This is Q3: Isabel Saint Malo - Panama’s First Female Veep Pivots at Midlife
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox’s guest this week is Isabel Saint Malo. After two decades working as a Panamanian diplomat at the UN, on Latin American and Caribbean issues, she ran for office and became Panama’s first female Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Rejecting calls to run for the top job as President, she focused instead on the issues she cared most about – notably youth employment and advancement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. She also became known for the courageous – and sometimes unpopular - positions she took on issues such as LGBTQ rights. Most recently, however, during 2022 she has stepped back from this full-on trajectory to take part in Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, which aims to help leaders like her refocus their energies and empower them for even greater social impact. Isabel describes this as an opportunity to transition from her second quarter ‘Mad House’ to a third quarter of inner peace and prioritization. She says that ‘you need to learn to go on living’. While you don’t necessarily need to go back to school or a classroom, a program like ALI is a wonderful opportunity to stop and take stock.
For Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative: