The WISE Prize for Education


Ms Vicky Colbert

Position: Founder and Director, Fundación Escuela Nueva
Country: Colombia

Vicky Colbert is Founder and Director of Fundación Escuela Nueva and co-author of the Escuela Nueva educational model, known worldwide for its proven effectiveness in improving the quality of education.

She has developed, expanded and sustained this innovation in various roles and spheres. She was the first Escuela Nueva National Coordinator, Director of Distance Education in Javeriana University, Vice Minister of Education of Colombia, UNICEF’s Regional Education Adviser for the LAC region. Her work continues with Fundación Escuela Nueva, the nonprofit she founded in 1987 to ensure the quality and sustainability of the Escuela Nueva model in Colombia and abroad. Under Colbert´s leadership, FEN continues to adapt its proven, cutting-edge pedagogy to new contexts and populations. The Escuela Nueva model was adapted to urban settings (1987) and for migrant, displaced populations in emergency situations (2001). It was ranked 42nd by The Global Journal’s list of 100 Best NGOs worldwide.

Colbert has been recognized as an Outstanding Social Entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation and by Ashoka. She won the World Technology Award in Social Entrepreneurship (2005), the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2006), the inaugural Clinton Global Citizenship Award (2008). In 2011 she received the Kravis Prize in Leadership. In 2009 Escuela Nueva was recognized by Qatar Foundation´s WISE Award for efforts to improve basic education in low-income countries around the world. In 2013 Vicky Colbert was named the WISE Prize for Education Laureate by Qatar Foundation.

She completed her undergraduate Sociology degree in Javeriana University in Colombia and earned two Masters degrees in Sociology of Education and Comparative International Education from Stanford University in the United States.