Lopez intends to apply the skills he gains in the MPP to Diseño Publico, the social and public design consulting firm he founded in Colombia.
Headshot of Daniel Lopez
Daniel Lopez

“My singular purpose,” said Daniel Lopez, Master of Public Policy Class of 2024 and Pearson Fellow, “is to create a brighter future for my home country of Colombia.”

Lopez said his pathway to fulfilling this purpose truly began in 2007 when he began his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Los Andes in Colombia. “I sought to acquire the analytical tools and problem-solving skills needed to tackle pressing issues—hunger, poverty, inequality, violence, and more.” 

After earning his degree, Lopez co-founded Serlimco SAS, a service company that provided cleaning and maintenance services for residential buildings. “We focused on strategic identification of customer needs to balance profitability and customer satisfaction.”

Lopez subsequently joined Centro De Liderazgo Y Gestión, a Colombian leadership and strategy consulting firm. There, he worked his way up to a Leadership and Strategy Senior Consultant before founding Diseño Publico in 2019.

“Diseño Publico is a social and public design consulting firm, and much of our work involves bridging gaps between civic entities and Colombian youth,” said Lopez. Some of Diseño Publico's projects have included work in Barranquilla, where their partners, Fundacion Corona and Fundacion Botnar, are helping build a better city for the young people. "Diseño Publico also implemented LIsA, a leadership academy for vulnerable people across Colombia. We have brought leadership and technical competences to more than 400 leaders in the past three years."

Lopez also had an opportunity to travel with the President of the Republic of Colombia and co-facilitate dialogues throughout Colombia with the aim of reaching agreements to address youth-related issues.

As a consultant, Lopez said he has sought answers to how public and private organizations could contribute to addressing society's major challenges. “I’ve also been fortunate because I’ve enhanced my consultancy work with the leadership and strategy classes I taught at Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administración since 2017—for which I am proud to say I was nominated as one of the best Colombian uiniversity professors by Premios Portafolio."

Although Lopez has found success through his emphasis on leadership and the ability to foster collaboration among diverse actors, he realized he needed a deeper knowledge of data and statistics to bolster his decision making. “Once I realized I needed to gain those skillsets, I set my sights exclusively on the University of Chicago. The prospect of studying alongside Nobel laureates in economics like Richard Thaler and scholars like Roger Myerson and James Robinson—who both specialize in conflict resolution—was nothing short of a dream come true.” 

And Harris, Lopez said, has delivered. “I've encountered unparalleled technical rigor, a passion for learning, and a diverse ecosystem that encourages continuous growth. My intellectual curiosity has grown, and I am acquiring new tools centered around data-driven decision making and evidence. I look forward to integrating these into my company in Colombia to make it a true international force.”

In addition, Lopez was able to leverage his experience with conflict resolution to become a Pearson Fellow with The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. “My Pearson experience adds another layer of invaluable experience, connecting me with individuals who share similar interests and also bring diverse backgrounds to the table. Being a part of the Pearson Institute has definitely deepened my understanding of conflict resolution.”

“I look forward to using my Harris experience to continue to shape a future of opportunity for Colombia.”