The Global Education Summit on July 28 and 29, 2021 gathers a wide variety of leaders, activists, specialists and youth who speak about the importance of education for all children throughout the world in order to build the future we want.
Speakers are organized by session and then alphabetically.
Education's reset. Learning from COVID
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, Ghana
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum is the Minister of Education of Ghana and Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe Constituency. In 2017, Dr. Adutwum was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to serve as Deputy Minister for Education. In 2019, he was voted the Best Performing Deputy Minister of the Year by two research bodies: Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) and FAKS Investigative Services.
He is the founder of the New Designs Charter Schools in Los Angeles California. Prior to this, he worked as a Mathematics and Information Technology teacher at the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles for ten years. During this period, he founded the International Studies Academy which served as a small learning community for students to thrive academically and socially.
He holds a Master's degree in Education Management from the University of La Verne, California, and a PhD in Educational Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Christopher Ashford, Senior Global Education Advisor, Microsoft (moderator)
As the Senior Education Advisor to Microsoft's emerging market team, Dr. Christopher Ashford has over 20 years of executive management experience, providing oversight to numerous national-scale social impact investments with both private and public-sector organizations across the globe. His accomplishments range from changing the landscape of education for over 5 million youth through customized education reform and applied technology in Africa, to creating entrepreneurship opportunities for 100,000 low income women and out-of-school children in Asia, to coordinating emergency relief assistance in education, health access, housing and legal supports for 1 million refugees effected by conflict in the Middle East.
These technical experiences have positioned him as a global thought leader, business advisor, and market strategist across a variety of start-up and nationally scaled initiatives. He has tackled some of the most intractable challenges of our time working with digital solution partners focusing on establishing innovations in basic education access, market-driven job creation, youth engagement, and host government accountability.
Sarah Bouchie, Chief Impact Officer, LEGO Foundation
Sarah Bouchie is the LEGO Foundation's Chief Impact Officer since January 2021. She provides leadership to the development and implementation of the LEGO Foundation's portfolio of initiatives to systemically reach children with learning through play. Prior to joining the LEGO Foundation, Sarah led advocacy and program quality efforts for ChildFund International, as Vice President for Program Development, and served as the Director for Basic & Girls' Education at CARE USA. She also has experience with managing programs and partnerships across Africa and Asia centered around early childhood development and education for Save the Children and the Aga Khan Foundation.
Jo Bourne, Chief Technical Officer, GPE (moderator)
As GPE's Chief Technical Officer since 2019, Ms. Bourne leads a team of education specialists at the GPE Secretariat and draws on expertise across the broader partnership to drive quality policy, strategy and program development as well as rigorous monitoring and evaluation of GPE-supported programs. Ms. Bourne also held several positions, including that of a primary school teacher in the UK and China; working for FCDO in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, and in the London Headquarters, playing a leading role in shaping the organization's education policy and strengthening technical capacity. From 2013-2019, Ms Bourne was UNICEF's Associate Director for Education, working across UNICEF's extensive global network to put equity and learning at the heart of UNICEF's education agenda. She holds an MA in Education and International Development.
Hon. Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development and the Diaspora, Ireland
Colm Brophy was appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora on July 1st, 2020. He is a Fine Gael TD representing Dublin South-West. He was first elected to the Dáil in 2016. During the 32nd Dáil he served as Chairman of the Budgetary Oversight Committee which was established in 2016 to enhance the role of the Oireachtas in the budgetary formation process. He was also a Member of the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality and the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs. Member of South Dublin County Council 2008 – 2016. Colm is a former member of the Board of the Housing Finance Agency. Colm is also the former President of the Association of Irish Local Government.
Helen Dabu Secretary-General, Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (moderator)
Helen Dabu is the Secretary-General of the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE). Helen is a lawyer and a registered social worker in the Philippines, and has a track record in advocacy, capacity-building, institutional building and networking in the Asia Pacific region. She has dedicated her professional life to championing human rights: as a practicing lawyer, defending migrant workers' rights through strategic litigation and parliamentary engagements, and in her work with ASPBAE since 2009, staunchly advocating for education as basic human right. She strongly supported ASPBAE's efforts to facilitate the formation of national education coalitions in a number of countries in the region and co-managed ASPBAE's extensive capacity-building for advocacy program. Helen has also served as a representative of the Southern civil society constituency (CSO2) in the Board of GPE and contributed in bringing the voices and concerns of Southern CSO constituencies to global platforms such as GPE.
Ranjitsinh Disale, Teacher at Zilla Parishad Primary School, India, 2020 Global Teacher Prize Winner
Ranjitsinh Disale, a primary school teacher from the Solapur village in Maharashtra, won the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize 2020, founded by the Varkey Foundation, and organized in partnership with UNESCO. Ranjitsinh Disale was one of ten finalists nominated, and he was recognized for his efforts at promoting girls' education and triggering a quick-response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India.
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO
Ms. Stefania Giannini was appointed UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education in May 2018, becoming the top UN official in the field. In this position, she provides strategic vision and leadership for UNESCO in coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda, encapsulated in Sustainable Development Goal 4. With an academic background in the Humanities, Ms Giannini has served as Rector of the University for Foreigners of Perugia (2004 – 2012), being one of the first and youngest women to hold this position in Italy. As Senator of the Republic of Italy (2013 – 2018) and Minister of Education, Universities and Research (2014 – 2016), she developed and implemented a structural reform of the Italian education system, centered on social inclusion and cultural awareness. She has also been closely involved in an advisory capacity with the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation.
Robert Jenkins, Global Director of Education, UNICEF
Robert Jenkins, Global Director of Education for UNICEF, joined the organization in 1995. He brings over 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian programming in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Jenkins served as the UNICEF Representative, Jordan, from 2014-2019, and Deputy Director, Division of Policy and Strategy in UNICEF Headquarters from 2009-2014. From 1995-2009, Robert Jenkins served with UNICEF in program and management positions in Uganda (1995-1997), Bangladesh (1997-2000), Myanmar (2000-2003), India (2003-2006) and Mozambique (2006-2009). Mr. Jenkins earned a Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Bath and a Master's Degree from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. Mr. Jenkins is married and has a daughter and a son. He is a Canadian citizen.
Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
Dr. Jules has been the Director General for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) since May 2014. He is responsible for driving the regional integration thrust towards a single economic and social space involving ten Eastern Caribbean States. Dr. Jules has contributed extensively to education, social policy and organizational transformation both regionally and internationally. He served as Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council (2008-2014); Vice President of Human Resources at Cable and Wireless, St. Lucia (2005-2008); Permanent Secretary for Education & Human Resource Development, St. Lucia (1997-2008); and Permanent Secretary for Education and Chief Education Officer in revolutionary Grenada from 1981-1983. He holds a BA (hons) from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill; a MSc in Curriculum & Instruction and a PhD in Educational Policy and Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; as well as an MBA from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill.
Salman Khan, Founder and CEO, Khan Academy
Sal Khan is the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, a nonprofit with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. He is also the founder of Khan Lab School, a nonprofit laboratory school in Mountain View, California. Sal's interest in education began while he was an undergraduate at MIT. He developed math software for children with ADHD and tutored fourth- and seventh-grade public school students in Boston. He also taught test prep courses for the MCAT and was named teacher of the year by a national test prep company. He holds three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Sal founded Khan Academy as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Khan Academy offers free lessons in math, history, grammar, physics, biology, and many more subjects. Today more than 61 million registered users access Khan Academy in dozens of languages in more than 190 countries.
Dr. Mariatou Koné, Minister of Education and Literacy, Côte d'Ivoire
Dr. Mariatou Koné is a professor of anthropology at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny University of Abidjan-Cocody and an Ivorian politician. She has held several ministerial portfolios since 2016 and was appointed Minister of National Education and Literacy on April 6, 2021.
Margarita Focas Licht. Manager, Partnership Development and Effectiveness, GPE (moderator)
After managing GPE's country support team for several years, Margarita Focas Licht currently leads GPE's efforts to strengthen partnership effectiveness and develop new strategic partnerships. Margarita has more than 25 years of experience working on education in developing countries. Prior to joining the GPE Secretariat in 2011 she was UNICEF's education chief in Madagascar. She has also worked as Save the Children Norway's education adviser in Ethiopia, special needs education expert at UNESCO, and as a teacher in Madagascar. Her work over the years has focused on education for marginalized children through both formal and alternative pathways, ranging from school- and community level engagement to district, national and global program development, policy dialogue and partnerships.
Dr. Jane Mann, Managing Director, Cambridge Partnership for Education
Jane has worked in educational publishing since 1997, at every level up to boardroom, and also spent 13 years as a consultant. She has significant experience in developing coherent solutions for education reform, working with heads of state, ministries of education, government agencies, civil society organizations, donor agencies and other educational organizations to design policy approaches, effective materials and infrastructures for sustainable reform. Jane was recently appointed Managing Director of the new Cambridge Partnership for Education, bringing together Cambridge's joint capabilities in this sector, across curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning materials and teacher development, from policy to implementation. She is the Cambridge founder of the UNICEF-Cambridge-Microsoft Learning Passport initiative, which aims to find new solutions to educating refugee and displaced children. She is also a member of the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement (University of Cambridge), a BESA Executive Council member, and chair of the Women's Education Suppliers Working Group.
Joseph Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Kenya
Mr. Joe Mucheru was appointed Cabinet Secretary by His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015. He was formerly the Google Sub-Saharan Africa ambassador as well as Google Country Manager Kenya, based in Nairobi. He joined Google in June 2007, being their first Sub-Saharan Africa employee where he lead the delivery of strategy, business planning and operations. Before joining Google, he worked at Wananchi Online, a company he co-founded in 1999. He held various roles at the company including Strategy & Business Director, Chief Technology Officer and CEO. He is also the current Chairman of African Telecommunications Union (ATU) as a specialized agency of the African Union (AU) and a global board member of UNICEF Generation Unlimited. He attended the Stanford Executive Program from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2008 and holds a (B Sc. (Joint Hons)) in Economics & Computer Science from City University London.
Rapelang Rabana, Founder, Rekindle Learning
Internationally renowned technology entrepreneur, Rapelang has amassed 15 years' experience building innovative technology companies. She is the Founder of Rekindle Learning and FFWD Innovation. B.Bus.Sci. (Computer Science Honors), and M.Sci, Univ. of Cape Town. Recipient honors and awards, including: Entrepreneur for the World by World Entrepreneurship Forum; Young Global Leader by World Economic; Forum Forbes 30 under 30 - Africa's Best Young Entrepreneurs; Fast Company Maverick; Harambe Entrepreneur, Endeavor High-Impact Entrepreneur; Oprah Magazine O Power List.
Jaime Saavedra, Global Director of Education, The World Bank
Jaime Saavedra leads the Education Global Practice at the World Bank Group. He rejoined the World Bank Group from the Government of Peru, where he served as Minister of Education from 2013 through 2016. During his tenure, the performance of Peru's education system improved substantially as measured by international learning assessments. Throughout his career, Mr. Saavedra has led groundbreaking work in the areas of poverty and inequality, employment and labor markets, the economics of education, and monitoring and evaluation systems. He has held positions at a number of international organizations and think-tanks, including the Inter-American Development Bank, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, International Labour Organization, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarollo and the National Council of Labor in Peru. He has also held teaching and research positions in academia and published extensively. He holds a Ph.D in economics from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in economics from the Catholic University of Peru.
Victoria L. Tinio, Executive Director, Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development (FIT-ED)
Victoria L. Tinio is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development (FIT-ED). For over 20 years, Vicki has been involved in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of a wide range of digital learning programs and projects in schools and alternative learning environments in the Philippines and across the Global South.
Sabina Vigani, Country Director, Jacobs Foundation, Côte d'Ivoire
Sabina Vigani has been working with the Jacobs Foundation since 2014 and has led the implementation of the Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities initiative in the country. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked with the Swiss Foreign Ministry on human rights policy and peacebuilding.
Mubuso Zamchiya, Managing Director, Luminos Fund
Mubuso Zamchiya is Managing Director of Luminos, a philanthropic fund that is unlocking the light within every child by helping them get a good education. Previously he led the Global Partnerships Team of Ashoka as Senior Vice President and led organizations in the US charter sector. Mubuso has served in strategic roles at the International Finance Corporation, AES Corporation, and Barclays. He is an advisor to Halcyon, the b*free freelance community, and Lead Africa. Mubuso has been active in education development for Africa. He launched School Ventures, a company that aimed to provide better market intelligence to help private and public school operators, and their investors, make quality investment decisions. He is co-Founder of the BOOST Fellowship, which has been helping young Zimbabwean men and women discover their potential for leadership. He is an Echoing Green Fellow, a Pahara Fellow, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a Rhodes Scholar.
Gender Equality In and Through Education
Bridget Akurut, GPE Youth Leader, Uganda
Bridget Akurut is 26 years old and lives in Kampala, Uganda. She has been an advocate for girl's education as a FAWE alumni and she is Alumni Representative to the FAWE General Assembly, as member of the Educate - Her Alliance, Youth leader in Archdiocese of Kampala among others. She strongly believes that education creates equal opportunities for both boys and girls.
Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Group Executive, Commercial Banking, Ecobank
A well respected international banker, Josephine has for 3 decades played various key roles in treasury management, strategy implementation, investment and commercial banking. She is currently Ecobank Transnational's Group Executive for Commercial Banking, leading the commercial banking operation of the Ecobank Group in 33 countries across Africa. Her work focuses on creating relevant solutions to help build African SMEs and Local Corporates and positioning them to become viable and sustainable. Prior to this Josephine held various senior positions within the Ecobank Group. Josephine has a BA and an MBA from the University of Ghana and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She is passionate about seeing women excel, pioneering a scholarship scheme for girls in Gambia and providing mentorship for young women. Josephine is also a music hobbyist who has helped shape the Ghanaian gospel music scene, and continues to inspire several young singers.
Duong Phuong Anh, GPE Youth Leader, Vietnam
Dương Phương Anh is a teacher and a youth activist for gender equality and girls' rights from Vietnam. She is a member of the Champions of Change network and a youth advisor of Plan International, working to amplify youth and girls' voices. Anh believes that a transformative education system is the key for to achieve an equitable and free world for all.
Diana Ayala, GPE Youth Leader, Honduras
Diana Ayala is 27 years old and lives in Honduras. She is part and leader of CEAAL Youth Group in Honduras and part of GCE & CLADE through Foro Dakar Honduras. She is regularly involved with advocacy actions to local governments and CSOs on the success of SDG 4, and the education sector plan of Honduras, which includes access, quality and free education for all.
Nafisa Baboo, Director of Inclusive Education, Light for the World
Nafisa is a qualified speech-language therapist and audiologist, with a Masters in Inclusive Education (IE). Her focus areas include research, advising on IE policies and practices, advocacy work as well as training teachers, education officials and communities on IE. Nafisa has 12 years of experience working in the most complex communities and countries to foster a more inclusive society. Nafisa serves on the Global Monitoring Report Advisory Board. She is also on the board of the Global Campaign for Education and the technical advisory committee of the Inclusive Education Initiative and is the former chair of the Inclusive Education task group of the International Disability and Development Consortium. She authored several publications including Leave No Child Behind: Invest in the early years.
Phindu Zaie Banda, Poet, Feminist Movement Builder, Social Justice Advocate
Phindu Zaie Banda is a Malawian feminist who is passionate about using poetry to advocate for social justice. She is a gender and development professional and focuses her activism on sexual and reproductive health and rights and community development, where she uses participatory arts to empower girls and women. Phindu's poetry centes on women and their lived experiences, using raw emotions to illustrate the various dimensions of femininity. Phindu has worked extensively with Lake of Stars and Tumaini Festivals, resident UN agencies, the US Embassy, the Irish Embassy, the government of Malawi and other creative and corporate agencies.
Yande Banda, Co-Chair, Transform Education
Yande Banda is a passionate 17-year-old education, girls and women's rights activist from Zambia. She is the chairperson of Transform Education, a youth-led coalition hosted by UNGEI where young people are actively transforming education for gender equality. She is also the youngest member of the Adolescent Girls advisory council for the global fund for women and deals with grant making and funding girl and youth led organizations. Yande is a firm advocate for girls and women's issues and believes that more now than ever during the COVID 19 recovery, it is essential we invest in a sufficient mobilization to achieve the SDG's. She has spoken to these causes at multiple high level convenings including the CSW and the Generation Equality Forum with world leaders and Civil Society as well as co-authored a global open letter to end online harassment that accumulated over 60, 000 signatures.
Camilla Croso, Director, Education Program, Open Society Foundations
Camilla Croso is the Director of the Education Program at the Open Society Foundations. She has worked in promoting the right to education at national, regional, and global levels for over twenty years. Prior to joining OSF, she coordinated the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education and served as the President of the Global Campaign for Education. In her earlier years, she worked for the Kellogg Foundation's Latin American office in São Paulo. Camilla holds an MSc from the London School of Economics in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries and is currently undergoing her PhD studies. Her academic publications relate to education financing, non-discrimination, the right to education and the right to social participation and democratic governance. She has integrated the regional and global SDG4/ Education 2030 Steering Committees, as well as the Board of the Global Partnership for Education.
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
Henrietta H. Fore serves as the Executive Director of UNICEF. She formerly served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Holsman International, a manufacturing and investment company. Fore was the first woman Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance, 37th Director of the United States Mint in the U.S. Department of Treasury. She was the Presidential Appointee for President George H. W. Bush at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Antara Ganguli, Director, United Nations Girls' Education Initiative
Antara Ganguli is the Director of UNGEI, the UN Girls Education Initiative. She has 17 years of experience in gender equality and women's empowerment. She led gender equality for UNICEF India, its largest non-humanitarian office where she advised and supported 13 field offices on gender-based violence, gender-transformative pedagogy and positive masculinity. Previously she was the Deputy Representative for UN Women in Bangladesh. Antara started her career as a primary school teacher for children of sex workers. She has a M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, USA and a B.A. from Amherst College, USA. UNGEI is a leading voice and platform on school-related gender-based violence and gender in education in emergencies. UNGEI's goal is to contribute to knowledge, evidence and programming that reduces violence prevalence and increases gender egalitarian behavior.
Kate Gilmore, Carr Center Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
Soon to join the London School of Economics as a Visiting Professor in Practice, Kate is a Fellow with the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School. She is Chair of the Board of Trustees for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Vice-Chair of Interpeace's governing board, an advisor both for the WHO Human Reproduction Program and Fondation Botnar's work on young people's human rights in the digital age. She is a former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and was also UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director for Programs with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Prior to joining the UN, she was Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International, and the national director of Amnesty International Australia. As a young professional, she led establishment of Australia's first Center Against Sexual Assault and was a member of Australia's first National Committee on Violence Against Women.
Alejandra Ramos Gómez, Poet, Educational Consultant and Founder of We are Poderosas
Alejandra Ramos Gómez is a poet, writer, and educational consultant from Juarez, Mexico. She resides in Dallas, Texas, and is the founder of We are Poderosas, a bilingual self-empowerment and spoken word initiative for girls. Her work appears in international media, including TEDx, NPR's Latino USA, Ms. Magazine, UNGEI, Take the Lead Women, and Rotary International. She works as an Educational Consultant with the Education for Sustainability in the Galapagos Islands program and Education PowerED, a culturally responsive teaching organization. Alejandra holds a BA in Political Science and Linguistics and a Master's in Bilingual Education. Furthermore, she is a Teach for America alumna and a Teach for All Global Girl Education fellow. Her debut bilingual poetry book Imperfecta explores the experiences of women, Latinas, and immigrants.
Helen Grant, Special Envoy for Girls' Education, United Kingdom
In 2010, Helen Grant became the first Anglo-African female Conservative MP. Helen's constituency is in Maidstone and the Weald, in Kent. In January this year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Helen as his Special Envoy for Girls' Education. Helen has also been the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Nigeria since October 2020. Previous roles in government include Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Equalities and Minister for Sport and Tourism. During her time in Parliament, Helen has also been a member of the Justice and International Development Select Committees. Before politics, Helen was a family lawyer, having set up her own legal practice in 1996 specializing in family breakdown and domestic violence. Helen is married with two grown up sons and enjoys tennis, movies, and sporting events.
Dr. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Goodwill Ambassador to End Child Marriage, African Union
Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is the Goodwill Ambassador of the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage and Founder and Chief Executive of the Rozaria Memorial Trust. She previously served as Secretary-General of the World Young Women's Christian Association. She is a trained human rights lawyer with extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation. For twenty years, she has been working on issues of women and children's human rights, with a special focus on crisis countries. Active in the women's movement, she has more specifically focused on issues of violence against women, peace with justice, property rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV and AIDS. She is current chair of CIVICUS, and Rozaria Memorial Trust, and serves on the Advisory Committee for Girls Not Brides. She is the first President from the global south to serve on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women.
Rangina Hamidi, Minister of Education, Afghanistan
Ms. Rangina Hamidi was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan. For two decades, Ms. Hamidi has worked tirelessly to better the lives of Afghan citizens through development projects, advocacy, and, most importantly, education. Ms. Hamidi's accomplishments include the establishment of a full value-chain model of an all women's social enterprise in Kandahar whose products have reached Europe, the Middle East, Americas as well as other parts of the world. Most recently, Ms. Hamidi successfully led the Mezan International School to integrate and implement a world-class and internationally accredited curriculum with a solid foundation of Islamic education, Afghan history, Afghan values, and multi-lingual education. Ms. Hamidi serves on the advisory boards of Open Society Afghanistan, Afghan Women Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Medica Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Institute for Civil Society and is a council member of the US-Afghan Women's Council. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.
Ruth Kagia, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Kenya
Ruth Kagia is Deputy Chief of Staff (Policy and Strategy) in the Executive Office of the President. She rejoined government in 2014 as Senior Advisor to the President. Prior to this Mrs. Kagia worked at the World Bank for some 20 years (1990-2013), during which she held various positions including as World Bank Country Director for Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho as well as Mauritius and Madagascar). Before this, Mrs. Kagia was the World Bank Global Director for Education (2002- 2008). Before joining the World Bank Mrs. Kagia worked with the Kenya Government in teaching, management and research.
Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Together for Girls
Dr. Daniela Ligiero is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Together for Girls, a global, public-private partnership dedicated to ending violence against children, especially sexual violence against girls. The partnership includes five UN agencies, the governments of the United States and Canada, several private sector organizations and more than 20 country governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, working together to generate comprehensive data and solutions to this public health and human rights epidemic. Dr. Ligiero also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.
Martha Muhwezi, Executive Director, Forum for African Women Educationalists
Martha heads the FAWE Regional Secretariat and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization. She ensures that FAWE Regional Secretariat's fiscal operations, fundraising, advocacy, human resource and programmatic strategies are effectively implemented across the FAWE network. She is a development specialist with more than 20 years of experience in the civil society sector nationally, regionally and internationally. Her areas of expertise include Organization Management and Program Coordination with practical experience in Program Management: Design, Planning and implementation of varied programs, Gender Mainstreaming, Gender Budgeting and Audit, Governance, Strategic Planning, Training and Facilitation, Advocacy, Budgeting and Budget Control, Participatory Methodologies and Approaches and Monitoring and Evaluation. She holds a Master's degree in Women Studies and a Bachelor's degree in Education from Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Gender Studies at the University of Nairobi.
Yona Nestel, Inclusive Quality Education Lead, Plan International HQ
Yona is global public education and gender equality advocate and expert who believes in the power of education to challenge and dismantle systems of oppression. Through her work as Plan International's global Inclusive, Quality Education Lead and as a board member of the Global Partnership for Education representing northern civil society, Yona helps turn rhetoric on the transformative power of education into action and impact. She prioritizes amplifying girls voice and experiences and partnering with youth-led organization in all aspects of her work. Her career spans over 15 years working at both national and global levels, championing feminist principles and education that shifts power.
Karimot Odebode, Poet and Founder, Black Girl's Dream Initiative
Karimot Odebode is a poet, writer and activist from Ibadan, Nigeria, who is driven by her commitment to social justice. She is the founder of the Black Girl's Dream Initiative – a youth led feminist organization that works to end Female Genital Mutilation and also promote Girl's education and female leadership through Arts, Advocacy and Technology. Karimot uses poetry as well as her legal expertise to advocate for gender equality. She has created the Transform Education anthem, and her art has been featured by UNGEI, Plan International, ONE Campaign, and BBC Media Africa. As a Youth Champion for ONE Campaign she advocated for a world free of poverty and inequality, and was one of the 45 female African activists from 15 African countries that signed the open letter for gender equality which was presented to world leaders by the ONE campaign on International Women's Day 2019.
Arin Oniyide, Teacher, Straitgate Schools, Gender Equality
Arin Oniyide is an experienced, passionate teacher, educational administrator, and consultant. She has taught and managed schools from preschool through secondary school levels. She has also established a co-educational secondary school of high repute in Lagos, Nigeria. Arin is passionate about equal educational opportunities for children irrespective of gender or social strata and teachers training and development to motivate and build passionate and creative educators. She is a graduate of Linguistics with a diploma in Montessori Education and a master's degree in Education.
Mabel van Oranje, Initiator and Chair, Girls Not Brides
Mabel van Oranje is a global advocate for equality, justice and freedom and serial entrepreneur for social change. She is the founder and chair of ‘Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage' and ‘VOW To End Child Marriage', and played a catalytic role in the creation of the Girls First Fund. Mabel is a member of the (advisory) boards of Apolitical Academy Global, Global Witness, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, and The Elders. She is a co-founder and chair emeritus of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Stanislas Ouaro, Minister of National Education and Literacy, Burkina Faso
On January 31, 2018, Stanislas Ouaro was appointed Minister of National Education and Literacy, Burkina Faso. Professor Ouaro served as a University Assistant from 2004 until he became a full University Professor in 2012. At the academic level, he is a Doctor of Mathematics and Application. From 2012 to 2018, Minister Ouaro was the President of the University of Ouaga II, now Thomas Sankara University. Prior to this, he was Coordinator of the computer section and then Deputy Director of the Burkinabe Institute of Arts and Crafts (2002 to 2008) From 2008 to 2012, he was the Director of the same institute. Professor Ouaro has more than 87 scientific publications. Married and father of four children, Minister Ouaro has the following honors: Officer of the Order of Academic Palms of Togo, Officer of the Order of Academic Palms of Burkina and Officer of the Order of the Standard of Burkina.
Asatha Singh Raghuvanshi, Spoken Word Artist and Developmental Communications Specialist
A graduate in History and Visual Art, Aastha is a spoken word poet and artist who believes in good stories, thoughtful questions, authenticity and fostering voices. Owing to her belief that art can and must change lives - she was working in the social impact space as the Communications and Advocacy Lead at Slam Out Loud: an Indian non-profit that brings art and artistic opportunities to children from disadvantaged communities to help them find their voice. The first runner up at the National Youth Poetry Slam; Aastha has shared space and words with fellow artists at over seventy poetry events with organizations like The Caravan, Twitter, Breakthrough India, UNESCO and The American Center. She likes sunlight, pressed flowers, long walks, and vulnerabilities.
David Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone
David Moinina Sengeh is the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education of Sierra Leone and the country's first-ever Chief Innovation Officer. He also serves on the Board of GPE. Previously he was a research scientist at IBM Research Africa, Nairobi. Dr. Sengeh is globally recognized for his work and accomplishments: he is a Senior TED Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Forbes 30 Under 30 and most recently, an Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Fellow. He is credited for seeding the development of the innovation ecosystem in Sierra Leone through Global Minimum and the Innovate Salone program, which he co-founded in 2007 and which has supported the innovation journeys of thousands of young Sierra Leoneans. Dr. Sengeh completed his Ph.D. at MIT where he developed award-winning technology for human augmentation. He received his bachelor's degree at Harvard University in Engineering Sciences, where his research focused on aerosolized vaccines for tuberculosis.
Armel Sly-vania, GPE Youth Leader, Comoros
Armel Azihar sly-vania, 25 years old, is a STEM activist and educator from the Comoros Islands. Armel has worked with IMARA COMOROS NGO where the crossroads of STEM, arts, and leadership meet. Armel is the lead educator on the STEM program and media consultant for the NGO, which teaches computer programming. Armel believes transforming education is important because we need to prepare children and youth to have internationally competitive minds and be creative citizens.
Ziauddin Yousafzai, Co-founder and Board Member, Malala Fund
Ziauddin Yousafzai is a co-founder of Malala Fund and Malala's father. For many years, Ziauddin served as a teacher and school administrator in his home country of Pakistan. When the Taliban invaded their home in Swat Valley, Ziauddin peacefully resisted their efforts to limit personal freedoms. Speaking out put Ziauddin at risk, but he feared remaining silent would be far worse. Inspired by her father's example, Malala began publicly campaigning for girls' education. Due to her increased prominence, Malala was attacked by the Taliban two years later. Malala survived and was transported to the U.K. for treatment. Ziauddin, his wife, Toor Pekai and their two sons joined Malala in Birmingham. Determined to continue their campaign, Ziauddin and Malala founded Malala Fund in 2013. Together they champion every girl's right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education. His first book “Let Her Fly” is on parenthood and fighting for equality.
Ripple effect - Education's Impact on Sustainability
Ola Abagun, GPE Youth Leader, Nigeria
Ola Abagun is a 29-year-old lawyer and activist based in Nigeria. She is the founder of Girl Pride Circle Initiative - a youth-led NGO which advocates for girls' rights to education (including comprehensive sexuality education), equal opportunities and violence-free communities. Olaoluwa strongly believes that a gender-transformative education system is critical for a truly equal and inclusive society. She is also the Coordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Gender Equality Network which she represents on the Global Advisory Committee of UNGEI.
