Tomás Recart began to think of education as a systematic problem while he worked as a civil engineer for four and a half years with low-income municipalities in the Metropolitan Region of Chile. In 2006 he began to pursue his master’s degree at Harvard’s Kennedy School. During his first month at Harvard, Recart attended a presentation in which he heard Wendy Kopp speak about Teach For America and its Theory of Change. Recart immediately contacted other friends from Chile who had similar ideas for improving education and together they met Kopp in November of 2006 to discuss their vision of starting a program similar to Teach For America in Chile.
After a lengthy process of launching a feasibility study, in 2008 Recart assumed the responsibility for directing the launch of Enseña Chile. Recart was granted the Raymond Vernon Award from the Harvard Kennedy School; this award is given to the student who best exemplifies the values of the Master’s in Public Administration/ International Development program, for commitment to international development, academic achievement, citizenship, and potential future leadership.
Upon completing his master’s degree, Recart returned to Chile in July of 2008. Within six months, Enseña Chile secured public and private support, and funds to be applied over a three year period. In light of Enseña Chile’s first two years of success, Tomas Recart was named the 2010 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the year in Chile and in 2011 a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. As Enseña Chile begins to embark on its fourth year, it is planning to place its largest cohort of participants (100+), a cohort that will more than double the size of the 2011 cohort.
Recart loves music and sports, specially mountaineering, a passion that he shares with his wife, Fernanda. Together, in 2005 they climbed the highest peak in the Americas (Mt Aconcagua, 6,859m). Both of them hope to share this passion with their daughter Ana, Matias and their third child to come!