Formerly on the faculty of the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine, Dr. Ayala is the Founder of PANGEA WORLD. The corporation intertwines science diplomacy with a business model designed to shepherd the conservation legacy of the emerging global knowledge economy. Her efforts have empowered PANGEA WORLD with endorsements from the highest levels of the scientific community, from international organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and from a range of political leaders and diplomats.
Trained as a landscape and social ecologist (with a degree of Doctor in Natural Sciences from the Masaryk University in the Czech Republic), Dr. Ayala originated the “Tourism for Conservation through Research” (TCR) economic-development model, the hallmark of her work around the world.
At the invitation of UNESCO, Ayala translated the TCR model into an economic-development blueprint for the nations of the Pacific Island Region, offering these nations the opportunity to maximize their potential to value and protect the knowledge-rich natural assets that make them unique among their peers. A sequel to this endeavor, “Pangea’s Action Plan for National Development and International Prestige of the Republic of Fiji,” was endorsed by Fiji’s Cabinet on 13 February 2001 and 7 May 2002.
Panama was the first country to adopt the TCR approach. The Presidential Decree of 30 November 1998 endorsed and formalized the “TCR Action Plan for the Republic of Panama,” developed by Dr. Ayala at the invitation of the Panamanian government. The Smithsonian Institution and the World Bank were among the hosts of the project’s culminating international events organized by Ayala in Washington, DC in August 1999. The TCR has been the subject of laudatory articles in the popular and specialized press and other media, including Hotels, Science, Scientific American, Condé Nast Traveller (UK), La Prensa/Martes Financiero (Panama), Salon magazine and Civilization, the magazine of the Library of Congress.
In 2003, Dr. Ayala was awarded a Gold Medal by Masaryk University “in recognition and appreciation of extraordinary merits in advancing science, culture, and art.” In 2006, she was honored for her professional achievement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC. Her TCR model and its pilot implementation in Panama figured prominently in both recognitions.
Ayala has organized and coordinated numerous international conferences on the PANGEA WORLD-championed fusion of tourism economy and knowledge economy, including those hosted by the West Coast Center of the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (California, September 2005, April 2009, and February 2014), the Willard InterContinental (Washington, DC, March 2007), and the United Nations International School (New York, September 2010), within the timeframe of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Fluent in English, Czech, and Spanish, Ayala lectures widely in her areas of expertise. She has addressed culture and sustainable development for UNESCO (Fiji, 1997; Samoa, 2007); South Pacific regional tourism (Vanuatu, 2001); issues for the hospitality industry in the new millennium (New York, 2001); information resources for global sustainability (Czech Republic, 2003); science, conservation, and national identity (Mexico, 2004); geography and ecology of the knowledge economy (Panama/City of Knowledge, 2007); the Pacific’s competitive advantage in the “21st century of biology” (Fiji and New York, 2010); the knowledge economy’s potential to foster a culture of peace (Madrid, Spain, 2014); and empowering California for the “century of biology” (University of California, Irvine, 2017).
Dr. Hana Ayala has endowed her Pangea World transnational mission with a highly symbolic bond with the UNESCO World Heritage legacy of Villa Tugendhat, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s architectural masterpiece in the City of Brno in the Czech Republic. Holding an international press conference and signing act on Villa Tugendhat’s premises on June 15, 2017, the Mayor of the City of Brno and Dr. Ayala officially interlinked the Villa’s masterful realization of free flowing harmony with nature that revolutionized human relationship with the environment and Pangea World’s endeavor to harness the free flowing natural reservoirs of knowledge to benefit humanity. A sequel, a special celebration concert by Pacific Symphony entitled “Bridges of Awakenings: From Czech Lands to America and Beyond” and featuring the performance and exploration of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” (Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, California, October 28, 2018) recognized Dr. Ayala for forging new bridges between old and new worlds.