Commission Team

Liesbet Steer, Ph.D.

Liesbet Steer, Ph.D.

Director

Bio

Dr. Liesbet Steer is the Director of the Education Commission. She was the director of the Commission’s report The Learning Generation: Investing in Education for a Changing World. She now oversees the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, including the design of the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), the Education Workforce Initiative (EWI), the introduction of reform and results-based approaches in Pioneer Countries, and the development of global accountability measures. She has more than 20 years of experience in international development research and policy. Before joining the Commission, Liesbet was a Fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution and Director of the Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) flagship program on development progress, financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As a fellow of ODI’s Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure, she also worked on issues of development finance, aid effectiveness, and the production and use of impact evaluations, including in education. 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 programs in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. 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.
Tatiana Kweder

Tatiana Kweder

Head of Finance & Operations

Bio

Tatiana has more than twenty years of experience in organizational leadership, financial and strategic planning, corporate governance, and performance and operations management. She thrives in creating and leading a culture focused on improving productivity, creating sustainable change, and engaging diverse perspectives. Prior to joining the Education Commission, Tatiana was CFO for a $1 billion privately held global travel / hospitality group focused on providing innovative solutions to disrupt an institutionalized industry. Before entering the private sector, she was Assistant Vice President for the University System of Maryland where she established and cascaded strategically derived performance metrics throughout all organizational levels creating continuity of understanding on how individual productivity contributes to the University’s mission. Tatiana also had the honor of leading the Resource Allocation and Institutional Renewal group for the University’s accreditation process. Tatiana holds a BA from the University of Maryland and a MS in Information and Library Sciences from Drexel University.
Jack Bohen

Jack Bohen

Executive Assistant

Bio

Jack is the Executive Assistant at the Education Commission and is currently based in Washington DC. He manages the Director’s calendar and schedule in addition to supporting and coordinating teams across a number of the Commission’s workstreams. Prior to joining the Education Commission, Jack worked at Year Up, an organization dedicated to closing the opportunity divide for young adults, and as an elementary and middle school teacher at Horizons, an educational enrichment program for underserved students. He is passionate about developing innovative educational solutions in pursuit of a more equitable and opportunity-filled world. Jack graduated from Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a concentration in International Relations.

Communications and Partnerships

Lana Wong

Lana Wong

Communications Lead

Bio

Lana manages strategic communications across the Commission’s programs and has helped to shape the Commission’s external communications since 2016. Based in Washington, DC after living abroad in London, Nairobi, and Paris, she has wide-ranging creative communications experience as a photographer, educator, BBC television presenter, creative director of the World Bank’s Connect4Climate initiative, and founding member of the diverse collective Moderate The Panel.

In 1997, Lana founded Shootback – a youth photography and development project in the Nairobi slums that amplified the voices of marginalized 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 collaborations with international organizations, local nonprofits, foundations, and artists, Lana is passionate about harnessing the power of the arts and underheard voices for advocacy, education, and sustainable development.

Lana earned a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and a Master’s in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London.

Katherine Kullman

Katherine Kullman

Senior Communications & Partnerships Analyst

Bio

Katherine Kullman is the Senior Communications and Partnerships Analyst for the Education Commission and is currently based in New York City. In this role she leads on developing and maintaining the strategic partnerships of the Commission, while identifying engagement opportunities to achieve organization and project goals. She currently leads on the coordination of the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) and Global Education Forum (GEF).

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.

Amanda Kente

Amanda Kente

Senior Social Media Coordinator & Communications Analyst

Bio

With over five years of digital marketing and brand development experience, Amanda believes that her love for the arts and storytelling is what continues to fuel her passion to create, to rewrite the narrative and to reinvent the content we consume by putting diversity and inclusivity at the forefront of the stories she tells. 

Amanda graduated from Eastern University in Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and holds a Master of Arts in International Development. She has lived across two continents and worked in communications and marketing through social media management, digital content creation and business development for NGOs, startups, and well-known personalities. She is passionate about telling unique, yet relatable stories that represent various communities and experiences around the world. 

Programs

Pedro Alba

Pedro Alba

Strategic Advisor

Bio

Pedro Alba is CEO and Founding Partner of BlueOrange Consulting. Blue Orange has provided services to multilateral development institutions and banks and civil society organizations in the areas of innovative development finance, setting up new development facilities and budget reform.

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.

Kate Anderson

Kate Anderson

Project Lead

Bio

Kate Anderson is project lead for DeliverEd, a UK FCDO-funded partnership with the University of Oxford which seeks to broaden the evidence base on delivery approaches in education. Kate is also the founder of Unbounded Associates, a Washington, DC-based firm that supports governments, donors, UN agencies, NGOs, and researchers to find strategic ways to increase impact, communicate successes, and chart new paths in education. She has more than 18 years of experience in education policy, research, and practice.

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.

