Commission Team Leadership
Liesbet Steer, Ph.D.
Liesbet has over 20 years of experience in international development and finance across the world – working for the World Bank, IFC, Asia Foundation, ODI, and Brookings. Between 1997 and 2007, she lived in Vietnam and Indonesia where she worked on economic development in the Asia region. Liesbet has written widely on development finance and education and presented in a wide range of fora and advisory panels. She currently serves on the Board of Greater Share, the Global Leadership Council of Generation Unlimited, the High Level Steering Group of the Education Outcomes Fund, and the World Economic Forum Education 4.0 Alliance. Liesbet was educated at the Universities of Antwerp and East Anglia, and the London School of Economics. She holds a M.Sc. in Quantitative Economics, and Ph.D. in Development Economics. She is married to Andrew Steer and has two college-aged children.
Founder and Chairman of Education Commission Asia and Education Commissioner; Professor of KDI School of Public Policy and Management; former Minister of Education, Science and Technology, South Korea
Director of Programs
Director of Finance & Operations
Director of Communications
In 1997, Lana foundedShootback – a youth photography and development project in the Nairobi slums that amplified the voices of young Kenyans so they could tell their own stories. The youth’s powerful photos and words became the basis of a book, an international touring exhibition, and a documentary film. More than 20 years later, the project continues, offshoot youth media training organizations have developed, and many Shootback students are now professional photographers and filmmakers.
Inspired by this experience and her creative collaborations with international organizations, local nonprofits, foundations, and artists, Lana is passionate about harnessing the power of the arts and marginalized youth voices for advocacy, education, and sustainable development.
Lana earned a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London.
Experts and Staff
Strategic Advisor, International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd)
Previously, Pedro was the Vice President Budget, Performance Review and Strategic Planning of the World Bank and was in that capacity responsible for budget and strategic planning for the World Bank, as well as the General Services Department reporting directly to the Group CFO. Most important management responsibilities included overall oversight of the World Bank budget of about US$ 3.8 billion, and the formulation and supervision of the annual strategic planning process for the World Bank. Pedro was also a member of senior management committees of the World Bank including the Senior Management Team (that advised the President on all key corporate decisions) and the finance and risk committee (that advised the CFO on all financial decisions). As Vice President, Pedro was responsible for key reform initiatives such as the design and implementation of a new strategic planning and budgetary process, the reform of the resource management function in the World Bank, and a significant 8 percent cut to the Group budget.
Prior to this position, Pedro has served in a variety of positions in the World Bank, including as Country Director in the Russian Federation, in the Southern Cone of Latin America, and in several fragile states in Africa. Pedro has a PhD in Applied Economics from Cornell University, has published both academic and policy reports on financial integration and macroeconomic policy, and has lectured in universities in Spain, USA, and Russia.
Program Lead, Delivery
Prior to joining the Education Commission, Kate was an associate fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution where her leadership on the Learning Metrics Task Force contributed to the inclusion of learning indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals. Earlier in her career, she designed, implemented, and evaluated training programs for teachers and early childhood providers in the US and Pakistan. She has published numerous reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, and has been interviewed on BBC World News. Ms. Anderson holds a M.P.P. in International Policy and Development from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University.
Sam Awuku, Ph.D.
Project Lead, Innovative Pedagogies
Sam is the Board President for the Ghana Society for Education Technology and a government nominee on the Council of the the University of Cape Coast. He is a member of the Institute of Directors, UK. Sam holds a teachers’ certificate (mathematics teaching) with distinction and BA (Hons) in Social Science (Economics and Sociology) from the University of Cape Coast; MA in Inclusive Education from the University of Reading; MBA from Trinity College; MA in Education Programme with mathematics focus from London South Bank University; and Ph.D. in Education Technology and Development Policy from the UCL Institute of Education.
Research Analyst, Innovative Pedagogies
He has worked in both the NGO and private sectors in various capacities ranging from a community facilitator to a manager in the private sector. Alexander is an initiator, team player, and collaborates effectively with stakeholders to deliver project results using participatory learning and appraisal tools.
Project Manager, Communications and Advocacy
Katie has extensive experience working with high-level government departments on strategy, communications, and events. Prior to joining the Commission, she was a senior project manager working with the Prime Minister of Dubai’s Office and their Food Security Initiative, Smart Dubai and the city’s digital transformation, and Expo 2020 Dubai.
