Commission Leadership

The Commission is co-convened by Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, President Peter Mutharika of Malawi and the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, serves as the Chair of the Commission. The Commission comprises the following high-level individuals representing diverse geographical and disciplinary backgrounds:

Anant Agarwal

Anant Agarwal

CEO, edX; Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bio

Anant Agarwal is the CEO of edX, an online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT. Anant taught the first edX course on circuits and electronics from MIT, which drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. He has served as the director of CSAIL, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He is a successful serial entrepreneur, having co-founded several companies including Tilera Corporation, which created the Tile multicore processor, and Virtual Machine Works.

 

Anant won the Maurice Wilkes prize for computer architecture, and MIT’s Smullin and Jamieson prizes for teaching. He holds a Guinness World Record for the largest microphone array, and is an author of the textbook “Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits.”

Scientific American selected his work on organic computing as one of 10 World- Changing Ideas in 2011, and he was named in Forbes’ list of top 15 education innovators in 2012. Anant, a pioneer in computer architecture, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the ACM.

He hacks on WebSim, an online circuits laboratory, in his spare time. Anant holds a Ph.D. from Stanford and a bachelor’s from IIT Madras.

José Manuel Barroso

José Manuel Barroso

Former President, European Commission

Bio

José Manuel Durão Barroso was the former President of the European Commission. After graduating in law from the University of Lisbon, he moved to Geneva where he completed a Diploma in European Studies at the European University Institute, University of Geneva, and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Geneva. He embarked on an academic career, working successively at the University of Lisbon, University of Geneva, and Georgetown University.

In 1980 he joined the Social Democratic Party (PSD). He was first elected to the Portuguese parliament in 1985 and was re-elected six times thereafter. In 1999 he was elected President of the PSD and re-elected three times. During the same period, he served as Vice President of the European People’s Party, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Minister for Foreign Affairs. Under his leadership, the PSD won the general election in 2002 and he was appointed Prime Minister of Portugal. He remained in office until July 2004 when he was nominated by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament to the post of President of the European Commission. In June 2009 the European Council unanimously nominated him for a second term as President of the European Commission, and he was re-elected by an absolute majority in the European Parliament in September 2009.

He has also participated in several international missions including, among others, head of the IDEA delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina (1996) and advisor to the United Nations in projects for Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Felipe Calderón

Felipe Calderón

Former President, Mexico

Bio

Felipe Calderón was President of Mexico from 2006 to 2012. During his presidency he prioritized the rule of law and public security; a competitive and job-creating economy; equal opportunities; sustainable development; effective democracy; and a responsible foreign policy. Among other achievements his government pushed through structural reforms to modernize the Mexican economy in key areas, such as public pensions, tax, the energy sector and universal healthcare. It also put in place the most ambitious infrastructure program in Mexican history, raising annual investment from 3 percent to 5 percent of GDP a year. During his period in office Mexico positioned itself as a global leader in fighting climate change: President Calderon presided over the successful UN climate conference in Cancun in 2010 and saw the passing of a comprehensive Climate Change Act in 2012.

Prior to becoming president Felipe Calderón served as Secretary of Energy, and General Director of BANOBRAS (the public works and infrastructure bank). He was elected to the Federal Congress in 1991, becoming Secretary-General of the PAN (National Action Party), President and Leader of the Parliamentary Group. He was earlier a Representative in the Assembly of Mexico City (1988-91).

Felipe Calderón is Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, as well as current Honorary Chairman of the Green Growth Action Alliance; President of the Sustainable Human Development Foundation; and a Member of the Board of Directors of the World Resources Institute.

Felipe Calderón has a Bachelor’s degree in law, a Masters in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México; and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Kristin Clemet

Kristin Clemet

Managing Director, Civita; Former Minister of Education and Research and Former Minister of Labour and Government Administration, Norway

Bio

Kristin Clemet is general manager of Civita, a liberal think tank in Oslo. She has had a long history of public service. She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament for the Conservative Party in 1989, where she served as Minister of Labour and Government Administration (1989-1990). She later became editor-in-chief of the Conservative Party’s journal Tidens Tegn from 1993 to 1997 and Vice Managing Director of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises from 1998 to 2001.

