Santiago Wills was born in Colombia in 1986. He got his Law degree at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia (2009).
During his law studies Santiago showed great interest in academic activities. In his second year at the Universidad de los Andes he participated in a political moot representing the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia. It was then that he began to become interested in international trade law and international economic law. Due to his success in academics, Santiago was invited to work as an intern at the Directorate of Foreign Investment and Services at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism. During his internship, he got the opportunity to participate in several treaty negotiations for Colombia, in particular in bilateral investment treaties and investment chapters in free trade agreements (2006-2008).
When he began his fourth year of studies, the Universidad de los Andes selected Santiago out of several candidates to be part of the team that would represent the University in the ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law, in which the University would participate for the first time. Along with his team, and after almost a year of preparations, he won the entire competition and was awarded with the best orator award (2008). The Universidad de los Andes' Law School recognized the importance of such accomplishment and awarded him the Academic Mention of Honour (2008).
Later that year, Santiago became student representative for the Law School, and was selected by the Board of Directors of the Universidad de los Andes to be part of the board during one year. He was also part of the Law School Council and the Committee on Research. He also became a member of the Editorial Council of "Al Derecho", newspaper of the Universidad de los Andes' Law School.
During his last year of studies, Santiago worked as the coordinator of a postgraduate degree on International Business Law for the Universidad de los Andes (2008-2009), and started working for the Colombian law firm Lewin y Wills Abogados as a junior lawyer, to later become an associate in 2009.
During all o his studies he worked as a teaching assistant on several subjects, such as International Public Law, Trade Law, Theory of Law, and Constitution and Democracy.
Other than his law studies in Colombia, Santiago has taken the International Trade Regulation summer academy at the World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland (2008), as well as the Boston University's Summer Legal Institute in London's campus (2007).
Before joining the IELPO programme, Santiago completed an internship at the Policy Department in the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France, during June and July 2009.