Read about Bertha Nayelly Loya Marin

Bertha Nayelly Loya Marin
Head of Global Programme on Cybercrime
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


What brought you to a career in technology at the United Nations?

It was by accident, I was supporting the Central American Organized Crime Strategy and one country, El Salvador, requested UNODC support to establish the cybercrime investigation unit inside the police. So, I did a needs assessment, designed the proposal and got the first grant on cybercrime in the field. After that, I started receiving requests from other countries and I was successful in designing, fundraising and implementing projects to support countries in countering cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crimes. After a few years of doing that, I became the Head of the Global Programme on Cybercrime. Now, Currently, a small project that started in El Salvador has become a programme with a presence in Africa, Central America, South America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia.


What has been your favorite IT project at the United Nations and what was your technical contribution?

The Global Programme on Cybercrime. This is the programme UNODC has to support Member States in building capacities to counter cybercrime. The programme has an integrated approach supporting Member States in capacity building, cooperation, prevention and normative area. My direct and technical contribution to the programme has been in the area of managing the programme. I have increased the scope of the programme, the staff, the funding and the areas of work. Now, the programme is well known amongst countries, donors and the cyber and digital forensic community.


What advice would you give women interested in pursuing a field in technology?

Always support your colleagues/team, especially women. A natural leader mentors, coach and help her team/colleagues. We need women that can be respected, followed and trusted not because a gender/woman quota is established, but rather because they are good and professionals in their area.