She served as Minister of Education and Research from 2001 to 2005. As Minister of Education and Research, Clemet became known for her work in carrying out “The Quality Reform” (Kvalitetsreformen) in the Norwegian university system. She has a Master of Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics.

Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote

CEO, Dangote Group

Bio

Aliko Dangote is the founder, President and Chief Executive of the Dangote Group. He is also the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Africa’s foremost industrialist, Aliko Dangote is a member of several national and foreign organisations, where he devotes his resources to contribute to the growth and development of society.

Dangote was appointed chairman to the National Job Creation Committee to assist the government in providing more employment opportunities for Nigerians. In addition, he serves as chairman of the National Partnership Committee of Government and Private Sector on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, which seeks to develop the right skills and competency to support industrial development in Nigeria. He is also a member of the Honourary International Investor Council, a forum that is concerned with how to sustain the delivery of good governance, improve national and international perception, and increase private participation in the re-engineering of the economy.

He is a founding board member and patron of Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, a coalition between the private sector and health organisations to achieve the health-related MDGs by 2015. Beyond the shores of Nigeria, Aliko Dangote has also recorded milestones in philanthropy. He is a member of the McKinsey Advisory Council and the Clinton Global Initiative and a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2013, Aliko Dangote was appointed to the steering committee of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, a forum connecting businesses to make a lasting impact on the lives of children and youth through education. He is a founding member of the Global Business Coalition for Education as a representative from business.

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard

Chair, Global Partnership for Education; Former Prime Minister, Australia

Bio

Julia Gillard was prime minister of Australia and leader of the Labor party from 2010 to 2013. She is currently Chair of the Board of the Global Partnership for Education, which mobilizes global and national efforts to achieve quality education for all.

During her tenure as Prime Minister, she 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 the nation’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities. Before becoming Prime Minister, Ms. Gillard was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Gillard served as Shadow Minister for Health, followed in 2006 by an appointment as Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Social Inclusion.

Previously, from 1998 to 2000, Ms. Gillard was a member of the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations. In 2001 Ms. Gillard was appointed Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration and in 2003 took on responsibilities for Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs. From 1996 to 1998, Ms. Gillard served as Chief-of-Staff to the Opposition Leader of the State of Victoria. Prior to entering politics, Ms. Gillard worked as a solicitor in Melbourne with the law firm Slater and Gordon and became a Partner in 1990. Ms. Gillard retired from political life following the 2013 Australian national election.

Baela Raza Jamil

Baela Raza Jamil

Adviser/Trustee, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA)

Bio

Baela Raza Jamil is the Trustee/Advisor for the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Center for Education and Consciousness (CEC). Baela, a former technical advisor to the Federal Ministry of Education is an activist at heart, leading and associated with many social movements in Pakistan; these include the largest citizen led learning accountability initiative ASER Pakistan, Right to Education and the Children’s/Teachers’ Literature Festival.

She is on the boards of many government, academic and civil society organizations in Pakistan and on the Advisory Boards of the Global Monitoring Report (GMR), Learning Assessment at the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) and Global Business Coalition for Education. Baela is a member of regional and international professional associations such as BAICE, CIES, SAFED, ARNEC & ASBAE.

Amel Karboul

Amel Karboul

Secretary-General of MEF (Maghreb Economic Forum); Former Minister of Tourism, Tunisia

Bio

Dr. Amel Karboul was until recently Tunisian minister of tourism. Her mission was to revamp Tourism, which represents 8% of Tunisia’s GDP and enables the livelihood of 1/5 of the population. She was cabinet minister of the Tunisian interim government with the mission of ending the transition phase, organizing transparent elections and ensuring good economic and social governance and policy. Her innovative use of social media to promote the country and youth empowerment in the digital world has earned her international awards.

