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Juan Carlos Navarro '83 to Speak at Convocation

Juan Carlos Navarro '83, mayor of Panama City, Panama, will deliver remarks at Dartmouth's 2006 Convocation on Tuesday, September 19. Officially opening Dartmouth's 237th year, the Convocation activities will begin at 11 a.m. in the Berry Sports Center's Leede Arena.  

Juan Carlos Navarro '83Juan Carlos Navarro '83

President James Wright and Timothy Andreadis '07, student body president, will also speak at the event.

The traditional Dartmouth community cookout hosted by President Wright and Susan DeBevoise Wright will follow the Convocation exercises. The cookout will be held on Tuck Mall (Thayer Dining Hall in the event of rain) from noon until 2 p.m.

Selected as one of the world'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), Navarro is widely regarded as one of Panama's most prominent national figures. He founded ANCON, Panama's leading nonprofit environmental NGO in 1985 and established it as the top independent environmental group in Panama and one of the most important in Latin America. Navarro served as the first environmental ambassador of his country, appointed by the president of Panama to advise key officials, in both the public and private sectors, on national and international environmental policy on an ad honorem basis (1995-1999).

He was elected to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as Regional Councilor for Latin America in 1990, and was re-elected to that post in 1994, serving as the first Panamanian and the youngest member ever elected to the Council. Selected in 1998 as the first Inter American Conservation Fellow by The Nature Conservancy's Center for Compatible Economic Development, with the support of the MacArthur Foundation, Navarro was the first conservation leader from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim to be so honored. In 1998 he authored the book Panama National Parks, the country's first comprehensive text on national parks and nature reserves (currently in its second edition).

Navarro was originally elected mayor of Panama City for a five-year term (1999-2004) after winning his party's primaries in October 1998 and the general election in May 1999. He was reelected for a five-year term (2004-2009) in May 2004. The youngest citizen elected to the mayor's office, Navarro oversees 5,000 municipal employees and a US$59.8 million annual budget (2005). He was elected unanimously as the first President of the National Mayor's Association of Panama (2001) and re-elected twice for the same position (2003, 2005). Navarro also served as copresident of the Unión de Ciudades Capitales de Iberoamericanas (UCCI) together with Mayor Alvarez del Manzano of Madrid, Spain (2002).

He joined the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) in April 1998 and was elected to the nine-member National Executive Committee, the PRD's top governing organization, in August 2002.

Navarro was awarded the International Award for Excellence in 2001 by the prestigious Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), in recognition of his global environmental leadership.

Born in Panama City in 1961, Navarro is fluent in Spanish, French, and English. In addition to his Dartmouth degree he holds a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University.

By ROLAND ADAMS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08