Shirley is the Ministerial Senior Office Advisor to the Ministry of Environment in Panama, a position that focuses on the implementation of policies, plans, programs, and strategies related to the environment. Previously, she held the position National Director of Protected Areas and Biodiversity. Shirley is a Marine Biologist with a Masters of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. Her professional career has been focused on marine and coastal conservation and sustainable resources management in different instances.
Her background includes working at Smithsonian Institute, at MarViva Foundation and the Coasts and Oceans Division of the Ministry of Environment. Starting at MarViva and then at Coast and Oceans Division, she was part of the team that developed the macrofauna conservation plans such as sea turtles, sharks, and rays.
Currently, she is the deputy of the Minister of Environment in the Presidency of the Coiba National Park Board of Directors, directing the plans for the sustainable management of the Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection.