Program Director for Latin America
Born in Colombia, Carolina Duran is an Economist from the University of Barcelona and the University of the Andes, with a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Public Administration from Columbia University, and studies on Social Change at Stanford University.
With 20+ years of experience in the public and private sectors, Carolina has worked in Business Development for Latin America at Citibank in Bangalore, India, she has been an advisor to the Presidency of the Colombian Banking Association, and served as First Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, where she created ‘Colombia Nos Une’ (Colombia Unites Us).
She was Executive Director of Corporación Ventures, an entity dedicated since 1999 to promoting the creation and growth of sustainable business projects in Colombia. In that role, she served more than 30 thousand ventures and supported 300 companies that generated more than twelve thousand jobs per year. Carolina was also recognized as one of the 100 leaders of society in Colombia in 2019 for promoting inclusion, diversity, and the empowerment of women in business.
Carolina has channeled more than $100 million USD in VC to the Colombian entrepreneurial ecosystem through her multiple projects and initiatives — connecting the city of Bogota globally with countries such as Singapore, Spain, France, England, Israel, the United States, Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Arab Emirates, among others.
During her time in public administration as Secretary of Economic Development of Bogota (a position she held until 2022), she managed to put Bogota on the national and international agenda for its economic reactivation strategies, such as ‘Bogota a Cielo Abierto’ and urban development strategies such as ‘Distrito Innovaccion.’ She was awarded woman of the decade by the WEF (Women Economic Forum) in 2022 in recognition of her work as Secretary of Economic Development of Bogota and was honored with the ‘Iconic Women Creating a Better World for All’ award in 2019. In 2023, the Bogota City Council awarded her with the ‘Order for Entrepreneurial Merit’, in recognition of Carolina’s work in promoting entrepreneurial activation, digital innovation (and the inclusion of digital ventures as business incubators), as well as market internationalization, as strategies leading the digital transformation for the SME’s ecosystem in the city —as a mitigation strategy for economic reactivation in COVID pandemic times.
Carolina is an international speaker, innovation advisor, and member of several national and international boards such as the Global Innovation Council. She is a Fulbright Scholar, Maguire Scholar, and Colfuturo Scholar. Based in Bogota, she is a mother of twins, a global citizen, and a digital nomad.