Forced displacement caused by armed conflict is one of the biggest global challenges. Achieving successful peace processes that actually work is key to reducing it.

With a BA in Political Science from Universidad De Los Andes, Juliana Betancourt, 35, has dedicated the last ten years of her career to peace-building in Colombia. A liaison for the International Organization for Migration for USAID, her work focuses on areas where a large population of people have been directly impacted by armed conflict or are former Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) members. 

“Throughout my career,” Betancourt says, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with many people, all from different backgrounds, but with the same purpose: To provide opportunity for second chances to those who are seeking it, and to work for the national reconciliation pathway.”

Betancourt has implemented programs that have benefited more than 800 men and women and helped more than 4,000 people in the process of reintegration from different armed groups and their communities. 

After studying as an Obama Foundation Scholar, she will return to Colombia with a new, evidence-based approach to policy and decision-making.

“The Obama Foundation Scholars Program is an incredible opportunity for spreading the word about the different initiatives that have been implemented in all parts of the world by young leaders and everyday citizens. They have put their hearts and their hopes into their projects, with the strong purpose of improving the living conditions of our society.”