 

Amel’s extensive corporate and consulting experience since 1996 includes being a project leader for innovation management and supplier relationship for the Mercedes-Benz Brand in South Africa and Germany as well as executive for knowledge transfer and leadership development at the DaimlerChrysler Corporate University in USA, Singapore and Germany. She later became a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in Germany and was then managing partner of the consulting group Neuwaldegg in Vienna, Austria. She founded in 2007 an international leadership and change consulting firm: Change, Leadership & Partners. She is an award-winning executive coach, published author and a trusted sparring partner for CEO’s of global corporations as well as family owned businesses and entrepreneurs. She is visiting professor at DukeCE-ranked #1 in the world in Custom Executive Education by Financial Times and BusinessWeek, 2003 – 2014.

Amel, Tunisian born and bred, Europe and U.S.-educated, is truly global. Amel is native speaker in Arabic, French, English and German. She also has knowledge of Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Greek. Amel holds a masters degree with honors in mechanical engineering from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany and won her doctorate in coaching and mentoring from Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has done postgraduate education in economics in the USA and has accomplished an intensive systemic coaching certification program. Amel is mother of two wonderful daughters.

Jakaya Kikwete

Jakaya Kikwete

Former President, Tanzania

Bio

His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was first elected to the Fourth President of the United Republic of Tanzania in 2005 and re-elected for the second term in 2010. President Kikwete is a graduate of economics from the University of Dar es Salaam. In his more than 30 years of public service, President Kikwete served in different party, military and government positions. He joined the Cabinet in 1988 and he held several ministerial portfolios including Minister for Finance, Minister for Water, Energy and Mineral Resources and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He was the longest serving Foreign Minister in the history of Tanzania after serving that position for a ten-year tenure.

 

During his tenure in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he led Tanzania’s efforts to bring about peace in the Great Lakes region, particularly in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As Chairman of East African Community’s Council of Ministers, he played a pivotal role in moving forward the process of regional integration in East Africa, particularly the delicate negotiations of establishing a Customs Union between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. He also Co-chaired the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy with the Foreign Minister of Finland.

In January 2008, President Kikwete was elected Chairman of the African Union Assembly of Heads of States and Government, where he took a proactive role in resolution of conflicts in the Republic of Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also advanced to greater heights the relations between the AU and the UN, EU and International Community at large.

Jim Kim

Jim Kim

President, World Bank Group

Bio

Jim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D. is the President of the World Bank Group. Soon after he became president in July 2012, the organization established two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries. Kim’s career has been focused on health, education, and delivering services to the poor.

Before joining the World Bank, he served as President of Dartmouth College and held professorships at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. From 2003-2005, as Director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS Department, he led the “3 by 5” initiative, the first-ever global goal for AIDS treatment, which helped to expand AIDS treatment in developing countries. In 1987, Kim co-founded Partners In Health, a non-profit medical organization now working in poor communities on four continents. Trained as a physician and an anthropologist, he has received several awards, including a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and recognitions such as one of America’s “25 Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, and in 2006 TIME magazine named him as one of its “100 Most Influential People in the World.

Yuriko Koike

Yuriko Koike

Member of the House of Representatives, Former Minister of Defense, Japan

Bio

Ms. Yuriko Koike is a member of the House of Representatives in the National Diet of Japan. As Japan’s Minister of the Environment from 2003 to 2006 she was successful in campaign to change people’s attitudes toward climate change and to promote the development of technologies in order to tackle global warming. Ms. Koike was also Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for National Security from 2006 and became Japan’s first female Defense Minister in July 2007.

In 2008 she was a candidate in the election for Leader of Japan’s ruling party. If successful, she would have become Japan’s first female candidate to Prime Minister. Koike began her career as a TV presenter. She graduated from Cairo University, Egypt. She has written books and magazine articles on Japanese politics, international affairs and career women’s networking. In the current legislature of the House of Representatives, Ms. Koike was elected President of GLOBE Japan, one of the most established and oldest chapters in the GLOBE International network.

