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 consults with schools and organizations on how the science of compassion, empathy, gratitude, mindfulness, and other social, emotional, and ethical skills can enhance educators’ professional lives and the lives of their students.
Sample collaborations and consulting include the EASEL Lab and Making Caring Common within the Harvard Graduate School of Education; CalHOPE’s Social-Emotional Learning Communities of Practice project; Ministry of Delhi’s Happiness Curriculum; Generation Citizen; 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; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Facebook; Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s digital platform Along; 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. She is the co-associate editor of practice for the new journal Social and Emotional Learning: Research, Practice, and Policy.
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. When she’s not Greater Good’ing, you can find her exploring her love of India through cooking, Bollywood dancing, reading books on Eastern philosophy, or sipping a cup of chai.