Vicki Zakrzewski (zahk-shef-skee), Ph.D., is the founding education director of the Greater Good Science Center. As an international thought leader on the science of well-being in education, Vicki writes articles (Greater Good, ASCD’s Educational Leadership, Edutopia, and Huffington Post), gives talks and workshops all over the world, and leads the GGSC’s Summer Institute for Educators—an annual multi-day event in which education professionals learn how the science of compassion, empathy, gratitude, mindfulness, and other social-emotional skills can enhance their own lives and the lives of their students.
Vicki also sits on several advisory boards and consults and collaborates with organizations on how to incorporate the science of well-being into education. Sample collaborations include the EASEL Lab and Making Caring Common within the Harvard Graduate School of Education; CASEL’s California Collaborating States Initiative; the Learning and Policy Institute at Stanford University; UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development; Facebook; Science for Monks and Nuns in Dharamsala, India; the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai, UAE; the Mind and Life Institute (of which she is a fellow); the Jim Henson Company on a new television show for preschoolers; the International School of Brussels on the Common Ground Collaborative curriculum; several social-emotional learning programs, including Second Step, MindUp, Open Circle, Facing History and Ourselves, and Inner Resilience; and Pixar/Disney on The Emotions Survival Guide—a follow-up book for children based on the movie Inside Out.
A former teacher and school leader, Vicki earned her Ph.D. in Education and Positive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. In her doctoral research, Vicki spent two months in India at a school awarded the Peace Education Prize by UNESCO and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama, researching their methods for developing teachers’ ability to create caring relationships with students.