Elena Guardia Lombardo played various key administrative roles, as well as a brief tenure as acting director, at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute beginning in 1969. She earned the Smithsonian's Robert Brooks Award for Excellence in Administration in 1991.
A native Panamanian, Lombardo negotiated with the Panamanian government before and after the transition of the Panama Canal, participated in national and international meetings and events, and promoted the research center’s initiatives throughout Latin America.
Lombardo is an alumna of Sacred Heart College, Strayer Business School, and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Executive Education.
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute History Interviews, 2010, 2013, Record Unit 9624, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- “There’s a New Acting Director at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute,” by Hannah Byrne, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- “You May Rest Assured that Adela Gómez Will Take Care of Everything,” by Hannah Byrne, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives