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Nanette Svenson

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Nanette Svenson

Dr. Svenson has 20 years of professional experience in international development, academia and the private sector. She works as an Adjunct Professor of Florida State University and independent consultant for the United Nations and other organizations involved in capacity development, particularly of higher education. She helped establish the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Centre for Latin American and Caribbean in Panama and worked there for four years in charge of research and knowledge management. She co-founded Pro Artesana, Panama’s first NGO dedicated to developing capacity for national artisans. Prior to that, she held various management positions in private sector service firms. Her education includes an MS and PhD in International Development from Tulane University; an MBA from IESE in Barcelona; and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. She has taught at graduate and undergraduate levels, conducted research and program evaluations, and published in academic and international development journals. Nanette has lived and worked in the United States, Japan, Spain and Panama, and has been based in Latin America for the past 18 years.

Primary Classification: 
Secondary Classification: 
  • B.A., Human Biology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, 1985
  • Certification in Japanese, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, 1988
  • M.B.A., IESE Universidad de Navarra, Barcelona, Spain, 1992
  • M.S., International Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 2006
  • Ph.D.,  International Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 2009
Academic Experience: 
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Tulane University Law School Payson Center for International Development, 2011-present
  • Adjunct Professor, Florida State University – Panama, Macroeconomics, Development Economics, 2010-present
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison – Panama, Sociological Inquiry, Spring 2010
  • Adjunct Professor UDELAS – Panama, Doctoral Seminar on Public Policy and Social Welfare, Fall 2009
  • Researcher, Center for Study on Higher Education, Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua (CEDUSMA), Aug 2007–May 2009
    • Panama Project: The Globalization of the Panamanian University System
    • Managed research design, data collection and analysis for a national governmentsponsored project on the globalization on the Panamanian university sector.
  • Researcher, Tulane University and the University of California, Berkeley, Mar-May 2006,
    • Project: Rebuilding after Katrina: A Population-Based Study of Labor and Human Rights in New Orleans
    • Collaborated with research directors on survey design, translation into Spanish, survey interviews, data analysis and final report presentation.
  • Teaching Assistant, Payson Center for International Development, Tulane University, Jan-Jul 2006
    • Prepared lecture presentations, assignments, exams and grades for two courses: Introduction to International Development and Information Technology for Development
Selected Publications: 
  • "Universities and the knowledge hubs of the developing world: An in-depth look at the City of Knowledge in the Republic of Panama" in Educación Global (a bilingual education journal based in Mexico), 2012 
  • "Central America: The Value of International Academic Cooperation" in International Higher Education, Spring 2013
  • “Panama’s City of Knowledge: The First Decade.” International Higher Education. Summer 2011.
  • “Universities and the knowledge hubs of the developing world: An in-depth look at the City of Knowledge in the Republic of Panama.” 2010. Research paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Indianapolis, Indiana, November 17-20, 2010.
  • “Smart Institutions of Latin America and the Caribbean.” 2010. Case study series of 20 public institutions in the LAC region prepared for presentation at the UNDP Capacity Development Group Global Event, Marrakech, Morocco, March 15-19, 2010.
  • “Analyzing the Effects of Globalization on University Systems in the Developing World.” 2009. Presented at the World Universities Forum 2010, Davos, Switzerland, January 9-11, 2010; published in the Journal of the World Universities Forum Spring 2010.
  • “Capacity is Development: Middle Income Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.” 2009. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Capacity Development Group.
  • “Capacity is Development: Public Accountability, Social Accountability and the Role of Civil Society in Latin America and the Caribbean.” 2009. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Capacity Development Group, Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • “Globalization, Universities and Quality Assurance in Developing Countries: A Lesson from Panama on how Business can Undermine Vision.” International Higher Education. Fall 2009.
  • (Co-authored with Dr. Etilvia Arjona) “La Globalización del Sistema Universitaria Panameña: 1990-2007 (The Globalization of the Panamanian University System: 1990-2007).” 2009. CEDUSMA-SENACYT (Panamanian Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation).
  • “The Effects of Globalization on the Panamanian University System.” Presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, San Diego, California, April 2009.
  • (Co-authored with Dr. Paulina Franceschi) “Propuestas de Políticas Públicas para el Desarrollo Humano y Equidad (Public Policy Proposals for Human Development and Equity).” Presented at the FUDESPA Conference for the 2009 Panamanian Presidential Candidates, Panama City, Panama, January 2009.
  • “Training Effectiveness in the Public Sector.” 2008. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Capacity Development Group Action Brief Series.
  • “Informal Social Networks, Capacity Development and Managing Change.” 2008. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Capacity Development Group Action Brief Series.
  • “Non-monetary Motivators for Civil Service.” 2007. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Capacity Development Group Action Brief Series.
  • “Leadership Development for Emerging Groups.” 2007. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Capacity Development Group Action Brief Series.
Curriculum Vitae: 
Country Experience: 

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