Marcela Tovar-Restrepo holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research (NY) and a MSc on Urban Development Planning from the University College of London. She teaches at GSAPP-Columbia Universtity. She has served as an international consultant mainstreaming cultural and gender rights into planning and policy-making in United Nations agencies such as the Commission of Sustainable Development (CSD), UNDEF, IPU and the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues.

Dr. Tovar-Restrepo has also served as advisor for international cooperation agencies (GTZ, AECID), governments, social movements and NGOs in areas such as gender, ethnic diversity, sustainable development and human rights. She conducts research in Latin America and has taught in Colombia, Chile and other universities in New York including CUNY and the New School for Social Research.