Juan Carlos Navarro
Juan Carlos Navarro
Selected as one of the planet’s 100 most promising leaders by TIME magazine (1994) and as one of the key Latin American Leaders for the new millennium by both TIME and CNN (1999), Juan Carlos Navarro is widely regarded as one of Panama’s most prominent national figures. He founded ANCON, Panama’s leading non-profit environmental NGO, in 1985. Navarro was elected by its General Assembly as Regional Councillor for Latin America by IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (Perth, Australia 1990) and reelected for a second term (Buenos Aires, Argentina 1994), the first panamanian to serve on IUCN´s maximum governing body and the youngest individual elected to its Council. He served as Panama´s first Environmental Ambassador, named by the President ad honorem to help formulate the country´s national and international environmental policy (1995 through 1999). Selected by The Nature Conservancy and the MacArthur Foundation as the recipient of its first Inter American Conservation Fellowship (1998), he authored the book Panama National Parks, published in Madrid, Spain, the country’s first comprehensive text on national parks and nature reserves (currently being updated for its third edition). He was honored by The Botanical Research Institute of Texas with its International Prize for Excellence in recognition for his leadership and support of global conservation and humanitarian endeavors (2001).
Navarro was first elected Mayor of Panama City for a five-year term (1999-2004) after winning his party’s primaries (October 1998) and the general election in May 1999. He was reelected for a second five-year term (2004-2009) in May 2004 in a landslide, with 60% of the votes. The youngest citizen elected to the Mayor’s office, Navarro oversaw 6,000 municipal employees and a US$100 million annual budget (2009). Selected by the University of Panama´s Facultad de Administración Pública as the coutry´s Public Administrator of the Year (2001), he was also named Alumni of the Year by Harvard University´s John F. Kennedy School of Government and recognized as one of its most distinguished public servants (2002).
He joined the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) in April 1998 and was first elected to its nine-member National Executive Committee, the PRD’s top governing organism, in August 2002. He ran unsuccesfully for Vice President on his party´s ticket in 2009, and three years later was elected its top leader as Secretary General of the PRD (2012). A year later Navarro was chosen as his party´s Presidential Candidate in primary elections obtaining 94% of the votes (2013), and ran unsuccessfully for President in Panama´s May 2014 national elections, obtaining 28% of the popular vote. He is the author of Voces de mi Vida (Bogotá, Colombia 2014), a biographical narrative. Navarro is currently the founder and CEO of NSOLAR, one of Panama leading solar energy start-ups (2015).
Born in Panama City on 19 October 1961, Juan Carlos Navarro is fluent in Spanish, French and English. He received his B.A. in Geography and Government from Dartmouth College (1983) and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University (1985).
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