Polen was raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. She first moved to the US when she was 13 and received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Political Science from the University of California, Irvine. After completing undergraduate studies, she interned for INTERPOL in Washington, D.C. and worked for INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Sub-Directorate in several projects related to wildlife trafficking and environmental crimes. While pursuing her Master’s in International Affairs at The George Washington University, she continued to work remotely for INTERPOL and also interned for the U.S. Department of State. Prior to joining IFAW, she worked as a Compliance Analyst for Kroll Associates and consulted for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, where she created a database and mapped cases related to corruption in wildlife trafficking. In July 2018, Polen initially joined the IFAW’s US Country Office as a Policy Analyst and now she holds the role of Wildlife Crime Program Officer. In this role, she is responsible for strengthening capacity in the Latin American and Caribbean region and also supports various projects related to wildlife trafficking, including supporting governments, companies, and partners to develop strategies that will minimize wildlife poaching and trafficking.
Policy Analyst, IFAW United States
Consultant, Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development United States
Compliance Analyst, Kroll Associates United States
B.A. International Studies & Political Science, University of California, Irvine United States
M.S. International Affairs, The George Washington University, United States