Amy Bellinger

Amy Bellinger

Project Lead

Bio

Amy established and is leading the Education Workforce Initiative (EWI) and the High-Touch, High-Tech (HTHT) Initiatives for the Education Commission. EWI is working at global and country levels with multiple partners to design, test, and scale new approaches for expanding, strengthening, and reimagining the education workforce. HTHT aims to test and scale personalized learning for all students by combining the unique strengths of the teacher (High Touch) and the power of technology (High Tech). Amy is also a strategic advisor to the Education Commission’s DeliverEd Initiative which is focused on better delivery of education systems. As an international education consultant, Amy leads portfolio/program/organization strategy, design, implementation, and review with a particular focus on innovative approaches. Prior to working independently, Amy was Head of International Education at Ark where she developed and implemented Ark’s first international education strategy including the launch of its first education program in Africa, new education programs in India, and seed funded STIR Education. Prior to that, she was Deputy Chief Executive of Future Leaders, a UK-focused school leadership program for challenging urban schools. Amy’s previous career was as a management consultant for Deloitte, IBM, and PwC. She has a BA Hons degree in Geography with European Study from Exeter University and is based in Bristol, UK.
Jessica Bergmann

Jessica Bergmann

Senior Analyst

Bio

Jessica Bergmann is the Senior Analyst for DeliverEd and currently based in Washington DC. She supports research partners and practitioners who are working to broaden the evidence base on delivery approaches in education. She also supported research on the global Save Our Future campaign, coordinating over 100 researchers from around the world to create a blueprint for the education sector during the COVID response and recovery.

Prior to joining the Education Commission, Jessica has spent more than 8 years designing and evaluating education programs for PANGEA, a civil society organization in Uganda focused on improving early grade literacy through teacher training and linguistically-relevant learning materials. She most recently worked in Uganda with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, a humanitarian organization focused on creating geospatial data for humanitarian response and development. In her role, she provided support and training to communities across 13 countries, co-designing programs, facilitating trainings, and developing evaluation frameworks. Through this work she became passionate about citizen-generated data and the use of big data in education.

Jessica holds her Master’s degree in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her research focused on teacher and teaching quality in sub-Saharan Africa. While at Harvard, she had the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Education in Burkina Faso, UNICEF New York, and civil society organizations supporting the refugee response in Lesvos, Greece and Arua, Uganda. As a former high school English teacher near Chicago, Illinois, Jessica is passionate about education equity and transforming education systems to deliver for all students.

Patricia Bliss-Guest

Patricia Bliss-Guest

Strategic Advisor

Bio

Patricia is an attorney and independent advisor to international development organizations, governments, and the private sector on sustainable development and the design and management of strategic alliances. She has worked with the Education Commission since 2017, focused primarily on the design and establishment of IFFEd. Patricia worked for the World Bank for over 20 years, leaving the World Bank in June 2014 after serving as the first Manager of the Climate Investment Funds, a partnership among the five major multilateral development banks to provide scaled-up financing to developing countries to address the challenges of climate change. Prior to launching the Climate Investment Funds, Ms. Bliss-Guest was the Deputy CEO for the Global Environment Facility. During over 30 years working on international environmental issues, Ms. Bliss-Guest also worked for the United Nations Environment Program and the Council on Environmental Quality within the Executive Office of the US President. Patricia has a B.A. from Smith College, an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Madelyn Cunningham

Madelyn Cunningham

Strategic Engagement Manager and Senior Analyst, Finance

Bio

Madelyn is the Strategic Engagement Manager and Senior Analyst for Finance and is based in Washington, DC. In this role, she works on the Global Education Forum (GEF) and the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd).

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.

Katie Godwin

Katie Godwin

Researcher

Bio

Katie is from the United States and currently based in Madrid, Spain, working as a consultant in global education research and policy. She oversees the Education Workforce Initiative’s research agenda and activities. She led development of EWI’s flagship report, Transforming the Education Workforce, and also supports EWI’s in-country work to develop education workforce reform options with Ghana, Sierra Leone and Vietnam. Previously, Katie worked in Nashville, Tennessee leading immigrant and refugee education services with non-governmental organizations.

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.

Charlotte Jones

Charlotte Jones

Head of Country Partnership

Bio

Charlotte works with the Education Workforce Initiative as a consultant in systems change, institutional effectiveness and change management, as part of the Education Commission’s strategic partnership with Education Development Trust (EDT). She advised on EWI’s flagship report Transforming the Education Workforce, and works with clients and partners internationally to develop research and thought leadership on workforce reform options.

Charlotte currently leads EDT’s research and development, where she leads the charity’s commitment to evidence-based education solutions, innovation and learning. She brings experience pioneering education workforce reforms in challenging settings, including testing and scaling a system leadership approach in Rwanda and Kenya, leading to measurable gains in leaders’ instructional leadership practices. Charlotte’s background is in management consultancy at Hay Group-Korn Ferry, where she supported clients across the banking, aerospace, telecommunications and public sectors with workforce-related change management initiatives.

Charry Lee

Charry Lee

Senior Project Coordinator

Bio

Charry is the Senior Project Coordinator based in Washington, DC for DeliverEd, an initiative to gather evidence and create a community of engagement to build understanding of how to most effectively implement policies that address the learning crisis; and for the Education Workforce Initiative, rethinking education workforce to equip students with adaptable skills for the 21st century. Charry provides support on project and research coordination and implementation of process to develop and disseminate reports, events, tools, and resources. Prior to joining the Education Commission, Charry was a Researcher for the Public Diplomacy Department at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and a Project Coordinator for the Bridge International, where she managed multiple international grants supporting aspiring entrepreneurs in developing countries. Charry graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education and holds a Masters of Education degree in International Education Policy and Management from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rose Sagun

Rose Sagun

Researcher

Bio

Rose manages the Education Commission’s High Touch High Tech initiative, which leverages AI to deliver personalized learning at scale. She has 10 years of experience in education, EdTech, and learning innovations. She developed an award-winning learning product for a Forbes Global conglomerate and managed a range of online learning experiences: for adults in corporate as well as children in early years & K-12.

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.