Anthony Lake

Anthony Lake

Executive Director, UNICEF

Bio

Anthony Lake is the sixth Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, bringing to the position more than 45 years of public service. During his career, Anthony Lake has worked with leaders and policymakers across the world. In 2007-2008, he served as a senior foreign policy adviser to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, a role he also performed during the Clinton presidential campaign of 1991-1992. He has managed a full range of foreign policy, national security, humanitarian and development issues at the most senior levels: as National Security Advisor (1993-1997) under President Bill Clinton, and as Director of Policy Planning in President Carter’s administration (1977-1981). He joined the US State Department in 1962 as a Foreign Service Officer.

Upon leaving the government, he served as the United States President’s Special Envoy, first in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and later in Haiti. He has served on the boards of Save the Children (1975–1977) and the Overseas Development Council, has been an International Adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross (2000-2003) and Chair of the Marshall Legacy Institute, which works in conflict-affected countries to remove landmines and assist survivors, and advance children’s rights.

Anthony Lake’s ties with UNICEF are long-standing, dating back to 1993, when he worked with UNICEF’s third Executive Director, James P. Grant, on the organization’s presentation of its flagship publication, ‘The State of the World’s Children’, at the White House. From 1998 to 2007 he served on the Board of the US Fund for UNICEF, with a term as Chair from 2004 to 2007, after which he was appointed a permanent honorary member.

Ju-ho Lee

Ju-ho Lee

Professor, KDI School of Public Policy and Management; Former Korean Minister of Education

Bio

Professor Ju-Ho Lee served as Minister of Education, Science, and Technology of the Republic of Korea (2010-2012). Before joining the ministry as Vice Minister in 2009, he was Senior Secretary to the President for Education, Science, and Culture. He has been noted for his education reform endeavors and active lawmaking as a member of the National Assembly (2004-2008). His policy entrepreneurship began when he worked as a research fellow in Korea Development Institute (KDI) and as a professor of KDI Public Policy and Management.

He has written many articles and several books including “Private Tutoring and Demand for Education in South Korea” (2010) and Positive Changes: The Education, Science & Technology Policies of Korea (2012). He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Seoul National University and his Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University in 1990.

Jack Ma

Jack Ma

Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group

Bio

Jack Ma is our lead founder and, since May 2013, has served as our executive chairman. From our founding in 1999 until May 2013, Jack served as our chairman and chief executive officer.

Jack currently serves on the board of SoftBank Corp., one of our major shareholders and a Japanese corporation listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He is also chair of The Nature Conservancy’s China board of directors and a member of its global board of directors. In September 2013, he joined the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation as a director. In August 2014, Jack was elected to the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum. In January 2016, he was named a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocate by the United Nations. Jack graduated from Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute with a major in English language education.

Graça Machel

Graça Machel

Founder, Graça Machel Trust

Bio

Graça Machel is one of the world’s leading advocates for women, children, and communities affected by conflict and injustice. Born in a rural part of Portuguese East Africa, she attended university in Lisbon before returning home to be a freedom fighter and schoolteacher. After the declaration of Mozambique’s independence, Machel became the country’s first Education Minister.

In the years following her government ministry, Machel produced a groundbreaking UNICEF report on the impact of armed conflict on children that changed the way the United Nations and member states respond in conflict zones. Since then, she has worked tirelessly in support of global health, child welfare, and women’s rights and empowerment. Machel is a founding member of The Elders, and played a key role in establishing Girls Not Brides. She is the Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, African Ambassador for A Promised Renewed, Board Chair of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, and President of the Foundation for Community Development.

