Santa Šmīdlere

Ms Santa Šmīdlere

Adviser to the President of Latvia on Education, Science and Youth Initiatives
santa.smidlere [at]

More than 15 years of experience in the Ministry of Education and Science in shaping investment and development policies in education, science and innovation.

In her professional career at the Ministry of Education and Science, she has coordinated comprehensive and significant change and development programmes at all levels of education: strengthening STEM teaching and learning, introducing the competence-based approach, modernising vocational education, support programmes for young people at social risk, strengthening students' capacity for innovation, management and leadership development in the education sector and implementing the education quality management system.  Coordinated change programmes to strengthen the quality, governance and performance of research institutions, thus opening up more opportunities for research organisations to work together with leading research centres in Europe and worldwide.

She has initiated the organisation of a discussion platform – the Forum on the Future of Education “Steering Education” in 2022 and 2023, bringing together world-renowned futurists, opinion leaders and researchers to promote understanding of what global technological and social changes need to be taken into account in Latvia when creating a vision for the future of education; how to change the approach to skills and knowledge development personally, in organisations and society.

Master's degree in Business and Institutional Management.

In 2022, she completed the Higher Education Leadership Programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Global Education Lab.


2022 – Higher Education Leadership Programme, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Global Education Lab in collaboration with Riga Technical University; 

2015 – Master's degree in Business and Institutional Management, Riga Technical University; 

2008 – Bachelor of Social Sciences in Political Science – International Relations, Riga Stradiņš University; 


  • Latvian – native
  • English
  • Russian

Professional activity

07/2023 – 11/2023 –  State Secretary, Ministry of Education and Science;

01/2016 – 07/2023 – Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Education and Science;

06/2012 – 01/2016 Deputy Director of Department for Structural Funds and International Financial Instruments, Ministry of Education and Science; 

10/2008 – 06/2012 Head of Planning and Methodology Unit, Structural Funds Department, Ministry of Education and Science; 

01/2006 – 10/2008 Expert, Senior Expert, Planning and Methodology Unit, Structural Funds Department, Ministry of Education and Science; 

Experience in councils and working groups

  • National Coordinator of the European Union Structured Dialogue on Digital Education and Skills;
  • Member of the Competitiveness and Sustainability Sub-Council of the National Tripartite Cooperation Council;
  • Member of the Regional Development Coordination Council;
  • Member of the Advisory Council for the Innovation in Teacher Education; 


2023 Certificate of Recognition of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia