Myriam Méndez Montalvo


Myriam Méndez Montalvo is an esteemed international expert dedicated to conflict prevention and fostering social dialogue to cultivate inclusive and sustainable societies. Presently, she serves as the leader of the national dialogue platform “Valiente es Dialogar” (Brave to Dialogue), which she established in 2021. Valiente es Dialogar unites former adversaries from guerrilla factions, military personnel, community leaders, victims, political representatives, as well as cultural and academic influencers among others.

Myriam served as the Deputy Inspector-General Attorney of Colombia from 2017 to 2021, spearheading anti-corruption initiatives and territorial efforts to enhance citizen participation and include vulnerable populations such as ethnic minority communities, human rights advocates, youth, and women. During her tenure, she initiated the national platform called the “Cumbre de Diálogo Social” (Social Dialogue Summit), fostering dialogue and collaboration among social, political, business, and public leaders to address critical issues within Colombia's highly polarized landscape. Additionally, Myriam led the “Agenda de Cambio por el Planeta” (Agenda for Change for the Planet), a 10-point action plan aimed at protecting and defending the environment by fostering connections among international and regional leaders.

Myriam is also renowned as the founder of the Colombian Dialogue Group on Mining, a prestigious high-level platform that convenes business, environmental, and ethnic leaders to collaboratively develop policy proposals for sustainable mining practices.

From 2015 to 2016, she served as a senior advisor to the High Commissioner for Peace of the Government of Colombia, contributing to the process that culminated in the historic peace agreement with the FARC.

From 2011 to 2015, Myriam held the position of Director for the Andean Region and the Southern Cone at the Ford Foundation. In this role, she managed the regional office and led initiatives focused on promoting responsible government, transparency, and accountability.

Prior to that, from 2003 to 2011, she played pivotal roles at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York. During her tenure, she oversaw the Global Democratic Governance Practice, managed the global Democratic Governance Trust Fund, and directed the Democratic Governance Practice for Latin America. From 1998 to 2002, she contributed her expertise to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Stockholm. There, she led the regional strategy for Latin America and managed country programs in Guatemala and Peru. 

Myriam embarked on her career as a lawyer in Colombia, where she actively participated in the Women for Democracy Movement. She later served at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands.

She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, as well as an L.L.M from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

In 2022, she played a pivotal role as the leader of the transition team for the newly elected Vice President of Colombia, Francia Márquez Mina.


Myriam Méndez Montalvo


Long Bridging Toward Democracy and Belonging
Our current era is defined by an "us vs. them" mindset due to politics deeply embedded in institutional polycrisis, political and social fragmentation, and suspicion of each other. These dynamics, nationally and globally, are leading us toward dehumanization of each other, which in turn is fueling violence, wars, and the erosion of democratic values. Building the “bigger we" will require new tools and infrastructures that will change our modes of being and working, from redefining our strategies and agendas to how we’re measuring our success. Suppose the path toward building the infrastructure...