Dr. Raji Ambikairajah, Non-Executive Director and Australian Business Leader
Dr. Raji Ambikairajah holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and has spent most of her career in the technology start-up and non-profit sectors. As a renowned leader in strategy change and organizational growth, Raji was the CEO of Folo, launching a new profit-for-purpose e-commerce platform, enabling the seamless deployment of charity donations by online shoppers. Widely recognized for her leadership, insight and impact, she won the 2019 Chief Executive Women's scholarship to study strategic innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and in 2018, was awarded the NSW Woman of the Year Award for her leadership over 7 years as the Sydney Chapter Leader for Room to Read.
Suzanne Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer, Malala Fund
Suzanne Ehlers is the CEO of the Malala Fund. She provides leadership to a global staff of experts and advocates who are breaking down barriers that prevent 130 million girls around the world from going to school. Suzanne works closely with co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai and a highly regarded board of directors and professional team to advance the progress toward girls' education around the world. Previously, Suzanne served as President & CEO of PAI, a global advocacy leader in the effort to protect and promote the reproductive rights of women and girls. Under Suzanne's leadership, PAI's budget almost quadrupled and the organization dramatically expanded its work to more countries. Before joining PAI, she worked in grantmaking at the Wallace Global Fund and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic. She also sits on the boards of Ibis Reproductive Health, and LAMB, a public charter school in Washington, D.C.
Farrah, Transform Education, UNGEI
Farrah is a 16 year old climate and girls’ education activist from Pakistan. Farrah works as a youth activist leader with Transform Education at the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative. She is a member of Chalkback, an international youth organisation that aims to de-normalise and end gender based street harassment through art. Farrah has recently studied at the Oxford School of Climate Change and has been an observer for the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference. She is also a member of Women in Energy, a network to support women working in the green energy sector in Pakistan to foster their career and leadership development.
Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Anuradha Gupta is Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Since joining Gavi in 2015, Anuradha has led efforts to put equity and gender at the center of Gavi's programmatic planning and to tailor support to countries within Gavi's strategy and much more. Prior to Gavi, Anuradha served as Mission Director of the National Health Mission of India, where she ran the largest – and possibly most complex – public health program in the world with an annual budget of US$ 3.5 billion. Anuradha has contributed towards a number of important global health initiatives. Anuradha holds an MBA from the University of Wollongong in Australia and received executive education from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Kitlang Kabua, Minister of Education, Sports and Training, Marshall Islands
Hon. Kitlang Kabua is the Minister of Education, Sports and Training in the Marshall Islands. Minister Kabua is the first woman from Kwajalein Atoll elected to Parliament-or Nitijela, as it is known in the Marshall Islands. From August 2018 until her recent election, Minister Kabua worked as the Ebeye Project Representative on Phase II of the World Bank-funded Pacific Resilience Program -a series of projects to strengthen Pacific Island countries' resilience to natural disasters and climate change. From 2015 to 2018, Minister Kabua was the Special Advisor for Kwajalein Atoll Joint Utilities Resources.
Shradha Koirala, GPE Youth Leader, Nepal
Shradha Koirala is 28 years old. She is the senior program coordinator for the National Campaign for Education Nepal (NCE Nepal). As the youth focal person in the organization, she believes that educational transformation is possible through and by young people as they are the real agents of change.
Christina Kwauk, Non-Resident Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Christina Kwauk is a social scientist with a current interdisciplinary focus on education for climate action. She is an expert on girls' education in developing countries, 21st century skills and youth empowerment, sport for development, and the intersections of gender, education, and climate change. Christina is a co-editor of Curriculum and Learning for Climate Action: Toward an SDG 4.7 Roadmap for Systems Change (forthcoming 2021) and co-author of What Works in Girls' Education: Evidence for the World's Best Investment. She has published numerous policy papers, including "The new green learning agenda: Approaches to quality education for climate empowerment," as well as academic articles on topics in climate change education, gender, health, and international development and education. Christina is a non-resident fellow in the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, an education consultant, and Research Director at Unbounded Associates.
Emi Mahmoud, Activist and Author, Goodwill Ambassador, UNHCR
Emtithal (Emi) Mahmoud is a two time World Champion Poet, Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR- the UN Refugee Agency, and was named one of BBC's 100 Most Inspirational Women. Emi co-founded a Sickle Cell research initiative at age 19. She has since worked with President Obama, the Dalai Lama, Forbes 30 Under 30. In 2017, Emi created and hosted the first fully inclusive civilian peace talks and roundtables across her native Sudan; in 2018, as founder of the One Girl Walk and Dreams for Peace Initiatives, walked 1000km for peace in 30 days, mobilizing thousands of people along the way. In the final stages of the 2020 Darfur peace agreement, Emi acted as an independent advisor on civilian inclusion and citizenship representation, putting forth unprecedented recommendations for civil liberties, gender equality, education, refugee rights, inclusion, diversity, and the rights of all vulnerable populations across the country. Emi, author of Sisters' Entrance, was featured among Harper's Bazaar's New Changemakers of 2020. Emi graduated from Yale in 2016 where studied Anthropology and Molecular Cellular & Developmental Biology earning a Bachelors of Science and Certificate in Global Health.
Selina Nkoile, GPE Youth Leader, Kenya
Selina Nkoile, is 27 years old and lives in Narok, Kenya. In 2017 she founded Nashipai, which uses grassroots interventions to provide Maasai girls with opportunities for education and success. Selina is a ONE champion, youth advocate for NAYA Kenya and a member of Youth End FGM Network Kenya. She believes transforming the education system will provide a strong base for lifelong learning and opportunities.
Agnes Nyalonje, Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, Malawi
Agnes NyaLonje was appointed was appointed the Minister of Education, Science and Technology in mid-2020. Prior to this, she was a member of Parliament. She also served as the Country Director for UNAIDS, a Technical Adviser at the WHO and a consultant for the World Bank. She advised on and led policy development, planning, advocacy, coordination, partnership-building, gender issues, capacity- building and resource mobilization-all geared towards a focus on human development work and community service, particularly for marginalized communities. She was a Lecturer of Linguistics at the University of Malawi and served as a Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. The minister's educational background is in literature, linguistics, and social sciences. She taught those subjects at the University of Malawi and the University of Edinburgh.
Alok Sharma, President for COP26
Alok Sharma was appointed full-time President for COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, on 8 January 2021. He was previously Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and President for COP 26 between 13 February 2020 and 8 January 2021. He was previously Secretary of State for International Development from 24 July 2019 to 13 February 2020, and Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions from 9 January 2018 until 24 July 2019. He was Minister of State for Housing and Planning, for the Department for Communities and Local Government from 13 June 2017 to 9 January 2018.
Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
Yasmine Sherif is the Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) - a global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crisis. A lawyer specialized in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (LL.M), she has 30 years of experience with the United Nations (UNHCR, UNDP, OCHA) and international NGOs. She has served in many crisis affected countries and regions on the globe, including Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and across the Middle East, including Jordan (the Syria-crisis) and the occupied Palestinian territory. Her expertise spans across the humanitarian, development, human rights, gender and peacekeeping spectrum. Ms. Sherif has also worked as an Adjunct Professor responsible for the Masters Program on the United Nations, humanitarian assistance, and human rights at Long Island University (LIU), and has published on international humanitarian and development issues, as well as international law.
Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Finland
Minister Skinnari has served as the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade since 2019. Prior to this, he served in various capacities for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and continues to serve as a Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party. Earlier in his career, he also worked in the field of international trade, including developing Nokia's service business for the Asian and European markets and serving as the Business Development Director for the Koillismaa region. He has also run a small company of his own and worked as a specialist in international law.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Former Prime Minister of Denmark and Board Co-Chair, End Violence Partnership
Helle Thorning-Schmidt was Denmark's first female Prime Minister (2011-2015) and later CEO of Save the Children International (2016-2019) where she led the organization's work to protect children in 120 countries. Thorning-Schmidt is active on multiple global non-profit and private sector boards, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the European Council on Foreign Relations, International Crisis Group, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the WHO Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development, and Facebook's Oversight Board.
Angel Warira, GPE Youth Leader, Kenya
Angel Warira is a 25-year-old Kenyan youth advocate who is passionate about leadership and governance. She serves as the Secretary for Gender and International Relations of the All-Africa Students Union and a 100 Million Campaign Ambassador and has led various campaigns advocating for quality education at all levels of learning both nationally and continentally. Angel strongly believes that education is still the passport to the future.
Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. She is the youngest senior official in the UN and the first woman to hold this position. In this role, Jayathma works to expand the UN's youth engagement and advocacy efforts across sustainable development, human rights, peace and security, and humanitarian action and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General. In 2019 Jayathma was one of by Time Magazine's "Time 100 Next: Rising stars shaping the future" and in 2020 she was recognized in the Forbes "30 under 30" list. Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation, including playing a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country. Prior to taking up her post, Ms. Wickramanayake was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women, in Sri Lanka through the "Hashtag Generation" movement. And she advocated for global youth development on an international level.
Financing for Impact - Volume, Equity, Efficiency
Manos Antoninis, Director, Global Education Monitoring Report, UNESCO
Manos Antoninis is the Director of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report since 2017. He was previously responsible for the monitoring section of the report. He has been representing the report team in the Technical Cooperation Group on SDG 4 indicators, which he is currently co-chairing. Prior to joining the team he worked for 10 years on public finance, monitoring and evaluation projects in education including: a public expenditure tracking and service delivery survey of secondary education provision in Bangladesh; the mid-term evaluation of the Education For All Fast Track Initiative; the annual reporting of progress in the implementation of the Second Primary Education Development Project in Bangladesh; and basic education capacity building program in six states in Nigeria.
Gifty Anyogbe Apanbil, Retired Deputy Secretary General, Ghana Association of Teachers
Ms. Gifty Anyogbe Apanbil rose from a district secretary of GNAT, Assistant Regional Secretary, Regional Secretary to Deputy General Secretary, Education and Professional Development. She has served on various education related Boards: West Africa Examination Council, Institute of Education University of Cape Coast Professional Board, Institute of Educational Planning and Administration Board, GPE and other committees; EI early childhood education working Group, Ghana Teachers Task Force Ghana Education Steering Committee. As the Deputy General Secretary Education and Professional Development, she was in charge of all continuous Professional Development other members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers. She has been to almost all deprived schools in Ghana to encourage teachers and to find out issues that needed to be addressed and brought these to the union and education management. She attended the University of Cape Coast from1982_1987 and obtained a BA and Diploma in Education. She later obtained a Post graduate diploma in policy Analysis and Labor Studies.
Jo Bourne, Chief Technical Officer, GPE
Jo Bourne is Chief Technical Officer at the Global Partnership for Education where she draws on expertise across the broader partnership to drive quality policy, strategy and program development as well as rigorous monitoring and evaluation of GPE-supported programs. Prior to joining GPE, Ms Bourne was UNICEF's Associate Director for Education from 2013 to 2019 where she worked with UNICEF's extensive global network to put equity and learning at the heart of UNICEF's education agenda. Initially trained as a primary school teacher, Ms. Bourne worked in a Chinese teacher training college as a volunteer with Voluntary Service Overseas and has taught primary age children in the United Kingdom and China. After completing an MA in Education and International Development, she joined DFID and took on overseas postings in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda (with the European Commission) and Rwanda. Ms. Bourne also held several positions at DFID's London Headquarters, playing a leading role in shaping the organization's education policy and strengthening technical capacity.
Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Gordon Brown served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010 and is widely credited with preventing a second Great Depression through his stewardship of the 2009 London G20 summit. His roles in parliament and government have continued to shape his views on the importance of education as a fundamental right of every child in the world. He is a passionate advocate for global action to ensure education for all. He is UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Chair of the High-Level Steering Group for the Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies, Chair of the Inquiry on Protecting Children in Conflict and Chair of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. He also serves as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Catalyst Trust for Universal Education. Gordon has a PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh and spent his early career working as a lecturer.
Oliver Chinganya, Director, Africa Center for Statistics, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
Oliver Chinganya is a chartered statistician with more than 28 years' experience in statistical development in Africa, at national and international levels. He was elected in November 2020 Vice President of the International Statistical Institute-ISI-, a prestigious global body of international community statisticians. Mr. Chinganya who is the Director at the African Center for Statistics of UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), becomes the first African to hold the position. Prior to joining UNECA in 2016, Mr Chinganya held senior leadership roles, at the African Development Bank as Manager for the Statistical Capacity Building Division; at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as Regional Advisor (2002-2009), and at the Central Statistical Office, Zambia as Deputy Director respectively. He left CSO as Acting Director when he seconded by the Government of Zambia to IMF.
Rasheda K. Choudhury, Executive Director (CEO), Campaign for Popular Education
Rasheda K. Choudhury is a leading policy voice in Bangladesh with more than two decades of experience of working within and outside the government. Holding a Master's Degree in English (Dhaka University), she has been serving since 1999 as CEO of CAMPE, the national education coalition of more than a thousand NGOs, researchers and educator groups in Bangladesh. Ms. Choudhury was Adviser (Minister) in 2008 in the non-party Interim Caretaker Government of Bangladesh in charge of Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Her involvement in the government's decision-making process, even for a short period, gained recognition for the education campaigners in the country. The pro-learner, pro-quality reforms that she introduced were later accepted and continued by the elected government. Ms. Choudhury is a Co-Founder of GCE and an elected member of CCNGO Coordination Group of UNESCO. She is Member Secretary of Education Watch which regularly reviews the implementation status of SDG4 in Bangladesh.
Dr. David Edwards, Secretary-General, Education International
David Edwards, PhD is General Secretary of Education International, a federation of 32.5 million teachers and other educators affiliated with unions and associations in 173 countries globally. Dr. Edwards leads the organization since 2018, after seven years as Deputy General Secretary directing education policy, advocacy, research and communications. Prior to joining EI, Edwards was an Associate Director at the National Education Association of the United States. He has worked as an Education Specialist at the Organization of American States and began his career as a public high school teacher. A Pennsylvania native, Edwards is fluent in Spanish and German and is conversant in French. His doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership is from the University of Maryland in the U.S. Away from the commitments of work, he devotes his time to his wife and three daughters.
Antara Ganguli, Head of United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) Secretariat
Antara Ganguli is the Director of UNGEI, the UN Girls Education Initiative. She has 17 years of experience in gender equality and women's empowerment. She led gender equality for UNICEF India, its largest non-humanitarian office where she advised and supported 13 field offices on gender-based violence, gender-transformative pedagogy and positive masculinity. Previously she was the Deputy Representative for UN Women in Bangladesh. Antara started her career as a primary school teacher for children of sex workers. She has a M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, USA and a B.A. from Amherst College, USA. UNGEI is a leading voice and platform on school related GBV and gender in education in emergencies. Our goal is to contribute to knowledge, evidence and programming that reduces violence prevalence and increases gender egalitarian behavior.
Rachel Glennerster, Chief Economist, UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
Dr. Rachel Glennerster is the Chief Economist at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and a member of the FCDO Executive Committee. Prior to her appointment at the FCDO, she was the Chief Economist at the Department for International Development (DFID). From 2004 to 2017 she was Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Economics Department research center that seeks to reduce poverty by ensuring policy is informed by scientific evidence. Dr Glennerster's work has spanned reform of the international financial system, debt, promoting innovation, education, health, financial regulation, and women's empowerment in Russia, Africa and South East Asia. In addition to FCDO, DFID and MIT, Dr. Glennerster has held positions at the International Monetary Fund, Her Majesty's Treasury and the Harvard Institute for International Development.
Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary, Chief Executive Officer, Insights for Education
Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary, M.D., PhD, is the Founding Partner and CEO of Insights for Education. Motivated by training in medicine and neuroscience, she moved into global education to contribute to reducing the gap between knowledge and practice and has worked closely with ministries of education and other system leaders. She is a former Board Member with the Global Partnership for Education, and the former Chair of its Strategy and Impact Committee. Prior roles include: CEO, LEGO Foundation; Global Head of Education, Porticus; High-Level Working Group OECD Education 2030; Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute, and, McKinsey Management Consultant in Health Care. Dr Randa Grob-Zakhary holds a M.D. and PhD in medicine & neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University (USA).
Dr. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Board Chair, ActionAid International
Dr. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is International Board Chair of ActionAid Internationalis, a human rights lawyer and current Chief Executive for Rozaria Memorial Trust. She also serves as the African Union Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage since her appointment in 2014. She previously served as Secretary General of the World Young Women's Christian (World YWCA). She had previously served with the United Nations in various roles and focusing on women and children's rights for almost 10 years, through UNIFEM (now UN Women) and UNICEF. She was appointed by the UN Secretary General and served in the UN Commission on Information and Accountability on Women and Children's Health. Ms. Gumbonzvanda has extensive experience of work around adolescent health and HIV, women's rights and especially violence against women and property rights. She serves on various Boards of development organizations including CIVICUS, Save the Children UK.
Ukur Yatani Kanacho, Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury and Planning Ministry, Kenya
Honorable Ambassador Ukur Yatani has over 27 years' experience as a successful public administrator, political leader, international diplomat and governance expert. He was appointed the substantive Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury & Planning, by President Uhuru Kenyatta on 14th January, 2020 after holding the Labor andSocial Protection portfolio for two years. From 2013 to 2017, he served as the first elected Governor of Marsabit County, developing and delivering the devolved unit's first County Integrated Development Plan, to great success laying a strong foundation for the socio-economic transformation of the County. He also had a distinguished diplomatic tour of duty as Kenya's envoy to Austria with accreditation to Hungary and Slovakia, and as Kenya's envoy to Austria with accreditation to Hungary and Slovakia, during which he also served as the country's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 2009 to 2012.
Shradha Koirala, GPE Youth Leader, Nepal
Shradha Koirala is 28 years old. She is the senior program coordinator for the National Campaign for Education Nepal (NCE Nepal). As the youth focal person in the organization, she believes that educational transformation is possible through and by young people as they are the real agents of change.
Margarita Focas Licht, Manager, Partnership Development and Effectiveness, GPE
After managing GPE's country support team for several years, Margarita Focas Licht currently leads GPE's efforts to strengthen partnership effectiveness and develop new strategic partnerships. Margarita has more than 25 years of experience working on education in developing countries. Prior to joining the GPE Secretariat in 2011 she was UNICEF's education chief in Madagascar. She has also worked as Save the Children Norway's education adviser in Ethiopia, special needs education expert at UNESCO, and as a teacher in Madagascar. Her work over the years has focused on education for marginalized children through both formal and alternative pathways, ranging from school- and community level engagement to district, national and global program development, policy dialogue and partnerships.
Fatu Sewanatu Mansaray, GPE Youth Leader, Sierra Leone
Fatu Sewanatu Mansaray is 20 years old and a Sierra Leonean living in Freetown. She has used her voice challenge world leaders and local governments to invest in education used for all. Fatu is part of Plan International's youth network and sits on the guiding group of Transform Education, a youth led network hosted by UNGEI. The network uses advocacy to bring changes to their communities. Fatu believes that transforming education will solve many of the inequalities in her country for example teenage pregnancy.
Mukhtar H. Modibbo, GPE Youth Leader, Nigeria
Mukhtar H. Modibbo is 24 years old and lives in Abuja, Nigeria. He is a social development advocate and a champion of the FollowTheMoney initiative, which works in over 10 African countries. He specializes in practical issues around education financing, advocacy and development of education policies as it affects rural and deprived grassroots communities. Mukhtar believes that education is at the heart of any national development.
Maryjacob Okwuosa, GPE Youth Leader, Nigeria
Maryjacob Okwuosa is a 25-year-old Nigerian. Maryjacob coordinates Activista in Nigeria as a platform to build the capacity of young people to demand quality and accessible education for all in Nigeria. Maryjacob is also the founder and Executive Director of Whisper to Humanity, a youth-led feminist organization that is training teachers and students to create a more conducive learning space for all. Maryjacob represents Whispers to Humanity in Transform Education, a youth led organization hosted by UNGEI.
Joseph Nhan O'Reilly, Co-Founder and Executive Director, International Parliamentary Network for Education
Joseph Nhan O'Reilly is an experienced education expert and advocate. He worked for over a decade at Save the Children leading the design and delivery of education programming and advocacy. In 2010 Joseph was elected by northern civil society to the newly constituted Global Partnership for Education board and from 2014 to 2017 was the inaugural chair of GPE's Strategy and Policy Committee. He was a member of the design team for Education Cannot Wait He participated in ECW's first country visit, which was to Uganda, and resulted in ECW's first Multi-Year Resilience Program. He was appointed by the UK's Secretary of State for International Development to the UK National Commission for UNESCO where he supports the UK's engagement with UNESCO on global education. He is currently the Chair of the Global Book Alliance, a multi-stakeholder initiative working to transform book development, procurement and distribution to ensure that no child is without books.
Dr. Anna Riggall, Head of Research, Education Development Trust
Dr. Anna Riggall leads Education Development Trust's global program of academic educational research and promotes evidence engagement across the organization. She has over 20 years' experience leading international educational research and holds an MA in Education & Development Studies and PhD in Education. She specializes in the areas of education system reform, education for marginalized groups including children with disabilities, girls and refugees, teacher development, leadership, accountability and education in emergencies.
Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer, French Development Agency
Rémy Rioux became the chief executive officer of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in June 2016. After completing his studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure (ENS) and Sciences Po, Rioux attended the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), he began his professional career at the Cour des Comptes in 1997. He then moved to the French interior ministry, where he managed the ministry and the euro changeover until 2002. In 2004, he began working for the French Treasury, monitoring the CFA franc zone. From 2010 to 2012, Rioux served as Deputy Secretary General for international financial affairs and development for the French Ministry of the Economy, Industry, and Employment. Rioux, a public-finance specialist, helped reform public operators and financial instruments to boost trade, tourism, and France's appeal to foreigners. Beginning in 2015, he coordinated the financing portion of the climate negotiations for the final Paris Agreement for COP21.
Mohamed Sidibay, GPE Youth Champion and Peace Activist
Mohamed Sidibay's story is one of resilience. Born in Sierra Leone, he witnessed the RUF murder his family when he was only five years old. For the next four years, Mohamed was forcefully conscripted as a child soldier for the same men that murdered his family. In 2002, at the age of 10, he became homeless. Through the help of UNICEF Sierra Leone, Mohamed was enrolled in school for the first time when he was ten years old. After moving to the U.S. in 2007, Mohamed completed high school and went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. Today, Mohamed is an internationally recognized voice for children in armed conflict. He has been featured on Forbes, Le Monde, BBC, France 24, and Project Syndicate amongst others. Mohamed is in his final year of a three-year duel law degree program, where he is pursuing his Juris Doctor (JD) from Fordham, and his L.L.M from Sorbonne Assas Paris.
Mamadou Talla, Minister of National Education, Senegal
Mamadou TALLA is the Minister of National Education of the Republic of Senegal since April 2019. Previously, he was Minister of Vocational Training, Learning and Crafts between 2012 and 2019. He began his long career in technical education and vocational training after graduating from the ENSEPT, before continuing his studies in France. In Paris, he obtained his postgraduate degree in energetics in 1994, and then joined the Academy of Versailles while giving courses at the technical high school of this locality after his postgraduate degree at the school "ARTS ET METIERS" of Paris in electrical engineering, automatic and industrial information. He supervises students in industrial sciences and techniques. He intervenes in training in Science of the Engineer (ISI). He participates in the reform of the training in Yvelines (CAP, BEO, BAC PRO, BTS, DUT and license PRO).
Dr. Tulashi P. Thapaliya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Nepal
Dr. Tulashi is the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Nepal's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST). Prior to his current functions, he was Director General, at the Center for Education and Human Resource Development in MOEST. He also headed the Teachers Service Commission to support teacher licensing and selection, was Joint Secretary of MOEST responsible for education planning and policy formulation and the management of higher education, and the Director of the Regional Education Director managing education activities at the regional level. He has also taught at universities and led research in the field of education.
Ola Abagun, GPE Youth Leader, Nigeria
Ola Abagun is a 29-year-old lawyer and activist based in Nigeria. She is the founder of Girl Pride Circle Initiative - a youth-led NGO which advocates for girls' rights to education (including comprehensive sexuality education), equal opportunities and violence-free communities. Olaoluwa strongly believes that a gender-transformative education system is critical for a truly equal and inclusive society.
Sarah Anyang Agbor, Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (ESTI)
H.E. Professor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor, from Cameroon, is the Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, ESTI. She was elected in 2017 as the Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union Commission (HRST-AUC). She provided guidance and vision to the HRST Mandate – Education, Science and Technology, Youth and Human Resources from 2017 to January 2021 until the name of the Department was changed under the ongoing Intuitional reform to Education, Science, Technology and Innovation. H.E. Professor Anyang Agbor has over Twenty (20) years’ experience in the field of Academia. She is a Professor of African and Commonwealth Literature, Department of English. Previously she was the Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Research, Cooperation and Relations with the Business World (DVC-RCB) in the University of Bamenda, North West Region, Cameroon. Commissioner Anyang Agbor has written a number of academic Books and Publications to contribute to scholarship.
Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana
H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the 5th President of Ghana’s 4th Republic and was sworn into office for a second term on January 7, 2021. As a lawyer, he undertook many important constitutional cases, which protected the independence of the judiciary, the right of the citizen to demonstrate without police permit, and the right of equal access of all political parties to the State-owned media. Akufo-Addo has held numerous positions in Ghana. He was a three term Member of Parliament (1997-2008). He served as Attorney General and Minister for Justice (2001-2003) and as Minister for Foreign Affairs (2003-2007), both under the government of the former President, HE John Agyekum Kufuor. Akufo-Addo was re-elected to lead the NPP into the 2016 general elections. He won the presidential election, after defeating the incumbent. He was re-elected as President of the Republic in the 2020 election, for a second term in office.
Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Cares
HE Dr. Tariq Al Gurg was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares in 2009 and as Vice-Chairman of the organization most recently. Al Gurg has enabled Dubai Cares to contribute to the evidence-base in education, leverage funding and invest in strategic relationships and programs that support the global education agenda. His focus has been to develop Dubai Cares as a recognized best-case practitioner and a global leader in education program design and innovation that is grounded in a philosophy of continuous monitoring and evaluation and rigorous research. Al Gurg has been instrumental in a number of key task forces and leadership circles in the global education sector. His efforts have been commended by a number of key entities. He was recognized as a “Change-maker” by Save the Children, as well as by UNESCO and by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM). In addition, Al Gurg was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) Degree from Mangalayatan University in Aligarh, India.
H.E. Dr. Hamad M.H. Al Sheikh, Minister of Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
H.E. Dr. Hamad M.H. Al Sheikh is the Minister of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is a member of the Council of Ministers and the Council of Economic and Development Affairs. In the United States, he attended Stanford University, earning his Ph.D. in Economics, Planning and Development in 1995. He also has an M.A. from Stanford University in 1987 and an M.A. from the University of San Francisco in 1985, receiving both degrees in Economics, Planning and Development. He graduated from King Saud University in 1981 with a B.S. in economics. His Excellency served as an Advisor to the Royal Court from (2017–2018), and he is currently a member of several ministerial committees, task forces and councils. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the General Commission for the Guardianship of Trust Funds for Miners and their Counterparts. He also a member of the Boards of Directors for the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, the National Development Fund and the General Authority for Statistics.
Alice P. Albright, Chief Executive Officer, GPE
Ms. Alice P. Albright was appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education's Secretariat in February 2013. Since joining GPE, Ms. Albright has strengthened the position of GPE to be a major delivery agency of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda. Ms. Albright travels extensively to GPE partner countries and meets with ministers of education and finance, as well as all education stakeholder groups, to promote progress and support efforts toward a quality, inclusive education. Before taking on her role as CEO at GPE, Ms. Albright served in the Obama Administration as the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) from 2009 to 2013. In that position she led a significant expansion of the bank’s operations. Ms. Albright also launched a number of initiatives to modernize Ex-Im and extend its reach to underserved businesses and markets.
H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qatar
H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar on January 27, 2016 and named Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister on November 15, 2017. His Excellency also serves as Chairman of Qatar Investment Authority, Chairman of Qatar Fund for Development, and member of Qatar’s Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investments. In his current capacity, His Excellency’s responsibilities include planning and implementing Qatar’s foreign policy, maintaining and extending the country’s strategic bilateral/multilateral relations, leading mediation efforts, and consolidating international peace and security by encouraging the peaceful settlement of international disputes. Previously, HE held various positions in government and sits on a number of private sector boards, including Qatar Mining Company. His achievements include launching “Enterprise Qatar” – an organization that provides technical and financial support for small and medium-sized enterprise. His Excellency holds a degree in Economics and Business Administration from Qatar University.
Cristiana de Amenabar, Director for Education, Carlos F. Novella Foundation
Cristiana is Director for Education at the Carlos F. Novella Foundation. She joined the Foundation in 1994, and has supported education programs more specifically for the past two decades. A graduate in education studies from Universidad del Valle, she leads on the foundation's strategic engagement with external stakeholders, and currently supports the coordination of the Local Education Group in Guatemala.
Dr David Amstrong, Consulting Partner, PwC UK
David is a Partner and leads our International Development team in PwC UK. He has an MPhil and a PhD in economics, and has published widely on issues relating to international development, trade and skills. David’s main focus is currently on UK public sector clients including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for International Trade (DIT). This includes delivering programs aimed at facilitating trade and investment between the UK and other major trading nations including India and China. He is also responsible for PwC’s work with FCDO on the Girls’ Education Challenge, the world’s largest challenge fund focused on promoting better education and skills outcomes in developing countries. David has also supported DIT on a range of initiatives, including the post-Covid recovery strategies for exports and investment. David leads and chairs PwC UK's International Development conference, our flagship annual event for practitioners from the public sector, business and civil society.
Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Group Executive, Commercial Banking, Ecobank
A well respected international banker, Josephine has for 3 decades played various key roles in treasury management, strategy implementation, investment and commercial banking. She is currently Ecobank Transnational’s Group Executive for Commercial Banking, leading the commercial banking operation of the Ecobank Group in 33 countries across Africa. Her work focuses on creating relevant solutions to help build African SMEs and Local Corporates and positioning them to become viable and sustainable. Prior to this Josephine held various senior positions within the Ecobank Group as Chief Operating Officer for Ecobank West African Monetary Zone/East & Southern African where she supported the expansion of the Ecobank Group into West, Eastern and Southern Africa. In her role as Regional Treasurer covering Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and The Gambia she managed a total balance sheet of over $2.7billion. She also served as the Managing Director of Ecobank Gambia, where she worked with the team to position the bank as the number one bank on the market. Josephine has a BA and an MBA from the University of Ghana and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She is passionate about seeing women excel, pioneering a scholarship scheme for girls in Gambia and providing mentorship for young women. Josephine is also a music hobbyist who has helped shape the Ghanaian gospel music scene, and continues to inspire several young singers.
Masatsugu Asakawa, President and Chairperson, Board of Directors, Asian Development Bank
Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He assumed office in 2020. Prior to joining ADB, he served as Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. Mr. Asakawa took part in the G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in 2008 and was instrumental in orchestrating a globally coordinated financial package to abate the financial crisis. As Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, he took on a leading role for the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting. Most recently, he served as Finance Deputy for the G20 meetings. Mr. Asakawa’s professional experience extends beyond the Japanese government. Most notably, he served as Chief Advisor to ADB President Kimimasa Tarumizu between 1989 and 1992. Mr. Asakawa obtained his BA from University of Tokyo (Economics Faculty) in 1981, and MPA from Princeton University, USA, in 1985.
Armel Azihar sly-vania, GPE Youth Leader, Comoros
Armel Azihar sly-vania 25 years old, is a STEM activist and educator from the Comoros Islands. Armel has worked with IMARA Comoros NGO where the crossroads of STEM, arts, and leadership meet. Armel is a lead Educator on the STEM program and media consultant that teaches computer programming. Armel believes in transforming education because we need to prepare children and youth to be creative citizens.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO
Audrey Azoulay is the Director-General of UNESCO. Having worked in the sector of culture since the start of her professional career, she has notably served the European Commission providing her expertise on issues concerning culture and communication. In 2014, as an advisor on culture to the President of the French Republic, she notably initiated the development of a protection plan for heritage in danger, which she was able to implement in 2016 as Minister of Culture and Communication. She has also prioritized improving children’s access to culture with the launch of artistic and cultural education school programs “Création en cours” and created innovative cultural outreach programs for people in remote and vulnerable areas “Microfolies”. A graduate of France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration and of the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques, she holds a diploma in Business Administration from the University of Lancaster (UK).
Hon. Prof. Alpha Amadou Bano Barry, Minister of National Education and Literacy, Guinea
Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger
Born January 1, 1960 in the East of the country, HE Mohamed Bazoum was invested as President of the Republic of Niger on April 2, 2021 for a five-year term.
After brilliant studies in political philosophy in Dakar, where he reinforced his qualities as a rhetorician and equipped his weapons in trade unionism, he turned to education to train generations of students. Concurrently with workers' defense actions, he founded, with the future President Issoufou Mahamadou, a social democratic political party in 1991.
Bolstered by the ascending electoral dynamic of the PNDS, Mohamed Bazoum will hold ministerial portfolios of Foreign Affairs in the Interior, positions which have given him exceptional knowledge and vision of issues on national and international issues. In his project of society "Consolider et avancer" submitted to Nigeriens, the former professor makes education one of his priorities for development.
Steve Beswick, Business Development Director, Education, Microsoft
Steve works in the Global Education team at Microsoft and is responsible for the Surface business in education across EMEA. Microsoft’s overall missions is ‘to Empower very person and every organization on the planet to achieve more’. In education Microsoft’s strives to help every teacher/student and every school/college University on the planet to ‘achieve more’. As such he works with Schools/Colleges and Universities across EMEA on transformation projects utilizing Microsoft technologies. This includes implementing solutions to improve learning outcomes through 1:1 projects, as well as helping teachers use technology to save time and to help drive digital skills to be enable students to be ready for the world of work. Previous to this role Steve was responsible for the Microsoft education business in the UK for 10 years and has worked for the company for 28 years.
H.E Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
H.E. Julius Maada Wonie Bio was inaugurated as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone in 2018. He started his public service journey as a school teacher before joining the Sierra Leone Army where he rose through the ranks as Brigadier. He previously served as Chief Secretary of State, Chief of Defense Staff, Minister of Information, Minister of Marine Resources, Deputy Head of State, and ultimately Head of State. As Head of State, he presided over the conduct of the first democratic elections in Sierra Leone in nearly three decades. In Sierra Leone, he is popularly referred to as the “Father of Democracy” because of his outstanding contribution towards the restoration of democracy and attainment of peace. President Bio is a well-known philanthropist through the work of the Maada and Fatima Bio Foundation. Most recently, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bradford, UK, pursuing a doctorate program in Peace Studies.
Hon. Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Ireland
Hon. Colm Brophy was appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora on July 1st, 2020. He is a Fine Gael TD representing Dublin South-West. He was first elected to the Dáil in 2016. During the 32nd Dáil he served as Chairman of the Budgetary Oversight Committee which was established in 2016 to enhance the role of the Oireachtas in the budgetary formation process. He was also a Member of the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality and the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs. Member of South Dublin County Council 2008 – 2016. Colm is a former member of the Board of the Housing Finance Agency. Colm is also the former President of the Association of Irish Local Government.
Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education
Gordon Brown is the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He is Chair of the Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative of the World Economic Forum and also serves as Distinguished Global Leader in Residence of New York University. He has recently completed a research project on globalization and education at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Previously, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history. He is a passionate advocate for global action to ensure education for all and co-chairs a High Level Panel on Global Education with Graça Machel. In his role as UN Special Envoy, he works closely with key partners to help galvanize support for the UN’s Global Initiative on Education, Education First, which aims to achieve quality, relevance, and inclusive education for every child.
Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director, Oxfam
Gabriela Bucher is Executive Director of Oxfam International, a global network which fights inequality to end poverty and injustice. Ms Bucher is an experienced social justice leader and deeply committed to gender equality and human rights, and to tackling economic inequality. Ms Bucher, who grew up in Cali, Colombia, is a champion for feminist leadership and believes in the power of collaboration. She worked alongside children and communities affected by Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict and contributed to peace building and youth active citizenship, influencing the country’s approach on restorative justice for children. Prior to Oxfam, Ms. Bucher was the Chief Operating Officer at Plan International, and led Fundación Plan Colombia.
H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari was born on 17 December 1942 in Daura, Katsina State, North-west Nigeria. He started his military career in 1961 at the Nigerian Military School Kaduna and attended military trainings in the US, UK and India among others. Buhari worked his way up the ranks from Platoon Commander to Military Governor, Federal Commissioner (Minister) for Petroleum Resources, to Head of State in 1983 as a General. Following Nigeria's return to civil rule in 1999, Retired General Buhari contested for the office of President three times before winning in 2015. In 2018, the African Union selected President Buhari as the Anti-Corruption Champion in recognition of his fight against corruption. The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government also appointed the Nigerian President as the organization's COVID-19 response coordinator in 2020. Re-elected in 2019 for his final four-year term, the Nigerian leader is poised to handover after elections in 2023.
Hon. Abdoulkarim Aden Cher, Minister of Budget, Djibouti
Hon. Abdoulkarim Aden Cher was appointed Minister of Budget in May 2021. He has held various positions in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy.
Choi Jongmoon, Hon. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Choi Jongmoon is the 2nd Hon. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
He has a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea ; and M.A. in International Relations, University of Southern California, CA, U.S.A.
Choi Jongmoon joined the Ministry of Foreign Afftaris in 1983. He has served as Special Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Government Representative for UNESCO Affairs from 2015 to 2016 and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the French Republic from 2018 to 2020. He has been appointed as the 2nd Vice Minister in 2020.
Camilla Croso, Director of the Education Program, Open Society Foundations
Camilla Croso is the Director of the Education Program at the Open Society Foundations. She has worked in promoting the right to education at national, regional, and global levels for over twenty years. Prior to joining OSF, she coordinated the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education and served as the President of the Global Campaign for Education. In her earlier years, she worked for the Kellogg Foundation’s Latin American office in São Paulo. Camilla holds an MSc from the London School of Economics in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries and is currently undergoing her PhD studies. Her academic publications relate to education financing, non-discrimination, the right to education and the right to social participation and democratic governance. She has integrated the regional and global SDG4/ Education 2030 Steering Committees, as well as the Board of the Global Partnership for Education.
Hon. Patricia Danzi, Director General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Hon. Patricia Danzi has been with the International Committee of the Red Cross since 1996, serving as a delegate, with increasing responsibilities, in the Balkans, Peru, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. At head office, she was appointed Deputy Head of Operations for the Horn of Africa and Political Advisor to the Director of Operations. She served as Head of Operations for America between November 2008 and April 2015 and has been Regional Director for Africa from May 2015 until she assumed the post of director general of the SDC on 1 May 2020. Patricia Danzi holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics, geography and environmental science. She undertook postgraduate work in development studies in Geneva. She is the daughter of a Swiss German secondary school teacher and a Nigerian diplomat. In her student days she taught mentally challenged children and spent time teaching in a township in South Africa. Patricia Danzi represented Switzerland in athletics at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
Cecilia Dougherty, President of the Carlos F. Novella Foundation
Cecilia Dougherty is the current President of the Carlos F. Novella Foundation. The Foundation supports education, community development, skills generation, citizenship and community strengthening initiatives across Guatemala, and has recently joined the local education group in the country. She is also in the leadership and governance of other non-profits in Guatemala in support of community development and corporate social responsibility. Cecilia is a renowned dancer and performing arts manager, having worked in the country and abroad with dance, theater and opera performing and staging, and receiving national and regional awards for her artistic work. She is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative, part of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.
Dr. Beth Dunford, Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank
Dr. Beth Dunford is the Vice President of the Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex at the African Development Bank Group. She is responsible for the Bank’s strategy, lending and other activities in agriculture, water and sanitation, education, and health, as well as the Bank-wide work on employment and gender equity. Dr. Dunford leads the provision of technical expertise for the Bank’s multi-billion-dollar response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa. She has held senior level leadership positions in the U.S. government where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions. Dr. Dunford has also worked with African governments to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale. Dr. Dunford holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and a M.A. in Sociology from Michigan State University, in the United States.
Hon. Ghulam Farid, Secretary for School Education, Government of the Punjab, Pakistan
Mr. Ghulam Farid has served as Secretary School Education since March 2021. He has previously served as Deputy Commissioner in multiple districts (Lodhran & Nankana Sahib in Punjab and Loralai in Baluchistan). He has also worked on the DFID funded and Cambridge Education implemented Punjab Education Sector Program (PESP-II) as Governance Advisor. Mr. Ghulam Farid did his Masters in English Language before joining Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS), the country’s premier civil service wing, as one of the topmost ranked officers of his batch, in 2004.
Hon. Franz Fayot, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Luxembourg
Hon. Franz Fayot is Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg. Following the cabinet reshuffle on 4 February 2020, Franz Fayot joined the coalition government formed by the Demo-cratic Party (DP), the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) and the Green Party (déi gréng). He was appointed Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and Minister of the Economy. A member of the LSAP since 1994, Franz Fayot became chairman of the LSAP in 2019. Franz Fayot was elected to Parliament in 2013 and in 2018, as candidate for the LSAP in the constituency of the Centre. In Parliament, he assumed the role of rapporteur for the draft budget for 2015 and focused on public finances, cultural policy, as well as on social justice and poverty issues.
Hon. Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
Dr. Maria Flachsbarth is Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. In that role, she has been responsible to promote Germany’s commitment to girls’ education and has recently launched the initiative “SHE – Support Her Education”. Before her appointment as Parliamentary State Secretary in 2018, she has been Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture (2013-2018) and a Member of the Bundestag, the German Parliament (since 2002). Dr. Flachsbarth holds a PhD in Veterinary Medicine from Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
Dr. Tedros is the first WHO Director-General to have been elected from multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and is the first person from the WHO African Region to serve as WHO's chief technical and administrative officer. Prior to his election, Dr. Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (2012–2016). He served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005–2012, where he led a comprehensive reform of the country’s health system. He was elected as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Board in 2009, and previously served as Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board, and Co-chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board. Dr. Tedros is globally recognized as a health scholar, advocate and diplomat with first-hand experience in research, operations, and leadership in emergency responses. He has published in prominent scientific journals and received awards from across the globe.
Hon. Saeed Ghani, Minister of Education, Pakistan Sindh
Hon. Saeed Ghani is a member of the Sindh Provincial Assembly and serves as the Minister of Labour, and Human Resources in addition to overseeing Education and Literacy portfolio. He has previously served in the Senate of Pakistan. Prior to this, he also held the portfolio of Minister of Sindh for Planning and Development. He has an agriculturist by profession and holds a Bachelors in Commerce from the University of Karachi.
Julia Gillard, Chair of the Board of Directors, GPE
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.
H.E Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo
After successful completion of Management Studies at University of Paris-Dauphine and Business Administration at George Washington University (USA), President Faure Essozimna Gassingbé returned home in 1998 with a strong will to work for democracy and development in Togo. Following service in Parliament from 1998 and as Minister of Equipment, Mines, Posts and Telecommunication’s from 2003, he rose to his current office in April 2005. President Gnassingbé has succeeded at preserving a legacy of peace and security at the national and above all sub-regional level. His passion for issues of social inclusion, the consolidation of democracy and harmonious development of his country earned him a stunning re-election in 2020. With his new policy focused on the structural transformation of the economy, both through a well-trained workforce with pride of place in Togo’s private sector, and through digitization, Togo now ranks well among countries which have effectively managed the pandemic.
Hon. Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, Canada
Honourable Karina Gould was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Burlington in 2015. A graduate of McGill University and the University of Oxford, Minister Gould is passionate about public service and international development. Before her election as the Member of Parliament for Burlington, she worked as a trade and investment specialist for the Mexican Trade Commission in Toronto, a consultant for the Migration and Development Program at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., and spent a year volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico. Minister Gould has deep roots in her hometown of Burlington, Ontario, and is an active member of the community and an advocate for women’s issues and affordable housing. She has volunteered with and actively supports the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club, the Burlington chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women, the Mississauga Furniture Bank, Halton Women’s Place, and other local organizations. With the birth of Oliver, Minister Gould became the first federal cabinet minister to have a baby while holding office. She is passionate about breaking down barriers for women, youth, and underrepresented groups.
Helen Grant, MP, Prime Minister Special Envoy for Girls' Education, United Kingdom
In 2010, Helen Grant became the first Anglo-African female Conservative MP. Helen’s constituency is in Maidstone and the Weald, in Kent. In January this year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Helen as his Special Envoy for Girls’ Education. Helen has also been the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria since October 2020. Previous roles in government include Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Equalities and Minister for Sport and Tourism. During her time in Parliament, Helen has also been a member of the Justice and International Development Select Committees. Before politics, Helen was a family lawyer, having set up her own legal practice in 1996 specializing in family breakdown and domestic violence. Helen is married with two grown up sons and enjoys tennis, movies, and sporting events.
Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary, Founding Partner and CEO, Insights for Education
Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary, M.D., PhD, is the Founding Partner and CEO of Insights for Education. Motivated by training in medicine and neuroscience, she moved into global education to contribute to reducing the gap between knowledge and practice and has worked closely with ministries of education and other system leaders. She is a former Board Member and Chair of the Strategy and Impact Committee of the Global Partnership for Education. Prior roles include: CEO, LEGO Foundation; Global Head of Education, Porticus; High-Level Working Group OECD Education 2030; Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute, and, McKinsey Management Consultant in Health Care. Dr Randa Grob-Zakhary holds a M.D. and PhD in medicine & neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University (USA).
Hon. Pascalle Grotenhuis, Ambassador, Women's Rights and Gender Equality ASRA, Director of Social Development Department, Netherlands
Since October 2020, Hon. Pascalle Grotenhuis has assumed the role of Director-General of the Development Cooperation Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and Dutch Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. She succeeds the previous ambassador, Mette Gonggrijp, who is currently on sabbatical. Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Grotenhuis worked as Director of Protocol and Host Country Affairs; Ambassador to Mozambique; Head of Business, Partnerships, and Sustainable Chains Department, Coordinator of MDGs and Partnerships; and Advisor to Director General of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She joined the Ministry in 2001. Ms. Grotenhuis completed her education in the field of development studies at the Nijmegen University.
Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President, Islamic Development Bank
Dr. Bandar M.H. Hajjar was appointed President of the IsDB in 2016. Dr. Bandar, a national of Saudi Arabia, is consolidating the bank’s position as a global leader in Islamic finance. Prior to this appointment, he served as Minister of Hajj in KSA between 2011- 2016. In 2005, Dr. Hajjar formed a coordinating council of the National Society for Human Rights to monitor the first municipal elections held in Saudi Arabia. In 2004 he was part of a group of prominent Saudis that established a national non-governmental human rights society. Dr. Bandar Hajjar holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Sciences from King Saud University, Riyadh; a master's degree in Economics from Indiana University, USA; and a Ph.D. in Economics from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.
Hon. Rangina Hamidi, Minister of Education, Afghanistan
H.E. Ms. Rangina Hamidi was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan. For two decades, Ms. Hamidi has worked tirelessly to better the lives of Afghan citizens through development projects, advocacy, and, most importantly, education. Ms. Hamidi's accomplishments include the establishment of a full value-chain model of an all women's social enterprise in Kandahar whose products have reached Europe, the Middle East, Americas as well as other parts of the world. Most recently, Ms. Hamidi successfully led the Mezan International School to integrate and implement a world-class and internationally accredited curriculum with a solid foundation of Islamic education, Afghan history, Afghan values, and multi-lingual education. Ms. Hamidi serves on the advisory boards of Open Society Afghanistan, Afghan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Medica Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Institute for Civil Society and is a council member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.
H.E. Reem Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, United Arab Emirates
H.E. Reem Al Hashimy was appointed Minister of State for International Cooperation in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in February 2016. She also serves as Managing Director of Dubai Expo 2020 and board member of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. She is a close political confidant of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. H.E. Reem Al Hashimy is personally focused on global education support, serving as Board Chair to philanthropic foundation Dubai Cares since its establishment in 2008 and is invested in the success of the RewirED Education Summit, as part of Expo 2020. Previously, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission to the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C, and worked in HH Sheikh Mohammed’s Executive Office. She has a B.A in International Relations and French from Tufts University and a Masters’ from Harvard University.
Edwin Ikhuoria, Executive Director, ONE Africa
Edwin Ikhuoria is ONE’s Africa Executive Director, leading ONE’s advocacy work across the continent. Previously he was Senior Advisor (Policy and Advocacy) to the Africa Executive Director. With over 19 years in the development sector, Edwin previously managed the Transparency and Accountability portfolio for ONE in Africa as well as the Nigeria Country program. Before Joining ONE in 2014, Edwin worked for the Development Impact Evaluation Unit of the World Bank as an Impact Evaluation and Advocacy Coordinator in the Nigeria Country Office. His advocacy work covers pro-poor policies and transparency in public finance, health, agriculture, food security, environment and trade, engaging Policy Makers and African Civil Society groups regularly in the last 15 years. Edwin holds 2 Masters in Development Management from University of Turin, Italy and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Boris Johnson has been Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party since July 2019. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in 2015, and served as Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018. He served as Mayor of London for 8 years from 2008 to 2016.
Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
Paul Kagame is the President of the Republic of Rwanda. He served as Chair of the AU from 2018 to 2019 and chaired the East African Community from 2018-2021. President Kagame continues to lead the AU Institutional reforms and serves as the AU Champion for Domestic Health Financing. He is also currently serving a one-year term as the Chairperson of the AUDA-NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee. Beginning in 1990, as commander of the forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), he led the struggle to liberate Rwanda.
The RPF halted the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, which claimed over a million victims. The hallmarks of President Kagame’s administration are peace and reconciliation, women’s empowerment, promotion of investment and entrepreneurship, and access to information technology, a cause he also champions as Co-Chair of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.
Ruth Kagia, Deputy Chief of Staff (Policy & Strategy), Office of the President, Kenya
Mrs. Ruth Kagia is currently Deputy Chief of Staff (Policy & Strategy) in the Executive Office of the President. She rejoined Government in 2014 as Senior Advisor, to the President. Prior to this Mrs. Kagia worked at the World Bank for some 20 years (1990-2013) during which she held various positions including as World Bank Country Director for Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho as well as Mauritius and Madagascar). Before this, Mrs. Kagia was the World Bank Global Director for Education (2002- 2008). Before joining the World Bank Mrs. Kagia worked with the Kenya Government in teaching, management and research.
Josephine Kamara, GPE Youth Leader, Sierra Leone
Josephine Kamara is a 27-year-old girls’ rights advocate from Sierra Leone. Recently, she led Purposeful and its Coalition for Girls Education to raise public awareness and influence the government of Sierra Leone to overturn the policy that banned pregnant girls from attending schools. Josephine believes that a strong army of educated girls can change Africa.
Natasha Kaplinsky, Presenter and Journalist
Natasha Kaplinsky is known as one of television’s best-loved broadcasters. She has previously worked as one of the anchors for ITN network and was the Face of Five, anchoring the channel’s main evening news program. She has also been the co-host of 6 O’Clock News and BBC Breakfast as well as being a news presenter with Meridian and Carlton. Whilst working as a leading member of the presenting team at Sky News the channel won a BAFTA for Best News Channel. Natasha is a member of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission as well as being a patron of both Merlin and The Willow Foundation. She is also an Ambassador for Save The Children and President of Barnardo’s Charity as of 2019. Natasha grew up in Kenya. Her family later moved to Sussex where she went to school before studying English at Oxford University.
Hon. Salimane Karimou, Minister of Pre-Primary and Primary Education, Benin
Hon. Karimou Salimane has been the Minister of Pre-Primary and Primary Education, Benin since 2016. He previously served as the General Secretary, Ministry of pre-primary and Primary Education. He has also served as the Director the National Media Library for Education and Technical advisor for primary education to the Ministry of Pre-Primary and Primary Education. Minister Salimane holds a Masters in Results-based Management from the International University Laval, Canada.
H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya
H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta is Kenya’s 4th president. Since taking office in 2013, President Kenyatta has often alluded that Kenya’s greatest resource is her people and has pursued a number of policy initiatives aimed at building this valuable human resource. One of these initiatives is the roll out of the country’s new Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) intended to nurture talents of young learners. Additionally, the government has ensured the implementation of a hundred per cent transition to secondary school. On Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), President Kenyatta has continuously emphasized that technical and vocational training will equip the youth with requisite skills that will enable them to use their knowledge and talents to secure gainful employment in the increasingly competitive job environment. Furthermore, the government has commissioned innovation hubs and setup of the Ajira Digital Program aimed at empowering over one million young people to access digital job opportunities and develop innovations aligned to the country’s development agenda and transform the lives of ordinary Kenyans. President Kenyatta serves as the Global Champion of the Young People’s Agenda. This initiative, a partnership between the United Nations Youth Strategy 2030 and Generation Unlimited, aims at catalyzing pro-youth actions to address the dreams, ambitions and hopes of 1.8 billion young people globally.
John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, USA
On January 20, 2021, John F. Kerry was sworn in as the United States first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the first-ever Principal to sit on the National Security Council entirely dedicated to climate change. In recent years, Kerry was the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s first ever Visiting Distinguished Statesman, following his four years as the 68th United States Secretary of State. From 1985 to 2013, he served as a U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts, and was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2009 to 2013. Secretary Kerry served in the U.S. Navy, completing two combat tours of duty in Vietnam for which he received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his law degree from Boston College Law School.
Hon. Liina Kersna, Minister of Education and Research, Republic of Estonia
Hon. Liina Kersna is the Minister of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia. She joined the Government in January 2021. Prior to joining the Minister of Education and Research, Hon. Liina Kersna was a member of the Parliament in 2015-2021, where she was also a member of the Social Affairs Committee. Her main focus areas were child well-being, the learner-centered school system, students with special needs, students' mental health, and the diversity of the education network (private education). Prior to that, from 2007-2013, she worked as the Media Adviser at the Government Communication Unit and from 2013-2015 she was an Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Head of the Prime Minister's Office. Hon. Liina Kersna graduated from the University of Tartu in 2005 with a Bachelor degree in journalism and Public Relations. In 2018 she received a Master’s degree cum laude in educational management from the same university. Research-based educational decisions, maximum support for the well-being of students, the development of each child, and the sharing of best educational practices are topics that are especially important for Hon. Liina Kersna.
Hon. Shahram Khan, Minister of Elementary and Secondary Education, Pakistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
A politician with the Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) party, Hon. Shahram Khan currently serves as the Minister of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. He previously served as the Minister of Health and IT of KP province.
Hon. Sher Khan Bazai, Secretary Secondary Education, Pakistan Balochistan
Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, GPE Board Chair-elect
His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete served as the President of the United Republic of Tanzania for two terms (2005-2015). He joined the Cabinet in 1988 and held several ministerial portfolios including Minister for Finance, Minister for Water, Energy and Mineral Resources and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He currently serves as GPE Board Chair-Elect and previously was a Member of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. He is a former Chairman of the African Union and of the East African Community. Other roles have included Membership of the High Level Panel on Every Woman, Every Child and the High Level Panel on Scaling Up Nutrition. He is also a Member of the End Malaria Council, Co-Chair of the Refugee Council, Board Member of Nutrition International and AGRA, the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa. He also serves as Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam.
Dr. Vivian Asheri Kilo, Secretary of State, Ministry of Basic Education, Cameroon
Dr. Vivian Asheri Kilo is currently the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Basic Education in Cameroon. She is a graduate of Leeds University with a PhD.D in Theatre Studies including Theatre in Education. She has served Cameroon in several capacities including, Technical Adviser to the Minister of Arts and Culture, Senior lecturer in the University of Buea, Consultant for UNESCO, UNAIDS and the ILO in matters of community sensitization on the prevention of HIV/AIDS, CHILD LABOUR, and training staff of Community radio stations on gender discussions and topics that would engage communities to impact change of attitudes.
Hon. Meryame Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation, in charge of Major Cities, Belgium
Hon. Meryame Kitir is Minister of Development Cooperation, in charge of Major Cities since 2020. In 2018, she was elected Municipal Councillor of the city of Genk (Belgium). From 2015 to 2020, Hon. Meryame Kitir worked at the Chamber of Representatives holding several positions including group leader of the socialist party sp.a; Member of the Investigation Committee, Terrorist Attacks 22 March 2016; Member of the Home Affairs Committee; Member of Committee P (supervision of police forces); and Member of Committee I (supervision of intelligence services. At the age of 19, she started working at the Ford automotive factory in Genk, taking up trade union activities standing up for solidarity and equal opportunities. These values were at the core of her engagement when she was first elected into Parliament at the age of 27. Hon. Meryame Kitir continued working at the factory during her parliamentary mandate.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, Hon Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France
Jean-Yves Le Drian has been France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs since May 2017.
He was Minister of Defence between April 2014-May 2017 and May 2012-March 2014. From 1991-1992, Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held the position of Minister of State for Marine Affairs, attached to the Minister for Infrastructure, Housing, Transport and Space.
His elected positions include President of the Regional Council of Brittany; Brittany Regional Councillor; National Assembly Deputy for the Morbihan Department; Mayor of Lorient; and Municipal Councillor in Lorient.
Le Drian has also held other positions including President of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe; President of the Pays de Lorient inter-municipal community and of the Pays de Lorient Urban Community; Vice-President of the French Delegation to the European Committee of the Regions; and Representative for the Regions at the Board of the European Committee of the Regions.
H.E. Ursula von der Leyen, President, European Commission
As the President of the European Commission, H.E. Ursula von der Leyen, according to the treaties, decides on the organization of the Commission allocating portfolios to individual commissioners; and sets the policy agenda. The president also represents the Commission in European Council meetings, G7 and G20 Summits, summits with non-EU countries, and other major debates in the European Parliament and the council. Prior to her election as President of EC, H.E. Ursula von der Leyen served as Federal Minister of Defense, Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Member of the German Bundestag, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth; Minister for Social Affairs, Women, Family Affairs and Health in Lower Saxony, Member of the CDU in the State Assembly of Lower Saxony, Member of the CDU, and Member of the academic staff, Department of Epidemiology, Social Medicine and Health System Research, Hanover Medical School (Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, MHH) in Germany.
Benigno López Benítez, Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Benigno López Benítez, a Paraguayan citizen is Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge.
Prior to joining the IDB, he served as Minister of Finance of Paraguay since August 2018. In that role, he led a comprehensive tax-reform initiative aimed at improving the progressive capacity of the tax system, increasing government revenue to finance health and education reforms, and incentivizing labor formalization. He also coordinated efforts to restructure the pension system, reform public expenditure and the civil service, implement a results-based budgeting system, and promote e-government reform to improve public-sector functions and foster private-sector innovation. Mr. López served as Chairman of the Social Security Institute, Executive Legal Director and member of the board of Itaipú Binacional, Senior Advisor to the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. and worked for more than two decades at the Central Bank of Paraguay. Mr. López holds a law degree from Paraguay’s Catholic University and a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University.
Zlatina Loudjeva, Consulting Partner, PwC UK
Zlatina Loudjeva is a PwC Partner with more than 20 years of experience in International Development, particularly focused on gender and inclusion, economic development strategies and the socio- economic impacts of investments and reforms. Zlatina has worked with the World Bank, Department for International Development and more recently the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Department for International Trade on major global programmes with a focus on inclusion. She's been involved with the Girls' Education Challenge programme that PwC manage on behalf of FCDO since its inception in 2012. Zlatina has also worked on the links between development, natural resources and the climate emergency. Her work includes land reform, energy scenarios and transition, green jobs. Zlatina leads the PwC Net Zero Hub for Government and our work on inclusive infrastructure.