As founder of the Graça Machel Trust, she has more recently focused on advocating for women’s economic and financial empowerment, education for all, an end to child marriage, food security and nutrition, and democracy and good governance. Machel has been recognized for her work on the Africa Progress Panel, the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, and the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Graça Machel has dedicated her life to improving lives, inspiring hope, and building a more just and equitable world for us all.

Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa

Executive Chairman and Founder, Econet

Bio

Strive Masiyiwa is the chairman and founder of Econet, a diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia Pacific. His business interests also include renewable energy, water treatment, Coca Cola bottling, financial services and hospitality.

 

 

Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College and the Hilton Foundation’s Humanitarian Prize Jury. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education.

Masiyiwa currently co-chairs the AU/WEF platform for investment in African agriculture, known as Grow Africa, and recently took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, the Chair of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, asked Masiyiwa to help mobilise resources for Africa’s response to the EBOLA outbreak. This was the first time the AU had asked a business leader to undertake such a role. Masiyiwa, with the help of other leaders, set up the first ever Pan African fund raising campaign known as the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Fund.

As a philanthropist, Strive Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi Masiyiwa, are members of the Giving Pledge and finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans.

Teopista Birungi Mayanja

Teopista Birungi Mayanja

Founder, Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU); Deputy Director Education Services, Kampala Capital City Authority

Bio

Teopista Birungi Mayanja is founder and General Secretary of the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) and advocate of free education for all and better conditions for teachers. A teacher by profession, she was at the fulcrum as teachers staged a strike over government’s refusal to increase their salaries. Mayanja continued her role informing the discussion regarding the plight of teachers when she was a panelist at Education First, an education initiative championed by to address the challenges of teachers globally. Mayanja was involved in the Primary Education Reform, which sought to concretize the government’s 1992 White Paper on Education and its outline of the national goals of primary education.
Shakira Mebarak

Shakira Mebarak

International Artist; Founder, Fundación Pies Descalzos

Bio

Shakira’s humanitarian and advocacy work is focused on universal education and early childhood development, particularly the health, nutrition and stimulation of children who are not yet in school. Shakira has a three-part strategy which includes foundations dedicated to development advocacy in Colombia, Latin America and the World. In October 2011, President Obama appointed Shakira to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, a commission dedicated to advising Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan on issues of educational success related to Hispanic students.

Shakira also serves as one of UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassadors, advocating for the importance of establishing political initiatives that put an end to the higher number of children without access to education. Shakira is also founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation in Barranquilla, Colombia, which consists of support programs for children and their families to increase quality of life and give them opportunity to exercise their right to an education, which will later determine their growth and development in society. Shakira has won many awards for her music, including two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, 28 Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated.

Patricio Meller

Patricio Meller

Professor, University of Chile; President, Fundación Chile

Bio

Dr. Patricio Meller is President of Fundación Chile. He also holds positions as Full Professor, University of Chile; Senior Researcher, CIEPLAN and is Academic Director of the Global MBA at the U. of Chile. He has been President of Presidential Advisory Board Jobs and Equity (Designated by President Michelle Bachelet); Member of Board Scientific MILENIO Program, MIDEPLAN; Director of CODELCO (Designated by President Ricardo Lagos); Researcher and Designer of the website FuturoLaboral (Ministry of Education) containing information of labor market for professional careers; Member of Board Science & Technology Program, CONICYT; Member of Presidential Advisory Board Technological Innovation.

He has been Director of the Department of Industrial Engineering, and Director of the Master in Management and Public Policy at the University of Chile. Additionally, he has served as a Visiting Professor at UC San Diego, University of Oviedo, Boston University and Notre Dame University. Dr. Meller has been a Visiting Researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is the author and editor of 17 books in Spanish, English and French and 72 journal and book chapters specialized in economics (43 articles in Spanish, 26 in English and 3 in Portuguese). Dr. Meller holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Chair, GAVI; Former Minister of Finance, Nigeria

Bio

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Senior Adviser at Lazard and Chair of Gavi. She was previously the Minister of Finance in Nigeria and Coordinating Minister for the Economy. In this role Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was responsible for managing the finances of Africa’s most populous nation and one of the world’s fastest growing economies. From December 2007 to August 2011, she was Managing Director of the World Bank where she had oversight responsibility for the World Bank’s $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia. She also spearheaded initiatives to assist low-income countries during the food crisis and later the financial crisis, and chaired the raising of $49.3 billion in grants and low-interest credit for the world’s poorest nations.

