Browse Board Members
Jovana Ríos Cisnero
Chair of the Board
Jovana Rios holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the Interamerican University of Panama, where she graduated top of her class; she also holds a Postgraduate Degree Magna Cum Laude in Higher Education and a Postgraduate Degree Cum Laude in Executive Management, as well as an MBA Cum Laude with a concentration in Human Resources from the same university. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Universidad de Panama.
She has been a member of APLAFA’s Juventudes con Opciones (Youth with Options) program since 2004. There she trained in human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and youth participation. Since then she has worked as a volunteer to promote these rights, with special focus on women, youth, and other vulnerable groups. Jovana has actively participated in events, forums, consultations, conferences, and national and international top-level meetings in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and youth. She took part in advocacy activities aiming to influence decisions of UNAIDS' Executive Cabinet, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and other decision-makers.
She currently serves on the IPPF/WHR Board of Directors, an experience that has allowed her to realize her commitment to women's right to decide, to strengthening youth participation, and enhancing access to sexual and reproductive health services, and to the institutional strengthening of the Federation.
Since 2007, Jovana has been a volunteer member of APLAFA and its Board of Directors, where she has served as Vice-president since 2013. She also served as a member of the NGO Delegation from Developing Countries to the Board of Directors of the Global Fund, and has been a consultant for several NGOs, for UNFPA Headquarters in New York, as well as for the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Jovana co-founded the Latin America and the Caribbean Youth Alliance, an active regional network that led youth efforts to strengthen youth participation in the region and in the world by advocating during the 20 year review of the Cairo Programme of Action, the adoption of the Montevideo Consensus, as well as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development-Rio+20, and the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 and its current implementation at the national level.
She also led efforts to promote and implement 20% of youth participation in decision making bodies for 152 IPPF Member Associations working in 172 countries, and advocated for IPPF’s Sprint program, a global humanitarian assistance strategy that provides sexual and reproductive health services to 2 million people displaced by conflict or natural disasters.
Jovana currently works at Copa Airlines, where she is an Instructional Design Specialist. She speaks English and Spanish, and has authored several publications on population issues related to youth.