Catalina Escobar Restrepo, graduated from Clark University (USA) with a degree on Business Administration, studies she later combined with other academic programs in Economics in Europe and Japan at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka. She also completed an M.B.A. at the INALDE in Bogotá, strengthening her entrepreneurial and managerial profile. She began in banking and private fields until 2001, when she created The Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation.
Her active participation in the social sector has made Catalina a well-recognized entrepreneur with a great social sense and spirit, as well as an example of leadership among the Colombian society.
She was recognized as the Social Entrepeneur of the year (2015) by the World Economic Forum and Schwab Foundation and has been awarded the 2015 World of Children Humanitarian Award. In 2013, Women eNews awarded her as one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century in the U.S. She also became Top 10 Best Colombian Leaders by Revista Semana, Telefonica and Liderazgo y Democracia Foundation. She became a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2012 and was awarded by the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, with National Merit Order Award in the year 2011. Recently, she obtained the Lewis Institute Award at Babson and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Clark University. This distinction was followed by a moving speech addressed to the Class of 2016.
Catalina is an Ashoka Fellow, a lecturer in subjects related to: social innovation, leadership in NGOs, fundraising strategies, corporate social responsibility, and related subjects. She has been a lecturer for the Latin Finance in New York, City Council of Madrid, Partnering for Global Impact in Lugano, DLDWomen in Munich, Adecco, ExxonMobil and Ventures competition in Colombia, among others.