Manager, Finance Workstream
Previously, she worked at the Brookings Institution, where she did research into financing for development and oversaw the Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. She has also worked at the National Association of Independent Schools and the Social Progress Imperative. Madelyn has a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M.A. in International Trade and Investment Policy from George Washington University.
Research Lead, Education Workforce
Katie graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Russian. She holds a Masters of Education degree in International Education Policy and Management from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and completed Columbia Law School’s graduate program at the Center for Public Research and Leadership.
Manager, School Health and Nutrition
Prior to joining the Education Commission, Katherine worked as an Early Childhood Specialist at Briya Public Charter School in Washington, DC, a two-generation education model serving recent immigrants that embraces a comprehensive approach to care to enact social change. She most recently worked in the office of the Ambassador at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates helping to lead local and international foundation relations. She is a proud alumna of AmeriCorps and passionately believes that local service can have global impact.
Katherine holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Skidmore College and earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.
Head of Climate and Education
Christina is co-editor of Curriculum and Learning for Climate Action: Toward an SDG 4.7 Roadmap for Systems Change 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.”
Christina is also research director at Unbounded Associates and a member of the Drawdown Lift Advisory Council, Girl Rising’s Advisory Council, the International Jury for the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education, and the Judging Academy for the World’s Best School Prizes.
Debra A. Jones
Head of Advocacy
Debra serves as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs since 2000. She is the co-founder and Chair of the Board of the International Organization for Adolescents, which has been preventing adolescent and child trafficking, and promoting girls’ leadership since 1999.
Debra is a senior advisor to United Nations leaders and ambassadors having held roles as the Global Advocacy and Campaigns Director at JK Rowling’s Lumos Foundation, Save the Children’s Director and UN Representative, the Director of Global Advocacy at Family Care International (FCI), Women’s Program Officer at the Presbyterian UN Office, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
In Paraiso, Dominican Republic, Debra co-founded the Paraíso Assistance Program (PAP), to construct a community hospital and train local health promoters. Debra later served as FCI’s National Director in Santo Domingo, and a consultant with the World Bank, International Planned Parenthood Federation (WHR), and Profamilia.
Debra holds a Master of Public Health (population and family health) and Master of International Affairs (economic and political development) from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from New York University.
Project Analyst, Delivery and Education Workforce
Manager, Global HTHT Consortium
Rose is a global-thinking human and proudly Filipino, graduating with honors from the University of the Philippines and Harvard University for international education policy and education innovation. She serves as the Co-Chair of Harvard Alumni for Education- San Francisco Bay Area chapter.
Strategic and Partnerships Lead, Sustainable Financing Initiative, School Meals Coalition
Véronique has more than 30 years of experience in the development field. She worked for 10 years at the OECD Development Centre before joining the Agence Française de Developpement where she successively managed the knowledge management team and the economic and social research teams. She then joined the education technical team where she oversaw education and TVET program design and financing in Mauritania, Senegal, South Africa, and Vietnam before becoming the team manager. In parallel she has lectured on development issues and project management at the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris I, and Paris V University, among others. She currently serves on the Board of France Education International and Montpellier Supagro.
Véronique holds a Bachelor’s in Contemporary and Medieval History, a Master’s in Political Sciences from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, and a Master’s in Urban Development and Town Planning in developing countries from the Institut d’Urbanisme de Paris.
Head of Innovative Finance
Nina brings over 15 years of strategy, finance, and delivery experience in emerging markets spanning both the private and public sectors. Her prior experience includes investing in the private education sector in Africa as an Investment Officer for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), serving as the Country Head and Deputy Country Head for the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative in Malawi and Rwanda respectively, and working as an Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs of Palestine. She has also got her hands dirty with several social sector start-ups.
Nina has lived and worked in India, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, and Palestine, and loves to explore unfamiliar corners of the globe.
Nina earned her BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford and holds a Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPAID/ID) from Harvard University.
Special Advisor on Innovative Finance
Education Commission Asia
Chief Executive Officer
Global Project Lead
Min Kyeong Jeong
Ye Rin Lim