic background have developed my vision for time and opportunity scenarios, identification of cause and effect relationship, as well as target selection. I highly respect cultural diversity and am committed with human rights; and believe in democratic values and principles.

I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on September 2nd, 1965; I have been married for 15 years and am the mother of two girls and one boy. Languages: Spanish, English, French.

Academic Background
Master of Science in Education and Curriculum Design
Longwood University, Virginia, U.S.A.
(Class Valedictorian)

Bachelor's Degree in Education (Pedagogy)
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras

Bilingual Teaching Certificate
Public School System, State of Illinois, U.S.A.

English as a Second Language Certificate
Immaculate College, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Bachiller en Ciencias y Letras (High School Diploma)
Liceo Franco Hondureño

Professional Experience
FUNDECAS (2/2006-present)
Executive Director

This is a non-governmental organization which work is aimed to the strengthening of the social capital, through capacity building and empowerment for the rightful exercise of citizenship. Our target groups include Women's political participation, Democratic Principles and Values and the Role of the Media, enhancing Women's capacities in the local areas, and youth participation.

My responsibilities include providing leadership to the organization by formulating priority lines and strategic plans based on environmental scanning (optimal time and political scenarios). I also establish and maintain partnerships with local governments, civil society organizations, and public institutions to ensure policy and programme support from a broad range of stakeholders. I develop and implement resource mobilization plans to ensure adequate funding and am also responsible for the general management of human and financial resources and team coordination and motivation.

National Institute for Women's Affairs (2/2002-1/2006)

This is a governmental institution responsible for managing the official Women's Policy. My responsibilities included ensuring the strategic programme and project relevant implementation of the Honduran National Women's Policy, through ongoing and broad-based policy dialogue with all Honduran Women's Organizations, as well as with other sectors of government and the international community represented in Honduras. This was successfully accomplished by the establishment of a mechanism of dialogue and accountability with the women's movement. In addition, I was able to define the country's priorities for the advancement and promotion of gender equality through compellingly communicating our vision to other government institutions, local governments, the judicial system and Congress, all of with whom the National Institute established partnerships.

One of the most important achievements of my administration was the inclusion of a "quota" in the legislation to ensure Women's political participation, as well and their capacity building and empowerment which resulted in a significant increase of women in Congress. (From 6 percent to 25 percent which means from 7 to 32 women out of 128 congressmen)

Del Campo Internacional School (2000-1/2002)

My main responsibility was to create a culture of excellence in learning and teaching through the definition of curricula and effectively managing and motivating teachers.

I accomplished this by implement innovative teaching strategies, maintaining dialogue with parents and defining and promoting just disciplinary measures. I led teachers in the definition and implementation of their educational strategies, ensuring standards were respected and by fostering team spirit.

I was also responsible for the professional development of teachers and motivated them to stay updated on new teaching trends, promoting self-management, in accordance with the school's direction and priorities. Finally, I was responsible for the resource administration of the school.

Bilingual School Teacher and University Professor (1987-2000)
Responsibilities included developing strategies for students with different learning capacities, reinforcement of school rules, tutoring children through their learning experience, developing strategies to enforce learning skills and abilities for children, maintaining communication with students and parents.

International Networks

  • Global Gender and Malaria Network, sponsored by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Secretariat, Kvinnoforum and Femmes Solidarité
  • Global Women's Action Network for Children, sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah from Jordan

  • Red de Mujeres Líderes de Iberoamérica, sponsored by Fundación Carolina from Spain

Special Awards and Recognitions
President of the Honduran National Congress

To my contribution to the advancement of women rights (January, 2006)

Feed The Children International
To my contribution in favor of Honduran families and infancy, specially the ones in most need (January, 2006)

Colectivo Feminista de Mujeres Universitarias (NGO)
To my contribution for the strengthening of equality and gender equity to guarantee women's human rights (January, 2006)

United Nations Population Fund
To my leadership and contribution to Honduras sustainable development and women's human rights (January, 2006)

General Direction for Police Education
"Sword of the Police Academy" honorary distinction to my contribution to superior education in the Honduran Police Academy (January, 2006)

Labor Union of the Honduran Institute for the Infancy and Family
For my contribution to the institutional development and strengthening on behalf of the Honduran family and infancy (January, 2006)

Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz "Visitación Padilla" (Women's NGO)
For my commitment with women's ideals, dreams and utopias (February 2006)

Secretary of State for National Security
To my contribution to the National Police Force education and professional development (December, 2005)

Central American Women Firefighters Association
For my support and contribution to the creation of the association (2005)

Secretary of State for National Security
"Order Dionisio de Herrera" The highest honor award granted to a civilian for my contribution to the professional development of the Police Force (2003)

Conferences and Seminars
Salzburg Seminar, Session 433, Women political Power, and Next Generation Leadership

Global Women's Action for Children Conference, sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah from Jordan, (June 2006)

ECLAC, Ministers of Women's Affairs Regional Meeting, invited as expert speaker on national machineries and institutionality, (Mexico City, March 2006)

Special Guest of the Governor of Jalisco as Speaker at the "International Conference on Family and Infancy" (Jalisco, Mexico, February, 2005)

Longwood University, Virginia, U.S.A., Guest speaker for Commencement Ceremony (September, 2004)

Honduran Supreme Court, American Justice and Judicial Center, Guest Speaker at the workshop: "Penal Prosecution of Sexual Crimes" (San Pedro Sula, Honduras, September, 2004)

Direction of Scientific Investigation of the Honduras National Autonomous University, Guest speaker at the Conference: "Human Development, Democratic Governability and Economic Development and Gender Equity" (September, 2004)

Honduran Medical Association and Central American Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Association, Speaker at: "II Central American Seminar on Sexual Violence and Gender" (June, 2004)

Foreign Affairs Ministry of Mexico: "Regional Forum for Reflection on the Millennium Goals and Gender Equity within Plan Puebla – Panamá" (August, 2003)

Honduran Medical Association, guest speaker at: "National Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health" (August, 2003)

Rotary Club Nueva Tegucigalpa, guest speaker "National Women's Policy and Women's Human Rights" (September, 2003)

Nicaraguan Institute for Women's Affairs, speaker at: "Regional Conference Democracy, Gender Equity and Poverty Reduction" (August, 2002)

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2006