Before that, she was Nigeria’s Finance minister for three years and was briefly Minister of Foreign Affairs. As Minister of Finance, she spearheaded the negotiations with the Paris Club of Creditors that led to the wiping out of US$30 billion of Nigeria’s debt. Prior to her government service, she had spent 21 years at the World Bank, rising to the position of Vice President and Corporate Secretary.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala serves or has served on numerous boards and advisory groups, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the African Institutes of Science and Technology, the Center for Global Development, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the newly-formed African Risk Capacity – an institution of the African Union charged with insuring African countries against the risk of climate change.  In 2011 and 2012 she was named one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes, and one of 100 Top Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy. A Distinguished Fellow of the Brookings Institution, she is also the author of several books and articles. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Harvard University and a Ph.D. in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Tolerance, United Arab Emirates

Bio

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi is Minister of State for Tolerance. She was previously Minister of International Cooperation and Development. She is the first woman in the U.A.E to hold a ministerial position.

In addition to her current role, Sheikha Lubna is a Board Member of the Emirates Foundation Abu Dhabi and the Dubai School of Government, and Chair of ‘Tejari’, which she guided to become the premier business-to-business marketplace for emerging markets in her previous capacity as CEO. Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna is also a Board Member of Friends for Cancer Patients, a Trustee of the Electronic Total Quality Management College and a Member of the Board of Trustees for Thunder Bird, The American Graduate School of International Management College, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from California State University of Chico. She also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the American University of Sharjah.

Kailash Satyarthi

Kailash Satyarthi

Founder, Bachpan Bachao Andolan

Bio

Mr. Satyarthi has been a tireless advocate of children’s rights for over three decades. He and the grassroot movement founded by him, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), have liberated more than 84,000 children from exploitation and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation. Mr. Satyarthi has been the architect of the single largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the Global March Against Child Labour, whose mobilization of unions, civil society and most importantly, children, led to the adoption of ILO Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour in 1999.

He is also the founding president of the Global Campaign for Education, an exemplar civil society movement working to end the global education crisis and GoodWeave International for raising consumer awareness and positive action in the carpet industry. In 2014, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen

Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University

Bio

Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University and was until 2004 the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is also Senior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Earlier on he was Professor of Economics at Jadavpur University Calcutta, the Delhi School of Economics, and the London School of Economics, and Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University.

Amartya Sen has served as President of the Econometric Society, the American Economic Association, the Indian Economic Association, and the International Economic Association. He was formerly Honorary President of OXFAM and is now its Honorary Advisor. His research has ranged over social choice theory, economic theory, ethics and political philosophy, welfare economics, theory of measurement, decision theory, development economics, public health, and gender studies. Amartya Sen’s books have been translated into more than thirty languages, and include Choice of Techniques (1960), Growth Economics (1970), Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), Choice, Welfare and Measurement (1982), Commodities and Capabilities (1987), The Standard of Living (1987), Development as Freedom (1999), Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (2006), The Idea of Justice (2009), and (jointly with Jean Dreze) An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions (2013).

Amartya Sen’s awards include Bharat Ratna (India); Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur (France); the National Humanities Medal (USA); Ordem do Merito Cientifico (Brazil); Honorary  Companion of Honour (UK); Aztec Eagle (Mexico); Edinburgh Medal (UK); the George Marshall Award (USA); the Eisenhauer Medal (USA); and the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Theo Sowa

Theo Sowa

CEO, African Women’s Development Fund

Bio

Theo Sowa is an independent advisor and consultant, specializing in international social development with a particular emphasis on children’s rights and protection issues. She is currently the CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund.

