Carolina Barco Isakson

Former Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador

Carolina Barco has served for over thirty years in senior public policy and diplomatic positions.

She was Colombia’s Foreign Minister from 2002 to 2006 during President Alvaro Uribe’s first term and Ambassador to the United States from 2006 to 2010. As Ambassador, she focused on seeking the approval of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, continued socio-economic and security cooperation with Plan Colombia. Recently, she was Colombia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain during 2019 and 2020.

She was 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. Previously she was Director of City Planning of Bogotá, implementing the first ten-year regional and urban plan (Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial). She headed several UNDP programs in Housing at the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Historic Towns Program at the Culture Ministry. At the University of the Andes, she was the Director of the research program on the development of Bogotá and its surrounding region.

She is on several boards, including the Council of the Fundación Santa Fé de Bogotá, an outstanding University Hospital; the University of the Andes Foundation; Global Americans’ International Advisory Board, and the EGA International Advisory Board.

She received a BA 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 Program at MIT.