Board of Directors

The GPE Board of Directors is the supreme governing body of the partnership and sets its policies and strategies.

The Board mirrors the wide-ranging and diverse nature of the Global Partnership and includes members from developing country governments and all development partners: donors, civil society organizations, private sector and foundations, and multilateral agencies and regional banks.

The responsibilities of the Board include: reviewing annual objectives of the Partnership, mobilizing resources, monitoring financial resources and funding, advocating for the partnership, and overseeing the secretariat budget and work plan.

View governance documents
Board Committees


The Board of Directors meets face-to-face generally twice a year to review progress and make strategic decisions. Other meetings may also be held throughout the year as needed. See all Board meetings below, including documents circulated and decisions made.

Board decisions

Date Type Reference Decision Background documents


The Board of Directors is comprised of 20 constituencies representing all the partners of the Global Partnership. A Board member and an alternate Board member represent each constituency. Board members serve for 2 years.

Developing country partners
Donor partners
Civil society organizations
Private sector
Private Foundations
Multilateral agencies

* More information about joining the Northern CSO constituency


The Chair of the Global Partnership for Education is independent of any constituency and represents the Board of Directors and the Partnership as a whole.

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard joined the Global Partnership for Education as chair of the Board of Directors in 2014 after a distinguished public service career in Australia. Following her passion for education, she was appointed a Commissioner at the International Commission for Global Education Opportunity in 2015 and became Patron at CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education, in 2016. She is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution.

Ms. Gillard served as Prime Minister of Australia between 2010 and 2013 and delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australia’s education at every level from early childhood to university education, improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care, commencing Australia’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities.

In June 2018, the Board of Directors extended Ms. Gillard's term as Chair until February 2021.

View the full biography of Julia Gillard

Vice chair

The Vice Chair assists the Chair to manage the governance of GPE and is a counsellor to both the Chair and CEO.

Serigne Mbaye Thiam

Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister for Water and Sanitation and former Minister of National Education in Senegal, was selected as Vice Chair by the Board of Directors in May 2018. Between January 2013 and December 2014, Minister Thiam had been a member of the GPE Board, representing the Africa 2 constituency, which includes 18 francophone countries. Between February 2014 and December 2015, he was the chair of the Governance, Ethics, Risk and Finance Committee.

Minister Thiam held various civil service positions in Senegal since 1996, including as Deputy and Minister of Higher Education and Research. He also worked extensively in the private sector, consulting, accounting and corporate finance and serving as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at the Autonomous Port of Dakar between 1987 and 1998. Minister Thiam is also the President of UNESCO’s National Commission for Senegal and represents his country on UNESCO’s Executive Board.


Five committees support the Board in fulfilling its functions in a strategic, transparent, and efficient manner.

Coordinating Committee: facilitates the work of the other Board committees; makes time-sensitive decisions between face-to-face meetings of the Board and acts as a sounding board for the Chief Executive Officer on matters regarding the Secretariat’s roles and responsibilities.

Mandate | Members | Chair: Julia Gillard

Finance and Risk Committee: oversees risk management practices, financial management and audit arrangements of GPE and its resources; provides advice to the Board to ensure that GPE resources are being managed efficiently, and consistently with its mission, objectives and policies.

Mandate | Members | Chair: Céline Place

Governance and Ethics Committee: oversees global governance arrangements and ethical standards as well as recommends policies, practices, and/or procedures to the Board to ensure that GPE is structured, governed and functioning effectively and ethically at the global level.

Mandate | Members | Chair: Nesmy Manigat

Grants and Performance Committee: recommends grant proposals to reflect GPE strategic priorities and make decision on proposed revisions; tracks progress on the portfolio of grants awarded from GPE resources and oversees the education sector plan quality assurance process.

Mandate | Members | Chair: Sally Gear

Strategy and Impact Committee: oversees the development of strategies and policies that promote best practices and foster innovation in education; monitors the implementation of GPE’s strategic plan, provides recommendations for the annual results report, and oversees independent evaluations of GPE.

Mandate | Members | Chair: David Archer