Born in Ghana, she has lived and worked in many countries in Africa, as well as the UK, Europe, and the USA.  Her work includes advisory roles to African and other international women and children’s rights activists and leaders, plus policy development and advocacy with a variety of international agencies and organizations. She was Senior Program Advisor on the UN Study on Children and Armed Conflict (the Machel Report) and led the five-year review of the report.

Theo is a board member of various national and international civil society organizations and grant making foundations, including being a trustee of Comic Relief (a multimillion grant making foundation) and Chair of Comic Relief’s International Grants Committee; a member of the African Advisory Board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation; a Patron of Evidence for Development; a member of the UBS Optimus Foundation and a board member of the Graça Machel Trust. She has authored many publications, including being a contributing editor to ‘The Impact of War on Children’; a contributing author and co editor of a Harvard Law School/UNICEF Innocenti publication on ‘Children and Transitional Justice’; and co author of ‘Groupwork and Intermediate Treatment’. Theo was awarded a CBE in June 2010.

Lawrence Summers

Lawrence Summers

Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University; 71st Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton; Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama

Bio

Lawrence H. Summers is President Emeritus of Harvard University. During the past two decades he has served in a series of senior policy positions, including Vice President of development economics and chief economist of the World Bank, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, Director of the National Economic Council for the Obama Administration from 2009 to 2011, and Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, from 1999 to 2001.

He received a bachelor of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975 and was awarded a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1982. In 1983, he became one of the youngest individuals in recent history to be named as a tenured member of the Harvard University faculty. In 1987 Mr. Summers became the first social scientist ever to receive the annual Alan T. Waterman Award of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and in 1993, he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to the outstanding American economist under the age of 40.

He is currently the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University. He and his wife Elisa New, a professor of English at Harvard, reside in Brookline with their six children.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Chief Executive, Save the Children; Former Prime Minister, Denmark

Bio

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 49, was Prime Minister and led a coalition government for a full parliamentary term from 2011 until 2015. She led the Social Democratic Party for 10 years. Helle was a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004, and previously worked as an international adviser to the Confederation of Trade Unions. During her time as Prime Minister she increased international aid spending to 0.83% of GDP. She has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and a Master’s Degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges. She was born in Copenhagen and her mother tongue is Danish. She is fluent in English and has a working knowledge of French. She is married to Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon. They have two daughters.

Commission Directors

Justin W. van Fleet, Ph.D.

Justin W. van Fleet, Ph.D.

Director, International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity

Bio

Justin van Fleet is the Director of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity and Chief of Staff to the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Business Coalition for Education and works with the UK children’s charity founded by Sarah Brown, Theirworld. He was previously a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education in Washington, D.C. where his research focused on corporate social investments and philanthropy for global education. van Fleet graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in international education policy and holds a Master degree from Harvard University in the same field.
Liesbet Steer, Ph.D.

Liesbet Steer, Ph.D.

Director of Research, International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity

Bio

Dr. Liesbet Steer is Director of Research for the Education Commission. Previously, she was a Fellow at the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, where she worked on education in developing countries with a focus on education finance and the scaling up of education delivery. She has nearly 20 years experience in international development research and on-the-ground technical assistance.

 

 

Prior to joining Brookings, she was Director of the Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) flagship program on Development Progress, financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to measure and understand development progress across a range of sectors. As a fellow of ODI’s Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE), she also conducted research on development finance and aid effectiveness, and the production and use of impact evaluations. Between 1997 and 2007, Liesbet lived and worked in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia. She directed the economic reform program for the Asia Foundation in Indonesia, a technical assistance and research program on local economic development and growth. She also worked with the World Bank and IFC on private sector reform and the design and evaluation of SME development in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Liesbet holds a M.Sc. in Quantitative Economics and Ph.D. in Development Economics.