Marcela Ríos Tobar

Chile |  Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, International IDEA


Marcela Ríos Tobar is the director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA). She oversees country programs in Panama, Perú, Chile, and Uruguay, as well as the regional portfolio. She is responsible for institutional alliances with donors and partners. She is also responsible for providing technical assistance on democracy and elections to member states and institutions throughout the region.

Ríos Tobar is a sociologist, political scientist, and politician. She has a doctorate in political science and a long academic career and in international organizations. She was minister of justice and human rights in Chile between March 2022 and January 2023. During her administration she focused on strengthening access to justice, the justice and childhood agenda, along with the promotion of human rights, and the reparation of victims of human rights violations.

Prior to her role as minister, she served as deputy representative and governance coordinator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Chile for more than 14 years, from where she led multiple studies and reports on governance and the state of democracy, contributing to the processing of political reforms. 

Ríos Tobar has served on the boards of several non-governmental organizations and think tanks, including Comunidad Mujer, a civil organization that works for gender equality. In the first term of former President Michelle Bachelet’s government, she joined the Commission for the Reform of the Electoral System and later in the second government of the former president, she participated in the commissions for the Reform of the Pension System, Influence Peddling and the Corruption. 

She was recently a visiting scholar at the Latin American Center at the University of Oxford England and a consultant for the Ford Foundation and the UNDP.

Ríos Tobar was an event speaker at the Dialogue. 

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