George Magoha, Cabinet Secretary of Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Kenya
Hon. Prof. Magoha became Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education in 2019. He is a Professor of Transplant Surgery. Before his appointment, he was the Chairman of the Kenya National Examinations Council and an Honorary Consultant Surgeon and Urologist at Kenyatta National Hospital and Nairobi Hospital. He served as Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi for 10 years and has previously served as Chairman of the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, and the Kenya Association of Urological Surgeons. He has also served as President of the Association of Medical Councils of Africa and AAU, as well as the Commissioner at the Commission for University Education. Prof. Magoha has an undergraduate degree in Medicine from the University of Lagos, and a graduate degree in Executive Management at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and supervised to completion over 40 Master of Medicine (Surgery) students.
Hon. Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud, Minister of National Education and Vocational Training, Djibouti
Hon. Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud is the Minister of National Education and Vocational Training, Djibouti. He focuses on improving the quality of teaching and learning at all levels, strengthening access and equity and managing based on results and performance.
Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Pakistan
H.E. Minister Shafqat Mahmood is currently serving as Federal Minister for Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training as well as National History and Literary Heritage Division. From 1994 to 1999, he was a Senator and from 2013 to 2018, he was a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. From 1999 to 2000 he held the position of Minister for information in Punjab. He was awarded the Humphrey fellowship in 1980 and placed at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where he completed a Masters in Public Administration.
Dr. Geeta Manek, Trustee, the Rotary Foundation
Rotary Foundation Trustee Geeta Manek is a second-generation Kenyan, graduated from business school in the United Kingdom before returning to Nairobi to join the family retail and property management business. Trustee Geeta has been a Rotarian for over 23 years, and was the only female Rotary governor of her district. She is passionate about initiatives that help women and improve education. She's also helping lead a Rotary literacy initiative in Kenya and the region. She has volunteered as a first responder during national crises, including in post-election violence and after terrorist attacks. She has led teams of Rotarians to collaborate and coordinate initiatives with organizations such as the Red Cross, the United Nations, and community-based institutions. In recognition of her humanitarian work, Geeta was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities in 2019.
Elizabeth Tanya Masiyiwa, Executive Director at Delta Philanthropies and the CEO of Akello
Elizabeth Tanya Masiyiwa is a social entrepreneur and smartech executive. She is an Executive Director at Delta Philanthropies and the CEO of Akello, an African company transforming education with technology-based solutions. Elizabeth is a non-executive Director who serves on the board of Cassava Smartech, one of the largest companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and is a board member of Higherlife Foundation where she leads the Office of Design and Innovation. She is responsible for the education portfolio across the foundations and the Econet Group of Companies. Elizabeth is a board member of Ashesi Foundation, sits on Harvard University’s Leadership Council for the Centre of Africa Studies, and advises a number of entrepreneurship and philanthropy networks.
Debbie Mavis, Group HR Director, Avanti Communications
Debbie Mavis joined Avanti Communication Group plc (Avanti) in July 2018 as Group HR Director and as a member of the Executive Committee. She oversees all aspects of HR, ICT, Property, Internal Communications and CSR globally. Debbie has over 20 years’ experience working in telecommunications and banking. Before joining Avanti she held the role of Director of Talent and Resourcing at TSB Bank for six years, where she was instrumental in the divestment of the entity from Lloyds Banking Group, the build of TSB, flotation and the subsequent acquisition by Banco de Sabadell. At Vodafone for 12 years, Debbie held a number of senior roles, initially in Vodafone UK including Head of Business Partnering, UK Head of Resourcing and Head of Employee Engagement. In 2006, she moved to a European regional role to lead Executive Resourcing, Talent Management across fourteen countries with global accountability for Talent and Resourcing in Group Marketing and Global Technology. She built strong succession capabil ity in all the European Markets and coached and mentored Executives across the Group.
Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi
H.E. Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera is the incumbent President of the Republic of Malawi. He was sworn into office in 2020 becoming the 6th president of the country. Prior to becoming President of Malawi, Dr Chakwera served as President of the Malawi Assemblies of God for 26 years until 2013 when he resigned to enter frontline politics. In 2014 Dr. Chakwera became the presidential candidate and president of the Malawi Congress Party Convention. On the world stage, President Chakwera is also the current Chair of the 46-member grouping of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which collaborate on a common approach for engaging development partners in the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He is also the incoming Chair of the 16-member Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), with a keen interest on advancing the regional integration agenda. President Chakwera is married to Madame Monica, the First Lady of the Republic of Malawi.
Hon. Kosmadji Merci, Minister of National Education and Civic Promotion, Chad
Hon. Kosmadji Merci was appointed Minister of National Education and Civic Promotion in May 2021. He previously served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Agency of the Great Green Wall and lecturer at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Ndjamena. He has also served as Minister of Vocational Training and Small Trades, Member of Parliament and Advisor in charge of missions in the Office of the Prime Minister. He holds a Masters in Education Sciences from the University of Maroua in Cameroon.
Mukhtar H. Modibbo, GPE Youth Leader, Nigeria
Mukhtar H. Modibbo is 24 years old and lives in Abuja, Nigeria. He is a social development advocate and a champion of the FollowTheMoney initiative, which works in over 10 African countries. He specializes in practical issues around education financing, advocacy and development of education policies as it affects rural and deprived grassroots communities. Mukhtar believes that education is at the heart of any nation.
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, United Nations
Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment. She first joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals. She has been conferred several honorary doctorates and has served as an adjunct professor, lecturing on international development. The recipient of various global awards, Ms. Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels.
Hon. Flemming Møller Mortensen, Minister for Development Cooperation and Minister for Nordic Cooperation, Denmark
Hon. Mr. Flemming Møller Mortensen, Minister for Development Cooperation and Minister for Nordic Cooperation, was appointed on November 19, 2020. He has been Member of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) for the Social Democratic Party in Nordjylland’s greater constituency since November 13th 2007 and a candidate for the Social Democratic Party in Himmerland’s constituency since 2007. Also, Hon. Mr. Mortensen has served as Vice-chairman for the Committee on European Affairs, Member of the Public Accounts Committee, Chair of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party, Vice-chairman of the Committee on Health and Senior Citizens, Vice-chairman of the Committee on Health- and Prevention, and Chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee in Danish Parliament. Hon. Mr. Mortensen’s other affiliations are listed as Member of the Municipal Council, Rebild Municipality, Member of Skørping City Council, and Board member of the Leprosy Mission from 1992.
Wendy Morton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas)
Wendy Morton is the Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Wendy was first appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development on 13 February 2020. She was first elected as Conservative MP for Aldridge-Brownhills in May 2015. Wendy was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice from 26 July 2019 to 13 February 2020 and Assistant Government Whip from 9 January 2018 to 26 July 2019.
Hon. Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Japan
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Toshimitsu Motegi is from the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP). He is a Member of the House of Representatives and has been elected nine times for Tochigi 5th Electoral District. In October 2020, he was Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Minister in charge of Social Security Reform and Minister in charge of TPP and Japan-U.S. Trade Negotiations. In August 2017, Minister Motegi was Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Minister for Human Resources Development as well as Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization. His ministerial experience include Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Minister of State for Financial Services and Administrative Reform; and Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, Science and Technology Policy, and Information Technology. Previous positions at the Liberal Democratic Party include Chairman, Policy Council; Chairman, Public Relations Headquarters; and Chairman, Election Committee.
Hon. Anita Muižniece, Minister of Education and Science, Ministry of Education and Science, Latvia
Hon. Anita Muižniece has been a member of Latvian and then Minister of Education and Science since 2018. Before her appointment as the Minister of Education and Science, Hon. Anita Muižniece served as Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science (2019), EFL teacher at Dougmale Elementary School (2014 – 2019), member of Sub-committee on Children’s Affairs of the Administrative Commission at Kekava Municipality (2017 – 2018), and EFL teacher at Kekava Secondary school (2016 – 2017). Ms. Muižniece completed her master’s degree in education and science in 2019 and her bachelor’s degree in pedagogy at the University of Latvia. Besides Latvian, she speaks English, Russian, German, and French languages.
Hon. Tony Mwaba, Minister of Primary Secondary and Technical Education, Democratic Republic of Congo
Dr Faith Mwangi-Powell, Chief Executive Officer, Girls Not Brides
As Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Faith Mwangi-Powell is responsible for catalysing the Girls Not Brides Partnership strategy and ensuring that the Secretariat is supportive and responsive to the broader movement for change. Faith is responsible for inspiring and developing a high-performing team to ensure that Girls Not Brides can fulfill its mission, live its values and deliver against its goals and targets. Faith formerly served as Global Director for The Girl Generation, an initiative working to galvanize the Africa-led movement to end FGM. Faith is a public health expert and senior manager of complex public health programs in Africa with more than 20 years’ experience in leading, managing and implementing health programs. Her experience includes working as the founding Executive Director of the African Palliative Care Association and supporting palliative care global advocacy and services development in over 20 African countries. Faith holds a master’s degree in population policies and programs from Cardiff University, Wales, and a doctorate in women’s economic development and fertility behavior from the University of Exeter, England.
Hon. Prof. Joyce Ndalichadko, Minister of Education Science and Technology, United Republic of Tanzania
Honourable Professor Ndalichako is the Minister for Education, Science, and Technology, and a Member of Parliament in the United Republic of Tanzania. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Science), with Mathematics as a major subject, from the University of Dar es Salaam and a PhD in Educational Measurement and Evaluation that was conferred by the University of Alberta, Canada in 1997.
Before assuming the position of the Minister, she was an Associate Professor and the Deputy Head of Research, at the Institute for Educational Development in East Africa, Aga Khan University, Tanzania. She served as the Executive Secretary of the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) from July 2005 to August 2014 where she was responsible for overseeing the conduct of the national examinations in the United Republic of Tanzania.
Professor Ndalichako taught at the University of Dar es Salaam for 15 years before joining NECTA in 2005. Her research interests include classroom assessment practices and large-scale assessment, special learning difficulties and mathematics teaching and learning.
Selina Nkoile, GPE Youth Leader, Kenya
Selina Nkoile, is 27 years old and lives in Narok, Kenya. In 2017 she founded Nashipai which uses grassroot interventions to provide Maasai girls with opportunities for education and success. Selina is a ONE champion, youth advocate for NAYA Kenya and a member of Youth End FGM Network Kenya. She believes transforming the education system will provide a strong base for lifelong learning and opportunities.
Agnes Nyalonje, Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, Malawi
Hon. Agnes NyaLonje is Malawi’s Minister of Education. NyaLonje entered politics in 2014 after winning the rural parliamentary seat of Mzimba North, where she was born and raised in a family of 11 children. She was the first Malawian to be elected to a standing committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. NyaLonje holds a Master’s degree in Literature and is a member of the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Her international career has encompassed university lecturing, community development including with refugees, and extensive work on HIV/AIDS for UNAIDS and the ILO in Geneva, Malawi and South Africa. She has also led several health and disability NGOs in Malawi. She is passionate about the transformative power of education and its potential to propel Malawi into an inclusively wealthy, self-reliant nation.
Cynthia Nyongesa, GPE Youth Leader, Kenya
Cynthia Nyongesa is 25 years old and from Kenya. She founded a digital platform, “Cynthia Untamed” to amplify the stories of young changemakers in Africa. She uses the platform to fundraise for books for needy students. She is the Generation Unlimited Youth Ambassador for Kenya through which she advises the Global Leadership Council and Office of the President in Kenya on education and training. She believes that transforming education systems equips learners with the skills to be innovative.
Maryjacob Okwuosa, GPE Youth Leader, Nigeria
Maryjacob Okwuosa is a 25-year-old Nigerian. Maryjacob coordinates Activista in Nigeria as a platform to build the capacity of young people to demand quality and accessible education for all in Nigeria. Maryjacob is also the founder and Executive Director of Whisper to Humanity, a youth-led feminist organization that is training teachers and students to create a more conducive learning space for all.
Hon. Per Olsson Fridh, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden
Hon. Minister Per Olsson Fridh oversees Sweden’s international development cooperation efforts, humanitarian aid, and global development policy. He was previously State Secretary for Environment and Climate, State Secretary for International Development Cooperation, State Secretary for Culture and Democracy, Chair of the Swedish Green Party in Stockholm, and Secretary-General for the Swedish Centre for International Youth Exchange. Hon. Mr. Fridh holds a BA in Sociology from Lund University and a BA in Human Rights from Malmö University.
Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kenya
Ambassador Raychelle Awuor Omamo is the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya. Prior to her appointment she served as Cabinet Secretary of Defence and Chairperson of the Defence Council (2013 – 2020). In 2015, she also served as the Acting Cabinet Secretary of Labour and Social Protection.
In her capacity as a diplomat, Ambassador Omamo was privileged to represent Kenya as her Ambassador to France with accreditation to Spain, Portugal, the Holy See and Serbia and as Permanent Representative to UNESCO during the period 2003 and 2009.
Ambassador Omamo is a lawyer by profession having received her training at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom and at the Kenya School of Law. She is a Senior Counsel and as a practitioner was elected Chairperson of the Law Society of Kenya and the Vice President of the East Africa Law Society. She was also the recipient of the ICJ (K) Jurist of Year award in 2002.
Stanislas Ouaro, Minister of National Education and Literacy, Burkina Faso
On January 31, 2018, Stanislas Ouaro was appointed Minister of National Education and Literacy, Burkina Faso. Born on January 19, 1975 Professor Ouaro served as a University Assistant from 2004 until he became a full University Professor in 2012. At the academic level, he is a Doctor of Mathematics and Application. From 2012 to 2018, Minister Ouaro was the President of the University of Ouaga II, now Thomas Sankara University. Prior to this, he was Coordinator of the computer section and then Deputy Director of the Burkinabe Institute of Arts and Crafts (2002 to 2008) From 2008 to 2012, he was the Director of the same institute. Professor Ouaro has more than 87 scientific publications. Married and father of four children, Minister Ouaro has the following honors: Officer of the Order of Academic Palms of Togo, Officer of the Order of Academic Palms of Burkina and Officer of the Order of the Standard of Burkina.
Salvador Paiz, President, Funsepa
Salvador was born in Guatemala and he has worked towards the development of his country. His great passion to improve Guatemala has motivated him to launch and get involved in a slew of transformational initiatives, one of them is the improvement of the country’s educational system. He has been involved in projects such as Empresarios por la Educación, the Commission for Quality Education for All of the Inter-American Dialogue and Funsepa, which he proudly chairs. Funsepa (Sergio Paiz Andrade Foundation in Spanish), leverages technology to improve the quality of education at a national scale. More than half a million children have access to technology thanks to the 28,010 computers donated to 1,700 public schools. Funsepa has also trained more than 90,000 of the country’s teachers, helping them use technology as an educational tool. The foundation has worked as Guatemala’s Ministry of Education technological arm and has established strong alliances with other entities. Together they have tirelessly worked to transform lives all over the country.
