AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Colombian-U.S. Relations – Urban Planning – Social and Economic Development
Carolina Barco has served for over thirty years in senior public policy and diplomatic positions. Carolina was Colombia’s Foreign Minister from 2002 to 2006, during President Álvaro Uribe’s first term, and Ambassador to the United States from 2006 to 2010. Recently, Carolina was Colombia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain from 2019 to 2020. Previously, she served as a consultant for eight years with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), directly involved in creating and implementing the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Program (ESCI) in over 60 mid-size cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Colombia, Carolina has also served as the Director of City Planning of Bogotá and has headed several United Nations Development Programme initiatives at the Ministry of Economic Development and at the Ministry of Culture’s Historic Towns Program. Carolina has also spent time in academia, serving as Director of the research program on the development of Bogotá and its surrounding areas at Universidad de los Andes. Carolina also serves on several boards, including the Council of the Fundación Santa Fé de Bogotá, the University Hospital, and the International Advisory Council of the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid.
Carolina received a B.A. from Wellesley College, a Master’s in City Planning from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and an Executive MBA from the Instituto de Empresa. She was a fellow at the SPURS progam at MIT.
Carolina was awarded Colombia’s Gran Orden al Mérito Nacional; the Government of France’s Légion d’honneur (Commander); and national decorations from Perú, El Salvador, Honduras, Spain, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Panamá, Guatemala, Paraguay, Ecuador, Brazil, and the Philippines. She has received the international award of the American Planning Association and an honorary award from the Colombian Architecture Association.