Dr. Mari Pangestu, Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, The World Bank
Mari Pangestu is the World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships. In this role, which she assumed on March 1, 2020, Ms. Pangestu provides leadership and oversees the research and data group of the World Bank (DEC), the work program of the World Bank’s Global Practice Groups, and the External and Corporate Relations function. Ms. Pangestu joins the Bank with exceptional policy and management expertise, having served as Indonesia’s Minister of Trade from 2004 to 2011 and as Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy from 2011 to 2014. She has had vast experience of over 30 years in academia, second track processes, international organizations and government working in areas related to international trade, investment and development in multilateral, regional and national settings.
Hon. Marise Payne, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Australia
Hon. Marise Payne has served as Australia’s Foreign Minister since August 2018 and Minister for Women since May 2019.Prior to this, she served as Defence Minister – the first woman to hold this federal Cabinet portfolio – for three years from September 2015, during which she oversaw major developments. Following the election of the Coalition government in September 2013, Marise served as Minister for Human Services for two years.A member of the Liberal Party since 1982, she was the National Young Liberal Movement's first female President. After serving as a political adviser to some of the most significant figures in Liberal politics of their time, Marise worked in the finance industry. She became a Liberal Party Senator for New South Wales in 1997 and has led Senate and joint parliamentary committees as well as holding several shadow portfolios in opposition, including Indigenous Development and Employment, and Housing.
Hon. ‘Mamookho Phiri, Minister of Education and Training, Lesotho
Minister Phiri was appointed to lead the ministry in June 2021. She succeeds former Minister ‘Ntlhoi Motsamai. Prior to assuming this role, Minister Phiri served as the ministry’s Deputy Minister. The minister has a background in business and executive administration.
Hon. Samantha Power, Administrator, USAID
Hon. Samantha Power was sworn into office as the 19th Administrator of USAID on May 3, 2021. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Power was the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the William D. Zabel Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School. From 2013 to 2017, Power served in the Obama-Biden Administration as the 28th US Permanent Representative to the United Nations. From 2009 to 2013, Power served on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. At the NSC, she advised the Obama-Biden Administration on issues such as democracy promotion, UN reform, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, atrocity prevention, and the fights against human trafficking and global corruption.
The Rt Hon. Dominic Raab MP, First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
Dominic Raab is the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and First Secretary of State. Dominic was first appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State on 24 July 2019. He was first elected Conservative MP for Esher and Walton in May 2010.
Chris Reeves, VP Country Digitization, Cisco
Chris Reeves is a Vice President at Cisco and leads a global Cisco program driving national digitisation projects across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In this role, Chris is focused on accelerating the digital agenda in partnership with national governments; progressing projects focused on Digital adoption, Digital skills, IoT, Sustainability and Cyber Security. Chris is focused on partnering to deliver against Cisco’s stated purpose, “TO POWER AN INCLUSIVE FUTURE FOR ALL”. Chris is passionate about the possibilities that technology can bring. Chris overseas technology projects delivering advancement in Health and Education along with automation and sustainability in Transport and Utilities. Prior to joining Cisco, Chris was a managing director at Accenture. He has also previously worked in research and development at BT. Chris has a master’s degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Edinburgh University and a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science from Keele University.
Maryam and Nivaal Rehman, GPE Youth Leaders, Canada
Maryam and Nivaal Rehman age 20, are Pakistani-Canadian twin activists, journalists and filmmakers based near Toronto, Canada. They became activists when they were 8 years old in their village in Pakistan, and began inspiring girls there to continue their education. Some of their notable work includes founding ‘The World with MNR’, their interviews with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They were filmmakers for Disney’s “Dream Big Princess” project in 2018. They see education as one of the key steps to empowering young women and creating strong foundations for societies to flourish.
Mohamed Hussein Roble, Prime Minister, Somalia
His Excellency Mohamed Hussein Roble was appointed to the position in September 2020. Prior to the new role, H.E. Roble, served for more than 14 Years in a Senior Country Leadership and Management role at the United Nations, and the International Labor Organization (ILO). He also previously worked with Somali National institutions. He has been instrumental in developing the United Nation's Country Frameworks for Somalia while contributing to key thematic areas in development and Policy Work, Strategic Planning, negotiation and UN Reform. His Excellency earned his Master of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure KTH (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan) Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Having worked in both the public and private sectors in Somalia, the Prime Minister is an experienced engineer with rich experience. The Prime Minister was born in 1963 in Hobyo, Galmudug state and a Somali-Swedish citizen.
Claudia Romanelli, Global Head SkillsBuild, CSR, IBM
Claudia leads IBM SkillsBuild, a global initiative covering two programs, SkillsBuild for Job Seekers and SkillsBuild for Students&Educators. These programs have a joint target to onboard 500,000 new learners in 2021. Claudia has +24 years of experience leading Sales and Delivery organizations, mainly inside IBM. In her most recent role as Head of CSR in LA, she successfully led CSR COVID and post-COVID campaigns, Open PTECH platform for students, thru a key alliance with Bradesco Foundation, Junior Achievement and multiple organizations across the region and PTECH expansion to 63 new schools across 8 countries. Previously, she led Watson Financial Services Business Unit in LA, driving Financial Risk, Financial Crimes, Compliance, AML(Anti-Money Laundry) and KYC(Know your client) Solutions for major BFSI organizations in the region. Claudia holds a degree in Electronic Engineering, Post-graduation in Material Science, M.Sc Degree in Microelectronics and a specialization in Management of NPOs.
Hon. Simai Mohammed Said, Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Tanzania Zanzibar
Honorable Simai Said was appointed Mister of Education and Vocational Training in 2020. Previously he held the position of Deputy Minister of Education and Vocational Training from 2019-2020. He also served in the House of Representatives and the Commonwealth Parliament Association.
Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal
President Macky Sall was born on December 11, 1961 in Fatick, the town to which he served as Mayor from 2009 to 2012. President Sall was Prime Minister for three years from 2004 to 2007, and also acted as President of the Senegalese National Assembly from 2007 to 2008. Elected fourth President of the Republic of Senegal in March of 2012, he took office on April 2, 2012. Married to Marième Faye, President Macky Sall has two sons and one daughter.
H.E. Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government, Spain
H.E. Pedro Sánchez has been President of the Government of Spain since June 2018. He holds a Doctorate in Economics and is General Secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Spanish acronym: PSOE), which he joined in 1993. Previously, he was a Member of the Lower House of Parliament for the constituency of Madrid and a City Councillor for Madrid. He has previously worked as an adviser at the European Parliament and was a member of the cabinet office of the United Nations High Representative for Bosnia Herzegovina. In 1995, he graduated in Economic Science and Business Studies and subsequently completed two postgraduate courses: a Master's Degree in EU Economics from the Free University of Brussels and a Diploma in Advanced European Economic and Monetary Integration Studies from the Ortega y Gasset University Institute.
David Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone
Hon. David Moinina Sengeh is the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone and the country’s first-ever chief innovation officer. He also serves on the Board of GPE. Previously he was a research scientist at IBM Research Africa, Nairobi. Dr. Sengeh is globally recognized for his work and accomplishments: he is a Senior TED Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Forbes 30 Under 30 and most recently, an Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Fellow. He is credited for seeding the development of the innovation ecosystem in Sierra Leone through Global Minimum and the Innovate Salone program, which he co-founded in 2007 and which has supported the innovation journeys of thousands of young Sierra Leoneans. Dr. Sengeh completed his Ph.D. at MIT where he developed award-winning technology for human augmentation. He received his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University in Engineering Sciences, where his research focused on aerosolized vaccines for tuberculosis.
Hon. Marina Sereni, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy
Since 1 March 2021, Marina Sereni has been Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Draghi Government. She has been Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Conte II Government since 2019. She was a member of the Democratic Party’s National Secretariat from July 2018 to September 2019. At the 2013 parliamentary elections for the Umbria constituency in the parliamentary sitting of March 21, she was elected deputy Vice-Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and was a member of the Foreign and EU Affairs Committee. At the Congress of the Democratic Party in 2009, she took up the position of Vice-President of the Party’s National Assembly. She led the party list in her region at the early elections held in 2008 and she became Vice-President of the Democratic Party Group until November 2009.
Oluwafeyisikemi (Sikemi) Okunrinboye Sikemi, GPE Youth Leader, Nigeria
Oluwafeyisikemi (Sikemi) Okunrinboye Sikemi is a 20-year-old law student at the University of Kent, from Lagos, Nigeria. She is passionate about equality and protection within education systems. Sikemi serves as a ONE ambassador, GPE youth leader in the UK, and sits on the Inclusive Change Advisory Group for CoppaFeel. Sikemi is dedicated to using her skills for inciting change.
Hon. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland
Hon. Ville Skinnari became Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade on June 6, 2019. He is deputy party leader for the Social Democratic Party. A lawyer by training, he has worked largely in the private sector. He began his political career in 2012 as a member of the Lahti city council. He was elected to parliament in 2015. He is a former professional ice hockey player and the current chair of the Finnish Federation for Recreational Fishing.
H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway
H.E. Erna Solberg has held the position as Prime Minister since the General Election in 2013 and was re-elected in September 2017. From 2016 the Prime Minister has co-chaired the UN Secretary General’s Advocacy group for the Sustainable Development goals. Among the goals, she takes a particular interest in access to quality education for all, in particular girls and children in conflict areas. This was also central in her work as MDG Advocate from 2013 to 2016. Solberg has secured significant financial support for the Global Partnership for Education and hosted the Global Finance Facility for women’s and children’s health pledging Conference in Oslo in November 2018. Her firm belief is that investment in education will accelerate progress on all other SDG goals. Solberg has been leader of the Conservative Party of Norway (EPP, IDU) since 2004.
Hon. Prof. Ansu Sonii, Minister of Education, Liberia
Professor Ansu D. Sonii Sr. has spent four decades in the classroom providing instructional services at the primary, junior secondary and tertiary levels in the Republic of Liberia. For the most part of the years indicated, he served particularly at the University of Liberia (UL), the Nation’s Premier Institution of Tertiary education. In February 2018, he was appointed as Minister of Education, by the President of Liberia, H. E. George M. Weah.
Peter Tabichi, 2019 Global Teacher Prize Winner
Peter teaches at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani Village, where 95% of his students live in poverty and 30% are either orphans or from single-parent families. Drug abuse, teenage pregnancies and early marriage can lead to students dropping out from school. Despite teaching in a school with only one desktop computer with an intermittent connection, Peter uses ICT in 80% of his lessons to engage students, visiting internet cafes and caching online content to be used offline in class. Through making his students believe in themselves, Peter has dramatically improved his pupils’ achievement and self-esteem. Enrolment has doubled, enrollment in higher education increased andgirls’ achievement in particular has been boosted, with girls now leading boys in all four tests set in the last year. He’s also introduced science clubs; the promotion of peace between different ethnic groups and religions; and helped to address food insecurity among the wider community in the famine-prone Rift Valley.
Hon. Mamadou Talla, Minister of National Education, Senegal
Before his appointment in April 2019 as Minister of National Education, Mr. Mamadou Talla served as Minister of Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Handicrafts. Previously, he pursued a long career in Technical Education and Vocational Training. He graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Enseignement Professionnel Technique, and taught electrical engineering in Senegal and in the scientific and industrial technical fields in France.
Hon. Petros Hailemariam Tesfie, Acting Minister of Education, Eritrea
Mr. Hailemariam Tesfie has been the Acting Minister of Education of Eritrea since 2018. While H.E. Mr. Semere Russom, the Minister of Education is assigned as the ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr. Hailemariam Tesfie continues to represent the ministry as Acting Minister of Education. Previously, he had been the ministry’s Director of Research and Human Resources Development.
Dr. Isatou Touray, Vice President of the Republic of Gambia
H.E. Dr. Isatou Touray is the Vice President of the Republic of the Gambia, and was part of the Coalition that removed the authoritarian regime for 22 years in the Gambia. Before her appointment as VP, she served as Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment and as Minister of Health and Social Welfare. Dr. Touray Co-founded GAMCOTRAP, a leading women’s rights organization in the fight against FGM, GBV and promoting the effective participation of women in politics and served as the Executive Director. Her relentless efforts in advocacy and lobbying for gender equality, has impacted positively on the creation of a Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare. In 2016, Dr. Touray was the First Female candidate in history to run for president in the Gambia. She holds a PhD in Development Studies, with emphasis on gender and development, from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.
Hon. Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development, Norway
Hon. Dag-Inge Ulstein is Norway’s Minister of International Development. As such, he is responsible for international development efforts in countries outside the OSCE, the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan. He is also responsible for development cooperation under the auspices of the UN system, the World Bank, the regional development banks and other global funds and programmes. In addition, he is responsible for Norad, Norec and Norfund. Before joining the Norwegian government in 2019, Mr. Ulstein has been a Member of the City Council of Bergen while having different leadership roles at various non-profit organizations. He holds a BA in organizational psychology from the University of Bergen and a Bachelor’s degree in theology from NLA University College / Fjellhaug international college.
Hon. Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, European Commission
Hon. Jutta Pauliina Urpilainen is the European Commissioner for International Partnerships. In that role, she is responsible for building inclusive and equitable partnerships to reduce global poverty and support sustainable development. She is also overseeing European international cooperation and development policy. Before her appointment in 2019, she was a Member of the Finnish Parliament. Hon. Ms. Urpilainen was the first female chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Finland, which she led from 2008 to 2014. She was the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Finland from 2011 to 2014. She studied at the University of Jyväskylä, where she graduated as a Master of Education in 2002. She worked as a school teacher until her election to Parliament. She was also the Chair of the Finnish National Committee for UNESCO 2015-2018.
Sabina Vigani, Country Director, Jacobs Foundation Côte d'Ivoire
Sabina Vigani has been working with Jacobs Foundation since 2014 and has led in-country the implementation of the TRECC initiative. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked with the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs on human rights policy and peace promotion, she led the election work of the Carter Center in Tunisia and Côte d’Ivoire, she ran a capacity-building program for civil society organizations in Côte d’Ivoire on behalf of Freedom House. Sabina’s areas of expertise are international human rights protection system, electoral processes, support to education systems, program management and facilitation of complex processes.
Antony Were is a Project officer for Humanity & Inclusion in the Inclusive Education Project. He is a trained teacher with over 4 years’ experience and has worked in special schools dedicated to children with hearing impairments. In his work he supports teachers and learners in Inclusive schools in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya.
Euan Wilmshurst, Head of Advocacy and Communication, the LEGO Foundation
Euan Wilmshurst is Head of Advocacy and Communication at the LEGO Foundation and currently represents the Private Foundation constituency on the Board of the Global Partnership for Education. Inclusive, quality education has been a common theme throughout his career, which has included leadership positions in multinational companies, communication consultancies and campaigning NGOs, including IBM, The Coca-Cola Company, Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) and Burson-Marsteller.
Euan has previously served on the GPE Board, while at The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and at Pearson he also led C-suite engagement in global education policy through the Global Compact on Learning, Global Partnership for Education and helped set up the Global Business Coalition for Education
Malala Yousafzai, Co-founder, Malala Fund
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist, UN Messenger of Peace and the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As co-founder of Malala Fund, she is building a world where every girl can learn and lead without fear.